Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oh Teenage Hopes

I saw him as I was walking past Express in Coronado Mall just a few minutes ago and immediately recognized him. Not trying to look like a total stalker, I made my way through the door and scurried to the woman's side. 

I was sweaty at this point. 

I couldn't keep my eyes off him as he walked over to her (her being his girlfriend/fiance) and green swelled upon me. "It's been 5 years since our last encounter," I thought to myself, "why can't I just let him go?" But I was determined to talk to him, yearning would be a better word and I wasn't leaving until I did. Checking my bangs in the mirror, I was thankful to myself that I had put make-up on this morning and didn't walk out of the house looking too homeless. Taking a big breath I saw my opportunity and walked up behind him.

"Hey stranger, long time no see," I said as he turned around to see me.

It was in that moment that I saw in his eyes our past-the drama from our teen years, his friends, my friends, tattoos, misplaced nipple rings, Chasing Amy, watching Cartoon Network at 2am, those ridiculous rims on his white truck, Petsmart, weddings in Hawaii, his grandparents house on that one street, and the promises we made to one another- and I knew that this was it, I had to let him go; I grew out of all the hope I had for us. 

We made small talk he mentioned his mom got married, his sister is legal now, and he lives in Rio Rancho again. I think I said something about graduating and getting my neck pierced (how this is even relevant makes no sense to me either) and how old we are. I hate small talk. 

He couldn't take his eyes off me and I reveled in the glow of just being seen by him again. 

I should have told him how I always think about him on his birthday, how I cannot see a Kevin Smith movie without wondering how he would rank it, or how after all these years I still have the picture you made me and it makes me smile. 
I wanted to scream at him how mad I was when he never came back to me and fell off the face of the Earth. How I wanted to find him and searched Facebook, MySpace, and Google stalked him but still couldn't. 

I wanted to tell him how sorry I was to write him that letter 2 years ago basically begging him to take me back and forget his girlfriend and yet thankful he never replied. 

But most of all I just wanted to tell him thank you for all the hours, days, weeks, years that he was a big part of my life. I know we were never officially together-the timing was never right- but Dustin holds a very dear place in my heart. So I set you free Dustin Bookout and when I think back at my 17 year old self I will always see you next to me in your white truck with your D hat on and your intense shoe collection.

 Thank you for making my life exciting while you were in it and good luck with that girl.