Sunday, December 16, 2012


Looking out on the water was one thing Eddie could always remember doing. He had spent a lot of time trying this or that, hanging with this person or that person, but since way back when he was a kid he had the memory of this.
            He would stand under the great bridge watching the swirls come and go on the water's surface, the din of far away cars punctuated by the occasional horn blaring. In summer the wind was cooling, in winter it was biting, but always he loved to watch how it made the water get choppy. He remembered all this and more.
            But most of all, he remembered Susie.
            She had been with him since before he could remember. Their dads were neighbors and childhood friends. They regularly spent holidays at each other’s houses. They learned to ride bikes together. They even got the chicken pox together.
            Their parents always joked that they would get married someday, but Eddie never saw it that way. Sure they had been each other's first kiss, but even that wasn’t anything really special. It was third grade, and Bobby LaTorre had teased him about not having kissed a girl. After school, under the bridge, Susie had grabbed him by the shirt and planted a big wet one right on his lips. Eddie found out later that Bobby had lied only because he really had a crush on Susie himself.
            Nah, to Eddie she was more of a sister, a twin almost. Throughout junior high and high school, they had dated other people. He actually lost his virginity to her cousin Michelle, Susie to his cousin Tony. Senior year had found both of them single though, so they were each other's prom date so the other didn’t have to go stag. They both had decided to ditch the prom towards the end and instead spent the night talking down by the river until they watched the sun come up over the city skyline.
            Eddie remembered one summer, the one between fourth and fifth grade, he had decided to take up collecting insects. He had caught a few moths and butterflies, carefully displaying them on a tray, each one suspended by a single pin piercing through it. When he had shown it to Susie, she was so appalled she knocked it out of his hands and ran away crying, telling him to go away. He immediately threw the whole set away. Those two weeks she went without talking to him after that were two of the longest weeks of his life.
            As he stood there staring out over the water, watching the surface dance as the current fought the wind, more and more memories came flooding back to him. As tears started rolling down his cheeks, he chuckled to himself.
            You never really did miss someone until they were gone.

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