Graphic by Iliana Garner / North by Northwestern

To Her:

Today was a dream. I bathed in the sun with her. The last time I may see her for the rest of my life. When she told me “Te quiero,” I didn’t respond. I hadn’t processed what she said until she had already turned to leave. I was at a loss for words in a Romance language that I couldn’t fully grasp. Not for her. Not even for her. “Pues … no sé.” At least, I told her everything I wanted to say in that card. Almost everything.

To me:

Today was a dream. Sand at my feet while I ate my mushroom burrito and drank my tepid milk tea. That didn’t matter. I was alive again. I felt something again. That thing that can also make you cry, but in a much more delicate manner, where your eyes water and if you blink maybe a tear will form. A thing called contentment.

Today was a dream. Wearing a vest and headphones, I placed a rifle onto my shoulder. “Pull.” The clay target zoomed across the sky. As I traced the target with my cheek against the butt of the rifle, I watched, with satisfaction, when the target flew into pieces.

To you:

Today was a dream. We watched where the sea met the sky from on top of the lifeguard chair. I ran on the shoreline to catch a duck, only to watch it waddle deeper, to safety. I stood alone, silent, as the clouds died in a spectacular show of pink and orange. We threw a frisbee, laughing, running in the sand after uncatchable throws. We drank wine and I felt my face burn. We laid in the quad, staring at the leaves above us. This is what friendship is supposed to feel like. Easy. Without having to think about anything. I’m glad you’re my friend. I’m glad I found you.  

Graphic by Iliana Garner / North by Northwestern