That note probably only burned a hole in my pocket for a few days, or a week at the most. It felt, however, more like an eternity.
Eddie and I looked up just a little too late to pretend we hadn't noticed each other one afternoon under the bell tower. After a few stammering minutes, we both took deep breathes and sat down on a concrete bench to pretend like things weren't so haywire. I said that I was going to Japan for two weeks, and he dodged my implication that the Hanwells missed him (especially Rosie and Josh) by making some offhanded comment about how punked out, emo and goth those kids were.
Punked out, emo and goth? I stuck my hand in my jacket pocket and fidgeted with the corners of the note. Rosie and Josh were amazing. They were such individuals. Wise beyond their years, their eyes constantly alight with expectation and hope. What's more, I knew that Eddie adored them.
He stood up and left before I could counter his statements or sneak the note into his back pack. I sat on the bench a little while longer. I watched the college kids hustling about with their own stories to live in. I reminded myself to breathe.
I don't know how much longer it was until it happened. But it did happen. I found myself face to face with him at the other end of the crosswalk. He greeted me jovially. This was the Eddie that remembered we were friends. I was happy to see that version of him, but that it didn't make me feel less crazy. It just made me wonder if I really was blowing everything way out of proportion.
He was interacting with me like nothing had ever been wrong. We sat down on the sidewalk. We laid down on the sidewalk. We were back to pretending our outlandish behavior was normal as our peers stepped over us on their way to campus.
It was enjoyable, but I knew it was an illusion. I had to remember that it wasn't real. I had to force myself to give him the note.
We sat back up when one of his soccer friends came over to say hello. He came to say hello to Eddie, that is. Upon his arrival, I might as well have stopped existing. Never mind, though. It was a good reality check. It was also a good opportunity to give Eddie the note. I wasn't bold enough to put it in his hands, so I made do with the tiny bit of courage I could muster.
His Bible was laying open on the pavement. Perfect. I stuck the note in it's pages and closed it. It was an act of sheer brilliance. He would go to study his Bible, and my note would fall out. He would read it, understand, apologize, and we would go back to normal.
Right? I stared at his Bible with my note in it. I hazarded a glance at him talking to his friend.
No. I was out of my mind! This was a terrible idea! Just like all my other terrible ideas! He would think I was crazy! He would think I was some kind of obsessive freak! He would know that I had thought something was wrong when really all this time he had just been busy and I had just read way too much into it!
I had to get that note back.
I scooped his Bible back up and started furiously flipping through the pages. Where had I put it? Mathew? John? No, it was in the Old Testament, maybe the Psalms?
One peek and I realized he was staring at me.
"Oh.. um...", I stopped.
"What... what are you doing with my Bible?"
I swallowed hard and hedged, "It's really amazing how no matter how little a Bible is, it all fits in there!"
"Yeah... all the words."
I bit my lip and handed him his Bible back. The note was still in it. I was defeated. He slipped it into his backpack and said, "I gotta go. It was good to see you."
"Yeah," I managed, through all the shades of red I was turning, "It was good to see you, too."
I slowly lowered myself onto those concrete steps and watched as he headed towards class. With his backpack. That contained his Bible. That contained my note.
I felt like a lot of things at that point. I can safely say, though, that adult-like was not one of them.