The day before I am scheduled to fly down, I reach out to the boy. Not a lot of advance warning, no pressure to fit me in. I know you might be busy or out of town, I just thought I’d see if you were around if you want to grab coffee or something.
We aren’t in touch; texts at Christmas and his birthday. I think of him from time to time, but with simple warmth, good memories, prayers for good things. When someone (very occasionally) asks, I tell the whole truth. I don’t know, but last I’d heard he was living full time in Miami; I don’t know but I assume he’s met someone, maybe gotten married, maybe even has kids. But these are only guesses, we aren’t in touch for me to know.
The morning I’m to leave, he responds. He can’t see me in Miami, because he lives, just newly, in Chicago. And more news, he’ll be a father in about a month.
His happiness travels from his fingertips to my screen to me. My face hurts from the smile on it… he’s well, he’s happy, a wife, a baby… I think he’ll make a good dad.
I am happy for him, and also selfishly happy for myself… I’ve thought I’d be happy for him, and I’m glad to find that I really am, and that the place in my heart where he still lives feels a warm and peaceful sense that all is exactly as it should be.
And that is what became of the boy