It was the first time someone referenced themselves according to me.
We'd leave school together, walking as far as the shredder and then going our separate ways. We both lived with our grandmothers, and loved...loved, loved star wars. There was this pole on Bates street that was our "halfway" point. When we'd get to visit, we'd stop there and wait.
Charles was one of those kids that never played with his toys, while I added real scorch marks and still think some are buried in my old back yard.
Fourth grade was spent in different classes, and in etirely different schools fifth on, but our friendship was really strong. We saw Empire together.
We made other friends, but I cherished him more than any. During this time it was becoming obvious that I was gay, and Chuck...was not. I tried very hard not to cross that line, but I got mixed signals. At least, that's what I tell myself when I hurt.
One night, he had a crush on some girl, and we practiced how to kiss on a statue in my room. That night, he lay against and on me like a lover would. My mind began to go places it shouldn't have. To him, it meant nothing, to me...it meant the intimacy I'd never have, and would eventually crave my entire life.
He turned 16 in 1987, and got a very old car...and came to spend the night. He wanted to go out, but me being forever the shy one, just wanted to be at home. That night, as he lay against me, I crossed the line.
Responsive at first, I think he got scared. Through mostly closed eyes, I saw him 'awaken'. The look he gave me will haunt me forever. He put pillows between us, got up early the next morning and left.
Charles exited my life the same way he entered it. One day there, another day not.
I only saw him once more. I was seventeen and went to a party on the southside with Celeste. At one point, he went into the house and was on the floor. I came into the room and sat in a chair behind him.
I opened myself up. He replied with silence as he got up and just walked out. Thus began a pattern of exits from my life.
He's on facebook now, and I tried to message him but with no response.
So, here's to you my first friend. 30 years and I'm still missing you.