Thursday. 7.2.09 2:29 am
I honestly love the people I lived with and met in D.C. Rob is somewhat of a brother to me. Alina and I still speak on a weekly basis. I met up with Sonya a week ago, gave her a cake, and asked her to marry me before she moved to Boston. I stayed up night after night at George Washington Hospital while Juan was detained there after a seizure. And the times I spent with Samia changed the way I look at the world. With that said, in Melissa I found a woman whose soul mirrored my own.
Melissa stood around 5’4’’ and couldn’t have weighed more than the stuffed animals she slept with at night. She greeted strangers, friends and kin with a grin and had an outward demeanor that was rather innocuous; however, her petite stature belied the ferociousness within. A 2nd degree black belt who spent her free time helping abused children, my girl Melissa had a profound understanding of the pain in the world. Perhaps that was why she knew exactly what to say – or what not to say to me during my time of need.
“Hey, kid,” she said to me as a hand was placed on my shoulder, “do you wanna’ talk about it?” I shrugged, she nodded, and silence extended his reach over our conversation until we arrived at the Union Station Metro station.
As we step from the metro station and on the D.C. pavement, her gaze turns upon me, asking me to not simply speak, but to trust her enough to become vulnerable. The look she gave me substituted for her lips as she coaxed me to become undone under her care. So I did. Between the time she places an order for dim sum in China Town and the time I order the two of us ice cream, I confess to her my feelings of guilt in the way my relationship with my deceased friend deteriorated after high school. We eventually made our way to a park on the east side of D.C. where we read from the book of proverbs for a little under an hour.
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Friday. 6.5.09 1:48 am
My world fell apart when I found out about Sara's death midway through my semester. I awoke early to leave the house before anyone could see me and left work two to three hours late so that when I got back home, I could go straight to bed. The guilt I felt over her death reduced me to where I wanted only to work by day and rest by night. I figured if I killed the World, the death of any of it's inhabitants would not phase me. So, I shunned my roommate Juan, ignored my comrade Rob, rejected my crush Samia, shooed away Alina and embraced solitude.
Enter Melissa. Our weekly tradition of spending each Saturday together was on hiatus after I found out about Sara until one morning she called and told me to get ready. Having grown weary of the company my bed and blanket provided me, I obliged and tossed on the Cowboys hoodie ( which would later get teased by Redskins fans all across D.C. ) and met her outside.
I'll finish this later.
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Friday. 5.29.09 10:35 am
Midway through my trek, a woman of twenty-three slackened her pace until she matched my stride. With little warning, the sphere of isolation I recused myself to was penetrtated by a skinny girl with a huge smile.
“I think I’m going to like you, Jonathan,”
she says with enough ease that I actually believe her. One hand – the right one –finds its way between my left arm and my body and she grasps my arm, pulling me closer.
“You’ve got this calm about you…”
she begins to tell me as I stifle a scoff. “yeah? “, I ask lethargically. This woman soon proved to be the first strong bond I formed in D.C.
We're sitting in class a few days later when our fascinating professor Dr. Daly explains to us what an elevator speech is and how we'll be giving a lot of them during our time in D.C. Our classroom is actually an office conference building a few blocks north of the White House. On the floors below and above us are different lobbying firms and the building to the left houses the Mexican embassy. Ironically, a block north of the embassy is Baja Fresh -- the poor man's chipotle.
Anyway, I sat at the opposite head of the giant conference table -- directly opposite the professor, and Melissa sat on his right hand side, so she went last and I went in the middle.
" Hi. My name is Jonathan--"
Oh yeah. No more Jon. Jonathan has regrown on me."I'm a junior English major interning at the Department of State. Prior to arriving in D.C., I worked at a Children's Hospital where I provided crisis intervention to juvenile rape victims. I hope to continue this line of work with human trafficking victims after law school."
Melissa's was almost identical except that she worked with victims who were in group homes for girls and I worked with boys and girls right after their attack. And whereas I hope to work with human trafficking victims in one of my two favorite bay areas ( San Fran and Houston ), she's going to Boston to do so.
I knew we had something special that day.
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Friday. 5.8.09 10:07 pm
Tuesday. 5.5.09 2:30 pm
One letter separates being done and being gone.
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Saturday. 5.2.09 7:55 pm