Not so long ago, really, I was a young teen full of angst and looking for something to fill a void. I didn’t always look in the right places. I didn’t always find what I was looking for. But sometimes my path led me to surprising places.
One of those people became a boyfriend. A boyfriend in the sense that we spent time together outside of school. We’d hang out at each other’s houses. This was before we were old enough to drive, of course. Many times we would meet and he would have his bike. He’d pedal and I’d ride on the pegs, mainly to get to his house. Sometimes he would come to mine. We talked on the phone, like teenagers do (or did).
I can’t even remember how we first met though I assume it was school. Nor do I remember why we broke up. But I do remember the time we spent together. I remember his laugh and his sideways smile. I remember him being a friend long after we weren’t “boyfriend and girlfriend” anymore.
Eventually we lost touch though we did see each other every now and then in passing. I was always happy to see that easy smile. I haven’t seen him in many years. A few months ago my mom told me she ran into him and even though she didn’t remember him at first, he made sure to say hello and remind her of who he was.
He was a small part of my story. A part of the path that has led me here, to where I am as I write this. I think of him from time to time.
My heart is heavy as I write this. He was in a car accident. He didn’t make it. His family, left behind. A child, his young daughter, left without her father.
My heart is broken for a life gone too young.
My heart is broken for the life he gave to me during a time when I didn’t feel like living.
There truly are no guarantees in this life.
Rest In Peace, Daron. Thank you for being a part of my story.