This last story was actually requested. By several readers. Why this handful of people knew there was this story to be told, I’m not sure. It is a lot like yesterday’s story, but with some significant differences, as well as a different kind of significance here. I think you’ll know what I’m getting at when you read it
The artwork here is not a piece by either in the story, but it’s something I’ve had saved for a while. Its not even polymer. But, really, it could be, and someone really needs to try this! It’s a glass mosaic created on a rock. That is what artist Liz Tonkin does… she builds mosaics on rocks. Isn’t is gorgeous? Take a look at her Facebook page to find the most eye candy of this sort. Okay, enjoy that while reading the last of our ‘lovely’ stories this week.
Once upon a time, in a Los Angeles high school drama class, this charming boy with an amazingly cute smile sat down next to a very shy, self-conscious girl (who had unintentionally ended up in the class) and asked her to do a scene with him. She didn’t know why this guy, who every girl in class seemed to have a crush on, would ask her, but she said yes, so he suggested they get together that weekend and go over scenes. That was the first of many weekends and many other hours spent together. She was his first girlfriend; his first kiss. He was the first guy she actually fell in love with. Being young and uncertain though, they didn’t really know what they wanted and drifted apart. But, it wasn’t long before they worked it out being friends and spent long hours at dingy coffee shops, comparing personal philosophies and talking about their art and writing. It was always so easy to just be themselves with each other.
They stayed irregular friends for nearly a decade, unintentionally following each other around, but rarely seeing each other. They went to the same community college, then the same four year college. Then he went on to a prestigious animation program north of L.A., and she moved to New Mexico, but a couple years later, they both ended up in San Francisco at the same time then returned to L.A. for a while between jobs. She had turned to poetry, and he to painting; looking at what filled their souls but not their pockets. Christmas day of 1993, they spent the afternoon with the girl and her family and still talked like they always did. But, it would be the last time they would talk for 20 years.
Within the year the girl met another guy, got married and moved to Colorado. The boy got serious about his career and soon met the woman he would marry. Neither marriage was good. Her’s was even violent. But, they were both the type of people who don’t give up easily, and they stayed for far too long in relationships that crushed their spirits. She had stopped writing her poetry, and he rarely painted.
After her inevitable divorce and several years of near solitude, she tried to find something meaningful with someone else, but there would always be angry words, or they would want her to give up her art or her writing. So, she gave up on them and sunk herself into her work. She would think back, however, and remember those few people in her past like bright lights on a horizon and started trying to find them. Some she found, but not the boy who she wanted to see again more than anyone. She knew he’d become successful in animation as his name would roll by on the TV screen sometimes when her roommate watched cartoons. Then one particularly trying day, when she looked back at the mess of a life she’d had, and she thought of that boy again and decided she would run a search for him one more time. And suddenly, there he was, his still very cute smile staring out at her from the screen. She wrote him and hoped he’d just say hi back. A few hours later he did. But he didn’t just say hi.
They talked every day from then on, in the same way they did 20 years before. A couple months later, the girl’s father became ill, and she drove out to Los Angeles to help. The two old friends managed to meet up and then went out for a dinner that they both lingered over. It was then that the girl realized she was still in love with that boy, and, as it turned out, the boy had the very same realization about her. The girl, however, had been resigned to being alone the rest of her life, but the boy, he jumped off the deep end and just told her how he felt. She made him wait 6 weeks before she could finally say, okay, I feel the same. Now what?
That all started just over a year ago. Somehow, even living a thousand miles apart and being about the two busiest people anyone could imagine, they make it work. They talk every day, try to see each other every month and are slowly breaking down all the cynicism built by the many years in between. Their lives still parallel each other, too; both working jobs that combine art and writing. Their big deadlines even land on the same weeks. They live in a similar rhythm, but, more often than not, many miles apart.
And yes, they sometimes wonder what would have happened if they had realized when they were young just how rare and precious it is to have someone you can be yourself with and who loves you just as you are. But, that boy and girl who met in a high school drama class are not the same boy and girl who met again last year. Maybe the years in between were not always happy ones, but it allowed them to become the kind of people who can appreciate and love each other the way two people really should.
The girl’s name is Sage. The boy’s name is Brett. We will spend this Valentine’s day a thousand miles apart, but still, we believe we are the two luckiest people in the whole darn universe.
Nonetheless … I do so miss you, my dear man!
Happy Valentine’s day to everyone out there. Cherish and appreciate the love in your life in all the forms and from all the souls that give it to you.
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