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At the time all I could think about was this. Sometimes it is still all I can think about. This was the first one. I hoped it would be the last. It was not.


Harvey, brown hair and blue eyes, was the broken boy I clung to and called mine in high school. All mine and it was never a worry about who I had to share him with because I didn't. And in return I was all his, eyes down around other boys because they did not deserve my attention like he did.

Look, we were the most perfect couple back then. Homecoming king and queen. Everyone loved us because we loved each other. We were too broken to be normal but too happy to be tragic. So it was love and smiles and late night Saturdays trying to run away together.

But it never worked. The running away was like running in circles and by Sunday morning we were always safely back in our own beds. And me alone in the castle, and him at home with an abusive father and scared mother that never really knew how to love him.

He wanted to move in to the castle with me. A plan that we would live like the King and Queen that we were for a year and reign over the castle together. And at the time it seemed like a good idea, so in he came with clothes and shaving cream and boy things that felt good to wake up to in the morning.

And we talked of travel. Of oceans and mountains and woods. Always a dream of sailing the ocean blue and not coming home for years. Landlocked, he felt, and the coastline was just not going to satisfy him anymore.


When he left the castle to go off to college, I knew our dreams would fade, somehow, like I always know. And they did, earlier than I imagined. It was October and I got a call that made him feel so distant and broken that I knew I was no longer in love. I could not love someone so sad when I was so happy.

So I told him good luck, and good bye, and reminded him that when ever the boat was ready, to sail by the coastline of the castle and I would come running. He said he understood, and he promised for the boat.



It never came.

Years later, and I found out that he found a liquid cure for his landlocked blues. A bottle and a lawn chair parked next to an empty suburban pool somewhere south of Portland. But he never set sail. Never even bought the boat.

Years later, and I found out that he ended up just like his father. Giving his wife and children bruises and heartaches for Christmas.

The pool is always empty, they say. Those who still see him call me from time to time to remind me that this is not my fault. And sometimes I need that reminder. Oh, the pool is empty, but I am still certain that he drowned in it. Maybe just the bottle.

Makes me think, I would have married him if not for that phone call. Would have spent my life in a tattered lawn chair sharing that bottle. I'm glad I didn't.


I have never dreamed about sailing again.

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