He had known Katelyn Marie-Anne Sawyer his entire life. He used to live beside her, way back in elementary school. She was the first invited to his birthday, and he to hers. Every day after school they were at each other's houses. Every weekend, running through the backyards, depending on which house they decided was more fun.
These days, they last all through elementary school. But he moved the summer before starting middle school. Gone were the carefree afternoons he had spent with his next door best friend. No phone calls or visits happened during that summer. The next day he saw her was several weeks into the school year.
They were in completely different classes, in completely different places. He'd simply caught a glimpse of her in the hall, but he had known it was her. He didn't say 'hi', didn't go up to her. Maybe it was because he was shy, or because he knew that she hadn't seen him. Maybe it was because he already felt the distance of a summer between them.
Middle school passed quickly. He heard her name a few times, glimpsed her in between classes. He kept his head down, but wondered if she ever thought of him. Middle school probably would have been different if they had been in the same class, even once. But they weren't. And, middle school, though years long, passed swiftly, with no words, and the distance of a summer.
He didn't notice her at all, really, in high school. It was a big place, with more kids and a lot more classes. They never met in the hall, never ended up in the same class. Eventually, she slipped from his mind. She was just a foggy memory, but he could still feel the sharp distance of a summer.