I was 13 when I met Kevin. I moved in to the neighbourhood after my parents bought a house, and he and Jason lived in the house right behind ours. The first day in the new place, and they already had me trekking through the woods in search of their fort, and I learned what it was like having boys as friends.
We went to different schools, and spoke different languages (sort of) and still the kids in the neighbourhood would ‘hang out’..on those late summer evenings when your curfew is extended and you feel like you have all the time in the world to grow up.
Kevin went one way, I went another.. Jason did his thing, Marco moved.. Jordan and I took the bus together but didn’t really do much else. The girls on my street did their own thing and the few friends we had on ‘the other side’ of Oromocto West were posted. In some cases this is the normal military life, you make friends and you spend summers together and then you move and move on. I figured we had our time, and when Kevin joined the military, I figured I’d never see him again. I figured wrong.
He came home for 2 weeks in August of 2007. I was around, hanging out with him and his friends (and stupidly getting caught drinking a cooler by his pool – what was I thinking? My dad could see me from the kitchen window..) and spending evenings with his family, bonfires and swimming. When it was time for him to leave, head off to Meaford for battleschool (ugh!) I once again figured I’d never see him again.
But he called. Every Saturday night, he called. If I wasn’t home, he’d try again every hour or so (I couldn’t call him back) until I got home from work or whatever I was doing. I told myself not to like him. This was Kevin, old friend, neighbour, and now ‘young military man’ (and we all know the nickname you are thinking right now..) and I figured it’d be bad news to fall for him. I dated someone else, for two weeks, but he was an ass. (Sorry for being so blunt, but it’s true) and compared to Kevin, who was he? No one. So I broke up with him and just kept waiting for the Saturday night phone calls.
One night I messaged Kevin. What was this? What were we? Did he like me? Are we dating? He answered, “just wait and see what happens when I get home..”. I thought Oh, great! He’ll get home, be happy he had someone to call while he was gone and move on to other girls! (Ones without braces and glasses, eh! lol). But on the last Saturday before he flew home, he invited me to dinner at his place not knowing that his parents had already invited me, and I’d said yes. I thought I might have a chance!
That was on the 15th of December 2007. I got to his house and he walked down the stairs to the porch and he hugged me. Not a brotherly hug, like the ones we’ve shared before, but an ‘I couldn’t wait to see you’ hug. We smiled through supper and chatted through desert. We politely sat for a while, and then we went to watch a movie. Kevin wouldn’t stop talking and I couldn’t stop staring at his hand which was holding mine. I kissed him and he told me that he loved me. How could he love me?
Just as easily as I love him.