Jay

Is it strange that I wonder about you? Flipping through an old yearbook, seeing your face, asking where you might be. It’s not as if it’s been a long time since graduation day. Less than two years. But hey, plenty can go down in two years.

We met in the third grade. It was twelve kids from all over town coming to a new school and joining another seven kids who were all a year older – the fourth graders. That was our class, plus our teacher, of course. She was older and had short hair that I imagine had once been very blonde. At that age, we were all still just friends. Some of the other girls had crushes and liked glitter and talked about cooties or whatever. I just knew you were good at basketball and you made me laugh.

By fifth grade, I seemed to have begun catching up on developing these “feelings.” I realized that maybe you were more than just the first pick for my soccer team at recess. Maybe I thought you were funny because you made me heart beat just a fraction of a second faster than the other boys in class. Maybe I played up my love for basketball because you had a love for it too. Maybe I really liked your freckles.

When we started middle school, everyone began “dating.” Everyone, that is, but me and a handful of other awkward average-types. You didn’t fall into that category like I did, and it made me realize how poorly suited we would have been together. I still loved your laugh, but I missed your braces when you smiled and the way you had once called me your favorite.

Freshman year was a blur. We’d gone opposite directions and I only ever saw you anymore because your buddy had the locker next to mine. You were still playing basketball, but I’d given it up. Your freckles had faded and your voice was deeper every day.

As juniors, things were leveling out. We still weren’t the the types who said hello in the hallway or went out of the way to engage in conversation. We had four classes together. You still made me laugh, but it wasn’t just me. The same class clown I’d known as a kid, you had the entire classroom roaring. But being around you and seeing the changes was like holding up a mirror. I realized how much we’d grown up, and you weren’t quite shaping up to be the guy I’d always pictured.

Two years can change plenty of things. When you factor in college, the likelihood increases tenfold. Plenty is different with me, so I can only imagine what you’re up to. I know you’re still playing ball, but I wonder if you still love it like you used to. I wonder if you miss gym class on Fridays and how we never lost if we were on the same team. I wonder if blue is still your favorite color. I just wonder about you.

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