I hadn’t thought of my first boyfriend in years.
The way everything was new and he never felt silly when I asked him to dance in the rain, even though I felt silly. The way he knew I loved when his cologne lingered on my clothes because I crawled into a space between his arm and his body.
I remember crying in the diner by my house late at night,
we were just friends, two years after we broke up but he always made me feel a warm sort of comfort, he always made me laugh when I was mad and he always managed to make me mad on my best of weeks. He was scared of going up to Georgia alone. I, naively confused, asked why would he go to Georgia alone. When I repeated the word army, it left a bitter taste on my mouth, did’t quite roll off the tongue like home. Like our small, loud city was home. Like when he biked to my house in the rain was home. Like going to the Colombian Bakery where worked, was home. Like he was home.
Except, my home was leaving, and when he asked me to go,
I cried, held onto him and said no, said I have a boyfriend who doesn’t love me like home does and my life is just starting.
That was 8 years ago. I’m 23 now. Made the same mistakes repeatedly. Changed my entire life and started over. Reinvented myself every time I rented the heart of a man who was not home. My home lives in Honolulu, has traveled the world, changed into a man who still has that wide smile I loved. My co-worker mentioned how certain smells remind her of certain people and asked if I agreed. I hadn’t thought of that boy, whose Kenneth Cole Reaction still lingers on my old high school uniform, in years. Told her certain smells remind me of a place I always found comfort in. I wonder if he knows he will always have a home here, always have a place to stay in my heart. I will leave the door open and when he picks up to leave again, I will say you are always welcome here, to this little corner of the world, where nothing exciting ever happened, but you will always be loved.