Gabe and I met on a packed train. He was eying me from the other side of the car. A few stops before his, he leaped up to where I was and introduced himself. The people that saw thought it was a start to some romantic comedy, and my feet were clouds the entire day.
Nothing came from it, other than a few text messages, a couple make out sessions and me wanting more time than he could give me. I learned that in the same way addicts can’t date, neither can kids from equally broken homes. I learned that insult is less of an injury and more of a projection of insecurity.
I remember the inevitable fall out. Something about me not understanding that he was making a start up and how while he cared, I was second place by a long shot. I couldn’t connect to his sentiment, and inevitably I forgot mostly all about it.
Until the email I got before I left to Chicago.
“I know you’re leaving but I need to tell you that I’m sorry.”
In that conversation he opened up, about how I was the best thing that has happened to him since leaving the Carolinas and about how with one misstep, his business fell apart. He resonated with my fear of staying. We talked about a million other things, but he wasn’t a thought as I boarded the bus westward. I don’t regret saying that.
Even still I am reminded, more so than others who lasted longer. I hope for his wellness and that his motivation finds the right spot.
I’d be lying if I said the occasional check-ins aren’t wanted.
“November 16th, 2012.”
“You talked about the Christmas present you were making your friend.”
“I came over once before you left.”
“Do you remember?”
“I’m so sorry.”