The Fire and Works of Love

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June 29, 2012 by jooshanoosh

As this is the weekend before the 4th we wanted you to think back on those summers in your life when stuff meant stuff and the world was wide and open.

There was this girl.  She was the prettiest girl in school and I was her second best friend. We hung out a lot and we laughed and ate Jell-O and colored in coloring books…we were 15 and I loved her.  It was the summer before high school and I knew that September would come and we would fraction off into the churning sea of 10th grade.  I think she knew I loved her, even though I never told her…well, I may have told her every day but I was such a kidder that it never took hold, which is how I got the title “Second Best Friend”.  So I had this night planed out, it wasn’t quite a date but somehow it ended up that it was just me and her (First Best Friend had another engagement) and we were going to see the fire works for our city’s birthday.  I remember getting dressed.  How hard it is to pull of effortlessly put together for a summer night with someone you love but they could never know. Shorts and a button down.  The button down says, “This is more important than a T-Shirt.”  the shorts say, “My legs get hot.”.  We had planed a rendezvous spot in the park, this was in a time before cell phones and somehow you were just suppose to be where you said you would when you said you would.  Right before I was going to leave my house the phone rang.  She couldn’t come. Or rather she couldn’t come with me.  Her family had decided they wanted to celebrate our city’s birthday together.  Everyone has this exact moment in their lives, trying to be cool in the face of utter disappointment.  Well, she must have heard it in my shuddering voice because she made me a promise,

“You have to go tonight, and somewhere in the crowd I will be there too.  Then we can watch the fireworks together but a part.  And every time you see a blue firework, that will be me thinking of you. And every time you see a red firework that will be you thinking of me.”

It was well played.  Even at 15 I was a die hard romantic and was quivering at the small branch of hope that she was offering.  Of course I would go, by myself, and find a seat in the grass and look up to the sky and wait for her thoughts and think of her waiting for mine.

The first firework was giant.  It filled the navy sky over both our heads. As it hung there in the air, a smile of deep and powerful adolescent love smeared across my face.

It was red.

And it was blue. 

Split down the middle.

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