For me: Heartache. Love. Commitment. Marriage. Graduation. Houses. Childbirth. Grad School.
For him: Heartache. Drugs. A child. Sobriety.
While pregnant, I walked the trail by the creek. Kevin came to mind at that 3rd curve, but I shoved him out of my mind, back to his little cave in the center of my heart. I would hear certain songs and my chest would clench.
I did a search for him on Myspace a couple of times, wondering if he was still alive. I know that sounds morbid, but I had an idea that things had not gone well back then.
In 2009, twelve years after that letter, after my life took another path, I received a message from him via Myspace.
He was alive.
He apologized; I barely acknowledged it. We emailed back and forth a bit, about life:
He had a son, but rarely saw him, against his will. He was sober. He went to church, played for the band there, was involved in the youth program.
I told him about my path, my marriage, my child, my job.
I expressed relief at knowing he was okay after all these years.
He expressed relief at the fact that I even responded to his email.
A month later, I had a series of dreams about him, struggling, fighting, crying out. I sent him a message, asking if he is okay: Is he struggling with his sobriety? Is he taking care of his diabetes?
He responds that he is doing well, that his diabetes is fine, but we could all use a bit more strength and prayer. He reassures me that he will never go to that place again.
That was 10 months ago.
The night I wrote this post, I heard one of the two songs in the post. That's what prompted the post in the first place. I sat right where I'm sitting now, and felt a hollow pain in my gut. After hitting publish, I went to Myspace to send him a message.
I'm not sure what I would have said in the email. How I was sorry our paths had diverged? How I missed him? How I felt guilty even thinking about the 'us' of 12 years prior, since I adore my hubby? What??
I clicked on his profile, only to see several people's comments saying they would miss him and they loved him. Like an idiot, I left a comment: "Where are you Kevin? Are you okay??"
I then did a google search, feeling the bile rise into my mouth.
He died a few weeks after our last brief email conversation. I sat in this chair, where I sit now, and sobbed. I emailed his cousin via Myspace, asking her what had happened. I searched my county's medical examiner website, hoping there was an autopsy with his name on it, and dreading it at the same time. There was none.
I found his obit online. It mentions his son's name. I sobbed even more.
I spent a fair amount of time online, searching all over, trying to find out what happened.
I barely slept that night.
I waited for almost 3 weeks for his cousin's response.