I dropped off my friend, turned around, homeward bound. I make the turn left onto the back road. The one that I was on almost every day last summer. I drop my speed, coasting by your family home. I know you’ll be there. You’re all celebrating your birthday. And right next to the van, is your Jeep. And a green Jeep parked adjacent. A blonde woman walks to it, holding her hand is a small little boy. I realize it’s your girlfriend, with her son. Everything in me falls. Exactly a year ago today, we were celebrating your 22nd. Drinking, smoking, laughing. We all shouted ”happy birthday” when the clock struck 12. And the party carried on. Drinking straight from the bottle, jumping into the pool. Splashing, dunking, flipping people over heads. The night wore down, and everyone found their resting place on an open sofa. I went into my room to change, and you followed me. I tell you that you can have my bed, and I’ll take my dad’s since he’s gone. Though you grab my wrist, ”This bed’s big enough for both of us.” I ask if you’re sure, and you just flash me that smile. That wild, hungry, dazzling smile. It makes me melt. Off go the lights, and into bed we climb. I vine my arms around your neck, and your hands wander across my ribs. Kissing up and down your neck, nibbling on your ear. Whispering to you my own personal happy birthday. While the other’s sleep, we stay wide awake, tangled up in each other. It’s strange, how that feels like it was only yesterday. Reality is a cruel mistress. A painful one. Almost as painful as seeing you, celebrating with someone else.