Friday, August 30, 2013

The Last Night

Just before midnight I headed down the shore one last time until who knows when.  Although I've walked the shore late at night plenty of times before, this time it felt different because I knew this was good bye.  So I walked more slowly, taking in the dome of stars over the lake, as if they might not be there again, or I might not return.

In front of the Big Dipper, I turned my back on the lake and on the stars and walked the steps up to the yellow cottage sitting on top of the hill.  The guy from down the shore and I had planned a final hurrah my final night before heading to New York.  He had promised me to take me to the tree bar that he and his closest friends had built in the middle of the woods, somewhere mid-way through their disc golf course.

I arrived as the guy from down the shore was finishing up his fantasy football selections.  I've never been into fantasy football, but I'll admit, I have fantasized about having my wedding at the Big House (i.e. Michigan's football stadium), and walking through the tunnel onto the field, rather than down some church aisle to the front of a church.  But I didn't mention this to the guy from down the shore because guys tend to think it's odd when girls start planning their weddings when they're not even dating anyone. 

The guy from down the shore readied two lanterns, and we made our way through the thick of the woods to enjoy our final night together over a few beers at the Tree Bar.
The Tree Bar * Blue Moon beer selection inspired by the one who is new
My sister suggested the week before, "You've had to have hooked up by now."

To her surprise I answered, "No.  Actually, we haven't." 

When I mentioned to him what my sister had said, he replied, "Yeah, everyone thinks that."  The funny thing is, I would have thought it too.  In fact, I would have bet $20 on it back in January that at some point this year we would have kissed.  But we didn't, and I'm now thankful that it didn't happen, because our friendship remains intact without complication or potential weirdness.

Although one of his best friends often referred to him as my lake boyfriend, in actuality, the guy from down the shore was one of the best non-romances I've ever had.  His consistent presence in my life, amidst the chaos of mine, was a gift in helping me get through one of the hardest years I've experienced thus far. 

Dear Guy from Down the Shore, If you happen to be reading, THANK YOU!!!  for being there for me this past year.  Best of luck on your return to Italy and in life!  Hope to see you at least once a summer from here on out.

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