I want to thank Brigham Vaughn for providing today’s picture. I had fun giving these boys their story.
I rest my forehead against Paul’s, unable to believe we’re really both here again.
It has been exactly four years since we last stood in this grove - ankle-deep in the snow - both of us sixteen and Paul about to move away with his parents. We’d had ninety-two days of happiness together. Three months during which we’d spent every free minute together. We’d thought it would last forever. The announcement of the move had taken Paul by surprise as much as it had me. That last day we’d promised each other we’d meet here exactly four years later.
“They found out, you know. My parents. About us. They thought separating us might cure me of my adolescent confusion.”
It explained why he’d never written to me. I thought of the dozens of unsent letters in my room, every envelope showing just his name, no address.
“I didn’t think you’d come.” Paul’s smile wavers.
“I had to know.” It had been the most difficult thing I’d ever done, coming here. “I couldn’t give up on you until I knew for sure it had been your choice not to see me again. If you hadn’t been here I would have allowed myself to forget you.”
My grin turns into a full smile. “Now I’m not going to let you go again. Parents be damned.”