June Seventh. Track One. North Station.
That was where I waited to meet Tony in person for the first time, for our first date. Ten years ago today. I was a tangle of nerves all day. What if he took one look at me and decided that I wasn’t for him? What if I took one look at him and didn’t like what I saw? What if we just didn’t click in person the way we had on the phone? What if that ineffable thing that needs to be there for a love relationship to work wasn’t there? I had been so charmed by Tony on the phone. He was intelligent and funny and thoughtful. I remember one night he had fallen asleep before the time he was supposed to call me. I went to bed feeling pretty crushed – he was just another disappointing guy, after all – and then he woke up and called me at about 2:00 in the morning because he wanted me know that he wasn’t, that he hadn’t deliberately missed our call.
I wore a red shirt that hugged my curves. I waited beside Track 1, which is where his train was going to come in. It was early evening. It was humid, raining. In other words, it was Boston in June. He told me he’d be wearing an “ugly green” (his words) polo; but when he got off the train, I didn’t think it was an ugly green. It was actually the exact color (magical coincidence) of the umbrella I was carrying. And as he walked out he turned and saw me, and sort of half-pointed and said, “Aimee?” We hugged, and as we did I thought, he smells like home. His smell hit me in some visceral place – and I’m not talking about cologne, because he wasn’t wearing any. It was just HIM, his pheromones, his skin. Home. Home immediately, and then home for the next nine and a half years.
We walked. We had dinner. We talked – so much, we never ran out of things to talk about. I miss our conversations so much. We kissed, and the kiss felt like home, too.
We met two weeks before the first day of summer, and he died on the first day of winter.
I wish I had a picture of the two of us at Track 1. I wish that before we moved away from Boston, or on one of our visits back there, we’d brought a camera over there and asked someone to take our picture. We never did do that, though. I have so few pictures of the two of us. Mostly I have the ones in my head. Two people, walking in the rain, sharing a green umbrella that matches the man’s shirt. Two people, on the brink of falling in love.
Two people, until one left forever.
Today I will do my best to honor his memory. I will try to find people who need a little kindness in their lives, and give it to them. I will think of Tony every single second.