You played at the diamond behind the Guzman’s house next to aunt Marilyn’s at Patton remember? I think you played for the Demons, I’m not certain. You played catcher, just like Julian and Jason do now. I always thought you must be in pretty good condition to squat like that for so long. I loved watching you play, you were so naturally good at it. You saw me and immediately smiled, that smile, it sparked a light inside of me. I remember sitting on aunt Marilyn’s porch and talking, you in your baseball uniform and me in something I thought you’d like. Aunt Marilyn just adored you boys! She was so sweet. What did we talk about that day? Man that was a long time ago. It was the summer before we started Southwestern, so I think we were talking about school. You acted so cool and collected, not at all moved by starting high school. I, however, was a bit unnerved about it. I remember you telling me to relax, because I was going to sail through it. I never asked what you meant back then, but oddly I think I understand now. Your mom came and picked us up from aunt Marilyn’s and we went back to your house.

While you showered, I sat in the living room talking to your mom. She’s one of the easiest people to talk to that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving. I didn’t know how important she was back then. I didn’t know she’d become one of the best friends I ever had. I never knew I would be familiar, even if remotely so, with the pain in her heart. We chatted about the weather, the show One Life to Live, and Ryan’s pacifier, and as I sat there listening to her, I realized you were showering. I was in the house and you were showering. I was young, but I think I learned what being turned on meant because at that moment, I could not stop thinking of you. I lost your mom somewhere, and had to hike my way back into the conversation about how Ryan needed two pacifiers, one of his mouth and one for his nose. I didn’t for the life of me question it, as odd as it sounded. I just sat there waiting for you to be done showering.

You came down the stairs, you smelled amazing, and I loved that your hair was still wet. I think your mom could see how smitten I was. I never tried hiding it, because the thought never entered my mind. Why would I? It felt so perfectly organic, as though the stars were aligned for our every encounter, why the hell would I want to keep that a secret? We went out on the porch and sat on the porch swing, and just talked. You went in to the house, made Ryan an ice cream cone, and made each of us one. So we sat on the porch, on a sweet Summer day, eating vanilla ice cream cones. I’d catch you sneak a peek out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes you were looking at my eyes, sometimes elsewhere. Even though talking to you felt natural, you made me a little insecure because you would steal these looks, like you were tracing edges with your eyes. I was bound to follow their every move because I was willingly lost in their beautiful green and gold and gray. Jason, your eyes grab me out of my reality, capture my heart, and simply maintain my soul. I can’t escape their gaze and I don’t want to. I fell stupid in love with your eyes, and everything else was a bonus. Perhaps being enamored of the eye is my problem, but it never mattered because looking into yours never was a problem. We continued on the porch swing while my mom was driving over to pick me up, and as it got darker, you slid closer to me, and put your arm around me. I remember you saying, “All I’ve been thinking about this whole time is how I could find a way to touch you” and I just sat there stunned and tickled pink all at once. Even at the blooming age of 14, you always found a way to thrill me.

Jason, I hope that in my lifetime, I’ve made you happy. I hope that I was everything you dreamed I’d be. I hope and pray that you left us secure in your place in my life, because you will always have a place in mine.