Years ago, there was a "we". In that time, we purchased a house in a new neighborhood and there my son made a friend with the neighbor boy. The neighbor boy was five years older than my son and seemed like a "good kid". They hung out after school at either our house or his. The boy's parents seemed like regular folk.
Sometime in our short years at that house, I made an impression on this budding young man.
One night after work, I went home and kicked off my high heels. Everyone it seemed must have been asleep. I stripped off my shirt, threw it on the couch and strolled out in the moonlight of the backyard. It was a beautiful night, a shiny full moon lighting up the clouds from behind. I was wearing a black, above the knee, "flowy" skirt. And I twirled and danced in the privacy of my back patio. Yes, I'm that kinda girl.
Then I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Kip was leaning against the wall and lit up a cigarette. I think he was mid-teens at this point. I jumped and asked, "Kip, what are you doing here?" Then I ran and grabbed my shirt and slipped it on quickly. He told me he was doing nothing and I told him to go home. I never admonished him or told his parents, or told anyone for that matter. He was still a good kid and I had no further problems with him.
A couple years or maybe months later the "we" became my son and I and we moved away. But my son had regular contact with kids in the neighborhood. For what ever reason it was, I was visiting that area and stopped at a nearby McD's.
I walked through the parking lot and I hear "Hey, Scott's MomLady!" I had to laugh and wave. It was Kip. He literally leapt over the railing and ran to catch up to me. I don't recall the exact conversation, but it was something like this.
Kip: "I heard you left Scott's dad. I'm eighteen now. I have my own car."
Do you see where this was going? I acted totally oblivious and congratulated him. He said he would like to come over to my house. I told him he was always welcome to visit Scott anytime. He never did.
Sometime later, I saw him and his parents at a Home Depot. I waved and went on my way down an aisle. He found me. He had grown to be a handsome man. He told me he had joined the Army. Then, I don't recall which happened first, he had me flustered. He either asked me out or showed me the tattoo on his forearm. He said it was me.
I don't know in what manner I turned him down. I'm sure I was gentle. But to him it may not have seemed so.
Months later, I received news of Kip.
I don't think of him often, but when I do, I am brought to my knees in tears.
I knew a boy,
who was a good kid,
who became a great man.