I’m an early riser, so in this fantasy I’m up at like 9AM, making breakfast for my house of guests as they all sleep. On the menu — French Toast, bacon and fresh fruit. I’m getting out bowls and pans and eggs and milk and spices…and then, as I’m slicing the bread with my serrated knife (it’ll be a nice-ass knife that cuts like butter), you walk into the kitchen.
It’s awkward at first. But then slowly we start talking and you end up coming around the kitchen counter to help me with breakfast. We’ve made this same meal many times, so it’s wouldn’t take long for us to fall back into the old pattern. I’d get the cast-iron skillet going nice and hot while you added some final pinches of nutmeg and cinnamon and orange zest to the egg mixture. Then we’d set to it. Three slices of French Toast at a time, we’d go through a loaf or two of bread, enough to feed the entire house. The bacon would already be in the oven baking away. I’d let you man the spatula while I got on cutting the fruit and making an oh-so-adorable spread.
It’d be mostly quiet work, each of us concentrating on our tasks. But the familiarity of it would hang between us, the ease of this old ritual sinking in and making both of us feel more comfortable.
By the time you’d finish with the French Toast, the delicious smells would have woken up the entire house and everyone would be down ready to fill their plates. Our moment would be broken, but we’d remember. We’d start to think that maybe things weren’t as bad in the past. We might even start to miss each other a little bit. But it’d be time to eat. And with everyone else there we’d break into our groups and dig in like nothing had happened.
Fast-forward to that evening. After a day at the beach and then an evening poolside, we’d be on to drinks. It’d be a classy affair. Or classier. Three years from now I’m going to be old and more “sophisticated.” No more 24-pack of beer nights. I’d have actual liquor (the good brands, remember my sudden, unexplained wealth) that I’d have real mixers for so that we could all have a night of cocktails.
The drinking would be fluid, everyone moving in- and outside. At some point in the night we’d find ourselves the only two outside. A few drinks in, the starry night sky above us, the soothing lapping of the ocean in the distance and the fond memories that our morning cooking would have dislodged playing in our heads, we would sit down and have a real conversation.
I haven’t thought about what we’d actually say to each other or what topics would come up, but in my fantasy we talk for over and hour, until our drinks have been empty for a while. Our friends would have made several attempts to come outside, but seeing us there talking, they would have turned back, not wanting to disrupt whatever was going on. Eventually we’d go in, go to our separate rooms, our heads buzzing with memory, nostalgia, doubt. We’d both fall asleep unsure of what had happened out at the pool. Unsure of what it meant. Excited to see what the morning would bring.
The next day would be everyone’s last out at my house. It’d be in the middle of the afternoon and I’d decide to take Shelby for a walk on the beach. (See. She is integral in my fantasty.) You’d volunteer to go with me.
As we’d walk down the beach, a short walk would turn into a long one. I’d have Shelby on her leash at first, but then I’d let her loose and she’d run wild. Running ahead and around us, exploring shells and little creatures in the sand before coming back to check on us. The walk would soon turn into a long one. A romantic one. It’d be like something cheesy out of a Nicholas Sparks book. But neither of us would care because the feelings behind it all would all be real.
At some point in the walk we’d stop and stare out at the waves, silently, awkwardly, both of us wanting something but uncertain if the other felt the same.
We’d give in, though. We’d turn to each other and kiss for the first time in over three years.
Then we’d walk back to the house. We might even hold hands a little as Shelby trailed behind us. We wouldn’t be too obvious about it, though.
The rest of the weekend would go along normally. But when you’d leave, we’d make a plan to keep in touch and talk more regularly. I’d invite you to come out to the house again later in the summer. So we could spend some time together and figure out what was happening between us.
Because that weekend, that brief three days of us under the same roof would have reignited something, something we hadn’t realized was still there. It’d be the start of us becoming us again…
I know. It sounds crazy! But I’m still not over you. I need to believe that there’s a hope of us getting back together, even if it’s only in my imagination or highly-unrealistic fantasy or whatever.
A boy can hope. Even if it’s in vain.