Last week was the first day of school…you were supposed to walk him to school. Meet his new teacher. Smile, crack a joke, wish him the best first day. I was supposed to get a photo. The standard, holding hands, matching shirts, taken from behind while walking to school picture. You were supposed to be there. You were supposed to call too. You were supposed to ask how it went. You were supposed to ask how the kids were. I was supposed to tell you about how crazy the first day always is. I was supposed to tell you how exhausted I was. I was supposed to tell you about the little Portuguese kid – there’s always a little Portuguese kid. You were supposed to call.
You were supposed to call on Saturday too. You were supposed to ask how I was going to spend my day. You were supposed to tell me some ridiculous story about some ridiculous shenanigans you’d been a part of. We were supposed to laugh. What felt like a hundred people wished me a happy birthday…except you. And yet I still waited. The hardest part wasn’t that you didn’t call. It was the forgetting – hearing the ping of a text message expecting for a split second to see your name on the screen, answering a ringing phone thinking for a hopeful moment that I’d hear your voice on the other end. Reality sets in pretty violently. You were supposed to call.
Your friends reach out all the time. They check in, they ask how I’ve been, they tell me stories about things going on in their lives. But they’re not supposed to do that. They’re supposed to call you. They’re supposed to tell you those stories. They’re supposed to ask you how you’ve been. They’re not supposed to tell me. I love them for it though. On some days those check ins are the only thing that gets me by. But they’re not supposed to call me. You are.
A year of firsts. A year of split second, soul crushing forgetting. A year of supposed to’s.