I Just Want to See My Baby

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     Our tearful goodbye still echoed in my mind like a bell ringing through the air in the distance. It had been almost a year since that night. But I still remembered it as if it had happened yesterday. Remembering every detail so clearly, it still gripped at my heart to think back and remember what it was like to say goodbye.

     Ben and I had officially graduated high school, and were off to start our new adult lives. I had chosen to stay in town and go to a local college so that I could come home on the weekends. Meanwhile, Ben had chosen a college a few states away. I was so happy for him because that meant he could pursue his dream of being a musician. And he was going to one of the best colleges in the country for music.

     But then, that also meant that I wouldn't get to see him as much. And I hated that part of the situation because I'd had a secret crush on my best friend for a couple of years. I tried to hide it the best that I could, but there were still moments when it was next to impossible to hide my true feelings. Mostly with the little things he would do; the way his eyes lit up when he smiled. Or when his nose crinkled up when he laughed. The way I felt in his arms when he hugged me. It seemed no matter what he did, I melted right there, and fell even harder.

     Thankfully, I didn't have to go the entire year without seeing him. We had the occasional Skype "date", when his super busy schedule would allow it. We would always talk for hours then, catching up on each other's lives. Ben would always ask me if I had a boyfriend, and I'd smile shyly and tell him no every time. Then I would hesitantly ask if he had a girlfriend yet. And he would always answer the same way, "No. I'm starting to think the girl for me just isn't here."

     "Well, I don't see how that's possible. I mean, it's a very talented music school. Tons of pretty girls. You never know..." I trailed off.

     "Oh, I think I have a good idea, actually. I just don't think she's here."

     And we always ended the discussion on that note, and changed the subject to something else.

     If I were being honest with myself though, every time I asked him if he had a girlfriend I secretly hoped he would say no. I really did want him to be happy; he was my best friend. But I also knew that I wanted to be the one to make him extra happy. He had always been an upbeat guy, and the lucky girl who would get to be his girlfriend wouldn't know what hit her. She would have the greatest guy in the world to call her own, and she may not even know it. But I would; I'd always known how great he was. And his brief girlfriend in high school had no clue how lucky she was. I was so glad when he finally broke up with her. And I'd had him to myself ever since. I kept hoping one day he'd realize what he had right in front of him all this time. But time got away and we grew up; and now he was off at another college a few states away.

     After a moment, I realized that I had been staring out the window at the falling snow for who knows how long. I sighed longingly, if only he'd been able to come home for Christmas...

     Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. Of course, I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the whole thing as I normally would be. The last time we'd talked on Skype, we went through the usual banter, eventually ending up at asking about boyfriends or girlfriends. Our responses had become so typical, I never expected him to change his answer.

     "So, uh...how's the girlfriend search going?"

     He paused before answering, a shy, knowing smile slowly spreading across his face, "Well...you know how I said she wasn't here?"

     "Yeah..." I replied, waiting for an answer.

     He laughed slightly, almost like he couldn't believe what he was about to say, "I, uh...I actually think I may have found someone."

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