The summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I had a boyfriend named Jon. In August, he went away to the Naval Academy where I visited him twice. It was nice. I was friends with his youngest sister. I called her MixMaster. That summer was slightly stressful - my stepdad had moved away to set up house in Arizona where he accepted a job with a huge pay bump. I had decided to stay in Indiana to finish up my senior year. I was approaching a year without my mother. Anyway, I had this boyfriend, before Arizona, before Annapolis.
He was a nice boy. Smart. He loved to make out in his Caprice Classic, he had a wonderful mother and dad. He liked me a lot. Once, in a moment of vulnerability, he sort of proposed to me. This, however, wasn't *before* Annapolis. This was during. Anyway, I had this boyfriend.
I was with him the night my dad died. He left about 3 hours before it happened. We didn't really talk that night, we did a lot of kissing on that green couch. Well, anyway, he was the 4th or 5th person to stand next to me the morning after my childhood home burned down. He was the one who waited on me while I told the firemen "exactly what happened as [I] remember[ed] it". He let me lose my shit.
He moved away weeks later. He accidentally proposed months later. And I cheated on him. Lots. I was a vacant human being. I know now I should have been nicer - fuck, I knew it then. But I couldn't.
Let's be honest: I couldn't do anything. School, and grief, and school, and grief, and blowjobs, and movie theaters and lots of Fazolis, and the loneliest, scariest nights of my life. That's what I had to hold on.
And the distinct memory of watching that green couch in flames as I escaped the house without my dad.
He died 13 years ago today. I was the last person to see him, the last person to talk to him. He didn't really like my boyfriend.