That Night

Today, it is crisp and cold. My feet crunch the grass as I walk back to my apartment. Fog is thick in the air and the sound of my footsteps dissipates in the opaqueness.

Mornings like this make me think of the morning after everything happened between us.

I remember sitting in the grass, doing my devos in my spot under the trees where I always did them. But this morning, illuminated in the 10am sun I could see the grass trampled down in the shape of a blanket. It outlined the place where our bodies lay the night before, and the morning blue sky whispered the secret that I knew: everything was different now.

I knew that things would be different though. I hoped that this would happen, secretly, when I asked you to spend time with me under the stars. In the back of my mind, my conscious told me not to. Usually at times like this, my conscious has the voice of my very rational friend Camille. “Don’t go spending alone time with him, because you are just going to hurt him, and you don’t really want anything with him, and you’re going to make a big mistake.”

I could hear that voice in my conscious, but I knew in my heart, that Camille was wrong. I hoped so badly that you would say yes. Because secretly, in the back of my heart, I knew I wanted to be with you.

The night it happened I brought my roommate’s quilt and we walked past the groups of people as we made our way to my spot. Campus was buzzing in the balmy night air that characterizes the first few days of May, and the last few days of the school year. Every student could feel the excitement in the pit of their stomach for the heat of the months ahead. Everyone was closing pages and starting new chapters of their lives. And so were we.

I swear the stars have never been more beautiful. I swear that the temperature at night has never been more comfortable. I swear I never have laughed harder than when we were stealing blankets from each other and rolling around in the grass. And we made jokes and watched one of my favorite movies and we sat just far enough away from each other to appear as if our friendship wasn’t changing but the energy between us told us otherwise.

And when the movie ended the dew of the evening made us shiver so we crammed under a tiny blanket to keep warm. And we were supposed to get up and leave, but you stayed, and I stayed, and we didn’t even make a move to pretend we were going to leave. And we lay on our backs and looked at the May night stars, and I spent a lot of the time laughing- the deep belly laugh I have that I only have when I am on my back and with someone I love.

And laughter turned into reminiscing,

and reminiscing turned into memories,

and memories turned into secrets.

And we traded secrets until little secrets turned into big secrets, and I think I even cried a little bit. And I don’t remember exactly what you said but it was something along the lines of “That makes me really indignant.”

I don’t even remember leaving, I just remember staying for a long time.

And then I woke up the next day, and everything changed, and it has never been the same.

And I am not sad right now as I remember this night, even though I am usually sad when I think about you. But I am not sad when I think about this night because it was one of the best nights. It’s one of those memories you can’t necessarily share with anyone because they won’t understand. They won’t get how sweet, and safe, and beautiful that night was. They won’t understand that it’s a memory that I savor sweet in the back of my tongue when I think about it. I can’t forget it,

and if I had a time machine, I would relive that night many times.

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