That summer was much more to me than an end of an era. It was a time of open fields and windows, of burning leather interiors, of Polaroid smiles and melted ice-cream. My wardrobe was comprised of bright, skimpy things and tattered cotton taken from Jason’s closet. My legs were bare, my heart open, and myself unprepared. I was to study communications at some banal state college come september, so I cut down my work hours and committed myself to living irresponsibly. Though no one would’ve guessed, I considered my best friend Billy Weizstein.
He was promising student studying chemistry and physics at a prestigious university buried in the heart of Massachusetts. I grew up with Billy as my gawky, reserved neighbor. Our parents were friends and we often were placed together as involuntary playmates. Eventually I grew to think of him as my little brother, despite his being two years my senior. The older we got, the more true it seemed.
Billy was small, barely 5’6” with a gangly frame. His glasses magnified eager eyes. Of course, looking like that, he was a genius. I found his valedictorian decorum a great contrast to my relatively carefree attitude.
Billy was never a force in my life, just a prescence. Just a boy who wouldn’t tell me what to do, who I could share secrets with, who would stay on the phone with me late into the night. And he always liked my company, even if he never knew what to say.
Regardless of all that, we weren’t too close by the time summer rolled around. Desire wafted through the humid air and I found myself entangled with Jason Verdana. Much to Billy’s dismay, instead of playing video games with him, I spent many of my nights in the backseat of a Mustang sweating and sighing.
Jason was a football star with an all-American smile, and I was crazy. I wouldn’t call Billy jealous, but it did hinder contact with eachother.
Once and a while, my cell phone would ring. Centuries of technology, marvels of science all coming together to make something vibrate. And upon answering, I’d learn it was Billy, excited over some breakthrough he’d try to explain to me. Other times, it would be an apprehensive Billy asking if we could talk. But every one and a while, I could Billy sounding as if he was about to cry and he’d ask what I was doing.
Every one garnered the same response: Jason telling me to hang up.
And so I did.
Billy and I would discuss our lives occasionally, though. I told him I was looking forward to college and enjoying my summer. He would tell me about science.