Earlier this month, all five schools in Union County held a meeting before classes started. I, by way of my mother, came to know that one Erin Walker was a new English teacher for East Union Attendance Center. Of all the people I’ve not talked to in years, Erin is, by and large, the one I should have written to by now the most.
There are, I think, two people I’ve ever been madly in love with, and Erin was one of them. In fairness, I should confess that while I was madly in love with her, I was also a child, and a particularly lonely one. I clearly remember the alienation wrought by my peers from the second grade to the seventh. Every year, I experienced more loneliness than, I hope, many experience in their entire lives. I had no interests, neither intrinsic nor extrinsic, and the grades to prove it. To this end, I also had no friends.
That’s a lie; I did have one friend, and she was Erin Walker. I understand, by some confusing memories that, at one point early on, we were playground romantically involved, but I only really remember the person who was my best friend, and played with me, and shared with me a love of reading, a love I possess to this day. I still have that old tattered copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on the mantle of my fireplace.
After some time, I fell in love with her, but when I moved and confessed to my feelings, she told me she did not reciprocate them. This would be the start of a long period of isolation with no best friend, but newly developed interests that I can tie directly to my friend Erin.
When I met her again many years later, I was too shy to say anything, even though we shared many classes. I never told her the impact she had made on my life, both in the past and long after my personal feelings had withered at died. Although I was aware of my silence, I had not the gumption to change my actions. I still severely regret this terrible inaction.
Today, I have a friend much like Erin in Megan Milton. I shan’t repeat the mistakes of the past with her. Although I know not what the future holds, nor where I’ll go nor what happens to us, I shall assuredly write her letters, or some other, more convenient form of communication, instead of allowing our prosperous friendship to wilt and die.