A few days ago I went to check on my friend, reclusive author Clive Javanski. He was nowhere to be found. In his apartment I found this letter addressed to me. I’m not sure what to make of it. Apparently he believes he’s  found a way to go back in time to a particular place when he was in love. And lost. And he’s there now. More likely he’s drunk. But I’ll read on.

 

L,

I forgot I’m supposed to look out the door of study hall to watch Sloane walk by. She hit me in the shoulder later in the hall because I didn’t. She looked hurt.  Man, I remember how overwhelming it was now, to hear the bell and wait for her to walk by after her class. She’d briefly stop, wave, and smile that silly but pretty grin of hers.

I’m kind of in a daze but it’s helped, I think. You see, after looking at old letters she wrote me I realized I was kind of a wimp. But this second chance, instead of making me a desperate freak I thought it might, it has found me detached. It’s throwing her off, I think. I wasn’t like this the first time.

I’m walking down the hall thinking of things that are supposed to happen. Trying to remember.
It’s fanatical because I barely remember anything. Only when it happens do I then remember. Like déjà vu.

People are writing notes like crazy. And the way the girls fold them, it’s methodical. It’s art. You know that one, favorite, wrinkled,  yellowed note I held onto from Sloane? Written on graph paper? It was the first one she wrote that ended with “Love, Sloane.”  I just got the original from her today. When she handed it to me I was astounded. And reading it for the “first” time, there was that déjà vu feeling again. Because I didn’t really remember reading it before, although technically I did?

There are a few moments I absolutely remember and one is supposed to take place this Saturday. It’s when I was alone with Sloane at the park. We were sitting on swings. She started to swing out in a circular motion around me, tangling our chains. Then she stopped and unwound, resulting in her bumping into me so we where side by side. I’ve never forgotten that. I won’t change that.

There is only one thing I remember that I will absolutely change. Later that night when I was getting ready to leave. We were in front of her house. I was on my bike and she was standing next to me.

Up to that point we hadn’t kissed yet. And I didn’t know it then, but we never would kiss. That moment, It was one of those awkward ones, when you each say “goodbye” but neither of you leave. I remember the October wind blowing her hair. The color her lips looked like in the reflection of the moon and street lamp. She closed her eyes. I was supposed to move in. I didn’t even have to move my bike, she was that close.

But I didn’t.

I chickened out. I rode off. Deep down I knew I’d never have that chance again. Now I do. This is my second chance. There will be a kiss. I don’t know what will happen after. What it might change. Maybe nothing. Maybe I just come back and have that memory of it really happening. And that would be enough for me.

CJ

P.S. By the way. Heather, Sloane’s friend…she’s been giving me strange looks. Do you think she knows? I doubt it. I recall she gave those to me the first time, too.

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