“I’m leaving in 2 weeks….”. There was silence on the phone. “Hello?……..Hello?!”. More silence. “Yeah I’m here”, I said.
The entire summer we spent together, practically everyday. We told each other we loved each other on our graduation day, via text. He was at one school, I was at another. “I’m so proud of you. I love you.”
We celebrated our senior graduations and both had summer jobs. We’d spend the hot summer days downtown , sight seeing, eating, shopping, finding any dip off spot we could to get frisky. All the while, avoiding the elephant in the room; his soon to be departure to California for college.
One day , things got real. We finished watching a movie and was about to take the Red line heading back to the south side. As we walked down the street late that night, he looked me in the face.
“Come with me. I got us covered. My school is free ride, I got a job waiting on me….you’ll be taken care of”. Why didn’t I think of that? That was the simple solution! SIKE.
“It’s not that easy, you know that baby”. I instantly saw the sadness in his face. We kept walking. The ride back to 35th was long and silent. We walked into his grandmother’s home and he snatched his Uncle’s keys off the table. “Let me get you home”. The mood had changed. I never felt this coldness and detachment from him before. He pulled up in front of my house, we pecked on the lips. “Goodnight.”
We would typically talk on the phone until one of us fell asleep every night. Not this night. No phone calls. Next Day, no phone calls. Next week. No phone calls. Next two weeks, no calls. I cried myself to sleep every night for two weeks. My heart was crushed. How could he just cut me off like this?
After 2 weeks of unanswered calls, I finally got an answer. I was so shocked the first thing I blurted out, “You a GOOFY ass nigga!!! Where the fuck you been??”. My heart was beating so fast. He calmly responded, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ve never been in love before. This shit……this is crazy. I don’t know what to do” . I began to cry again. “I thought that I could just get over it, if I stopped dealing with you all together. I’m leaving for school in less than a month, and you won’t be there. How am I supposed to function?
How am I supposed to do that, when my heart is still in Chicago?”
Neither of us had the answers.
After all the apologies and reassurance that he loved me, it was time to face reality. “I’m leaving in 2 weeks……”
The Day has arrived. We step off of the Pink Line ‘L’ train into the corridors of Midway airport. I’m carrying a bookbag and pulling a luggage. He’s carrying 2 bags and pulling 2 more luggages. He pulls out his One-way ticket to find the terminal. We get to baggage claim and I stand off to the side.
His arms looked so good lifting those bags on to the scale. He had a fresh haircut and the diamond earrings he got for his birthday were sparkling. His chocolate skin had this natural shine to it. I had flashbacks of last night. We had his friends house to ourselves. We somehow ended up having sex on the stairs, with just the light from the streets shining through. He carried me up the stairs and laid me on the bed. He undressed me and told me he just wanted to look at me. That was the first time we actually, made love, and we didn’t even touch each other. Just embraced each other’s bodies with our minds and spirits. I was so in love with him.
“Ok, Mr.Daniels, you’re all set to go, enjoy your flight”.
That woman’s voice was like a storm alarm blaring into my ears. I instantly felt my breathing pattern change. I watched as he fiddled with some papers and adjusted the strap on his Nike duffel bag. He was avoiding me. He was looking the other way. He did a bee line to the other end of baggage claim towards the terminal. I followed behind. “Really?!?!? Really?!,!”. He turned around.
His eyes were blood shot red. His nostrils were flaring.
“I love you. But I can’t hug , or kiss you. That shit is going to kill me. For real. Just leave.” He turned around and proceeded towards the terminal.
I stood still. Everything around me was moving in slow motion. I became dizzy and I felt something erupting in my chest. Before I knew it….. I screamed and cried. I could feel the pain entering my body as the back of his head became Less and less visible.
An old man came and walked me to a seat, he sat next to me. I grabbed his sleeve and buried my face in it. I just let the pain and anguish leave my body as I cried.
Was this the last time I’d see the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with?