The Unforgettable Sound
He stood with his hand on the doorknob, a sad look in his eyes and the lasting smile on his lips. "So...maybe I'll see you around, Joey,"
I nodded. "Yeah...Hey, Kevin?" he turned back around, lifting an eyebrow. "Take care of yourself," he smiled and nodded. The door closed after him, and I watched him climb into his truck next to his wife.
They were moving to New York, so that when Kevin got back from Iraq, his wife would be waiting for him. So no matter what, they'd be closer than if she was in California when he got back.
I let him go. I loved him, and I let him go. Why? Because. He's already got all that pressure on him, and he doesn't need my problems.
I waved at him and wiped away a tear, furious. I never told him anything, and he never told me anything. Our friendship was perfect. He didn't need to worry about me loving him when he was moving and was soon going to be shipped off to Iraq. Sure, I didn't want him to go. Just like his wife, and his 14-year-old son, Jacob. No one wanted him to go. It was highly unlikely that he'd get back alive and in one piece. There was a chance we'd never see him again, and yet I still passed up the chance to tell him about my feelings.
I spent most of the week worrying about him, until he called. I was asleep, because I worked the night shift most of the time back then, and he caught the answering machine.
"Hey, Joey, we made it to NYC in one piece, and Jake seems to like the place, he thinks he'll adapt quite well. So does Alecksis. I hate it. I'd rather be back on the West Coast with you and all my old friends.
"But, so far it's been good. Jacob still hates school, but he's made a new friend, so it's pretty good living here, I guess." He coughed, and an awkward silence followed. "Joey, are you there? If you are, please pick up...I really want to talk to you. Need to," there was a pause and a sigh. "Please, Joey..."
"Hello?" I said, wiping my eyes. I wasn't even aware that the phone had stopped ringing.
"Hey...Umm...Joey, I've got something to tell you..."
"What? Are you all right? Are you still getting shipped off?"
"I'm fine, and yes, I'm still getting shipped off. It's just...."
There were a few moments of silence from him. "What, Kevin?"
"I miss you horribly. I can't sleep at nights knowing you're on the other side of the nation. It was hard enough knowing that you were three hours away in CA. But, now you're a plane ride or two away, and I can't stand it..."
My chance to tell him was right in front of me. I could tell him, he'd go off to Iraq, and he'd come back in one piece, divorce his wife, and come to me...And his wife would hate me.
But what do I do? I blow it. I blow it all away like I was completely over him. But I wasn't.
"Kevin...You know you can't get out of going to Iraq, and telling me this isn't going to make me come up there instantly and try to keep you from going," I said in a voice barely above a whisper. Josh was lying next to me, half-asleep, and an arm around my waist.
Another few moments of silence, but when he started talking again, I could hear anger and tears in his voice.
"What makes you think I'm telling you this because I don't want to go to Iraq? Are you so fucking blind that you can't tell when someone is in love with you? Or do they need to spell it out!" he was crying, and I felt horrible.
And when I'm trying to fix something that I screwed up, and I'm nervous, what do you think happens? Yep. I screw it up more.
"But, Kevin, you're married to Alecksis, and you've got a family with a fourteen year old son, I just thought--,"
"I'm in love with you, you fucking idiot!" he whispered, the anger lost in his tears.
What do you say to that? What do I say to that? My best friend just said he loved me.
I make a funny noise and push Josh's' arm away. He moans in protest and falls back asleep, hugging a pillow.
"But, apparently, that doesn't matter to you, because you're not fucking talking!"
There's a click on the other line and he's gone. "But it does matter to me...I love you, Kevin."
Um...Right...Just review, k? Thanks