We never scripted each other’s names on the lined pages along with our political science notes, but at some point during that hour-long class, we exchanged enough conversations and playful jokes to create a connection. We shared hello’s in the hallways and the occasional walk to the chemistry lab, notes about the Shakespeare homework and the upcoming geometry exam. Eventually, we stayed up through the late night hours to chat across a barrier that held us in different states, in new schools. We walked city streets hand-in-hand and mostly didn’t know what to say, as if the small amount of space between us was enough.
But we were never bold enough to admit our feelings out loud in perfectly crafted sentences, to let the nouns and verbs roll over our tongues in a harmony that would reveal the emotions we stifled. You never promised me bouquets of roses, but we shared a kiss or two or three and somewhere in the static sparks of our lips meeting, I believed there would be something more.
Yet the rest of our story turned into delayed responses in predictable conversations, vague undertones in our typical speech, busier calendar pages, and fewer opportunities to smile. It turned into a dark party in a city apartment where we shared a casual sideways glance over the punch bowl before you disappeared into a corner to start a new chapter with a new girl. And while I cried salty tears in the hallway, you hid behind a coward’s suit of armor, one that prevented you from feeling guilty or saying the two words I longed to hear: “I’m sorry.”
I thought of you today, driving down the street with my windows down as the crooning voice of Bruno Mars poured from my speakers to proclaim that he hopes he buys me flowers. And although it hurts, he’ll be the first to say that he was wrong. Even now, years after we’ve parted ways, you’re still late to apologize for your mistakes. And as the thoughts of you briefly drift through my memory, I can only take those lyrics to heart and hold on to the hope that the next boy buys me flowers, that he does all the things you should’ve done when you had the chance.