It's been eleven years since Jamie died, unjustly becoming a youthful Twenty-One forever. His passing marking the end of my innocence, and my soulless birth into the cold impartiality of the world. I always dread this time of year, an unwelcome reminder of that bleak time when I discovered someone I held so dear could be taken.
Twenty-five cents changed my life forever sixteen years ago when we first met. He stood up and serenaded me with an entire song from the Ruth's Tea Room Jukebox Catalog, totally oblivious to the other patrons and singing like I was the only person in the world.
Ten O'Clock was Getting the Led Out, when I'd pretend to dislike the music he loved so much. He'd turn to the station despite my protests and we'd listen to Robert Plant's screeching together on so many warm summer nights. I'd hide my face just like I did when he sang to me about Hawks and Little Chickens, so he couldn't see that I was secretly delighted. I'd stealthily shove him out of my parents house when the hour grew late, and that teen-aged sense of euphoria and infatuation that was tangible in my belly and permeable in the air would linger for hours. It left an invisible reminder at the end of the night, when my cheeks hurt from smiling like an idiot for the duration of the evening.
He knew well what type of person I was, And after all these years of in between he's became stranger to me and I to him.
Forever gone by the shaky hand of a Seventeen year old, Eighty-eight years for the life he extinguished.
Immeasurable is the number to put upon the loss of Jamie. His family, his friends, any one who knew him will surely tell you.
And those four who benefited from the last gift he gave, the ultimate gift, a new heart, lungs and more for the unluckily lucky at the top of the lists.
What talk of numbers would be complete without mention of my first. The first time I heard screaming, disembodied. Only to discover it was coming from my mouth when I found out. Four days straight I cried until no more tears would come.
One handshake, the last I saw him four months before he was gone. He insisted and as our hands touched because "You never know how long it will be until we meet again."
Until then my friend.
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