The New M.E. Generation











{July 6, 2015}   Friendship Above All 47 – Skin deep

The rest of my Spring Break went great. He took me everywhere, even to places that you had to drive some. But it was worth it.

Like my father would say to me many years later, ‘you never know what places you will have a chance to go to that you might not return, so take it as an adventure when you do.’ I loved all cities I visited and put it in my bucket list to return one day.

I did visit my friend one more time before he completed his studies. He really dedicated his efforts in his career; he was doing 1-2 summer sessions, and eventually some graduate courses.

I remember he telling me how some classes was done ‘in the field’ or outside the classroom with the airplanes. The summer heat and rain were memorable, so all students and classes had to start on time. By no later than 11am the weather would get very bad and everyone had to leave the area.

The second time I visited and he picked me up at the airport was as great as the first time, except I was older and almost out of school, meaning my uncertainties about the future were already looming over me.

“So, what do you want to do?” asked he when I got into the car.

“I want to buy a bathing suit. Take me to a good mall,” replied I.

My friend got surprised. He probably thought I wanted to have a drink or something. He took me to a great one and I walked in to the first bathing suit store I saw.

I was determined to buy a bikini, don’t know why because my weight wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be. I don’t think I was that overweight, but as a woman it was an issue that always lingered.

In the store I found one with red, black and white colors. I walked outside the dressing room to show him and get his opinion. “What do you think?” asked I in a serious tone like, ‘tell me the truth.’

My friend’s eyes and mouth opened wide. I couldn’t decipher if it was good or bad. “Aaaah… I think it looks good on you…,” said he in a tone that made me believe he didn’t want me to feel bad about my body.

“Be honest with me. We’ve always been that to each other, even if we don’t want to hear it.”

“Truth is, I’ve never seen you before in a bathing suit.”

What? How is it possible to have been living in a Caribbean island and friends since our early teens, and never spent time under the sun?

“We’ve never been together at the beach?? Not even at the school’s Junior/Senior picnic?’ asked I.

“I didn’t go because of what happened during my Senior year. I wasn’t into being there.”

The more I tried to remember, the more I realized that of all things we did back home this wasn’t one of them. And during the Spring Break week, I was covering my top with a college t-shirt, so he didn’t get a full view of me.

Now thinking back on it, it was contradictory in a way that we had emotionally shared so much, and in the physical it only went as far as the kiss and sharing a bed. I even believed he saw me in my underwear, so why the reaction in the suit?

I would feel at ease at all moments with him because I trusted he would never hurt me. And even him being a guy (who tend to be more liberal), also kept his privacy (including the bathroom door closed) when I visited him.

I realized that as much ‘open’ I thought we had been, we have closely guarded the outer shell that we present to the world and each other.

So how do you then define what we have? I don’t know, but when it comes to people, for sure there’s more than meets the eye.

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