memory dream 2

My mother’s baby sister was going home the next morning and wanted to have her one last night out. What that really meant was that she had hooked up with a local guy and wanted to get a last-minute make-out session before she left. And, dutiful little girl that I was, I covered for her by going along with the story we told our parents and acting as look-out so she wouldn’t get caught.

The funny part is she’s now married to that same guy, so I guess things worked out well for her.

So there I was, sitting on the sidewalk at the corner of a street on the other side of town. Alone and at night. The happy couple was further down the block, leaning against a fence and well hidden. I was bored and wondering what the hell I was doing when a truck drove by. I looked up and saw that among the 3 guys in the truck sat Gabriel. I smiled but didn’t wave. And I forgot about it.

Two minutes later the truck drives by again, slows down and Gabriel gets out.

He hadn’t seen the amorous couple, couldn’t understand what I was doing alone in a neighborhood so far from home, and he wanted to make sure that I wasn’t getting into trouble. At least that’s what he told me. After I explained what was going on, he told his friend to come back for him later and sat with me.

That’s how I ended up with Gabriel in a dark street in the middle of the night.

It was the first time I’d seen him since the fight. He had one eye puffy and bruised, a cracked lip and more than a few bruises on his face and hands. I tried not to stare but gave in to the need to tease him. And tease him I did. About the fact that he was always getting into trouble. About the fact that he had a bad boy reputation. About the reaction from his fan club at the bruises. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

He never did tell me what the fight was about. I’d like to believe that it was something stupid, innocent, simple. Who knows? Whatever it was, he never told me.

And we talked. Like the days when I was behind the cash register and he was behind the counter. As if it hadn’t been months since we’d last spoken. As if we were really good friends.

He asked me about my boyfriend. Or rather, he asked me about my ex-boyfriend. Gabriel wanted to know what prompted the breakup. Did I break up with him or did he break up with me? Why? Did I miss him? Did I still care for him?

He was asking questions that made no sense, about things I didn’t want to discuss with him. And still, I didn’t understand where he was going with the conversation. I didn’t see that he was making sure that there wasn’t anyone else in my life. I still saw Gabriel, comrade in arms against my father and his partner. It never occurred to me that he was interested in me as anything else than a friend.

What can I say? I was a very naïve child, very smart and very dumb at the same time.

I don’t really remember when he first kissed me. I do remember being shocked and then curious, and, eventually, even a little turned on. Though Gabriel didn’t have a shy bone in his body, we only kissed a few times. Even if we’d wanted to do anything more, his friends were coming back shortly and my aunt and her guy were just a few steps away. So we kissed a few times, perhaps a bit bolder than I had expected, and we never talked about it. But we did repeat it.

= = = = =

I wrote {memory dream 1} after dreaming about Gabriel for the first time since he died the year before (in 1998). I never finished the story and the posting has been up, incomplete. I dreamt about Gabriel again and thought that I should finish the story. So here you have {memory dream 2}.

Gabriel was never my boyfriend. He was never mine in any way. What he was was the guy that made me laugh, with whom I occasionally snuck away and made out with, and who sometimes got jealous over the other guys in my life. He was the guy that asked me to dance every chance he got, and flirted with all the girls and made them all sigh. He was the guy that married someone else, had a baby with her, got arrested for something he did do, and died in jail. He was a friend a long time ago, a nice memory, a sad reality.

Image source: AlexVan / Pixabay

Author: Paloma Cruz

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