Age fourteen is vulnerable. It glistens, but somehow that leaves us vulnerable.
When I was fourteen, I met my best friend. It must have been mid-summer (isn't it always?). We were easygoing. We were inseparable. We ran invulnerable.
Strangers would comment on how in love we were. In return, we gave them huge laughs followed by rushed explanations that we were just friends. Always, always just friends. We never needed to be more than that. We had other things to fall in love with, like the air we breathed and the ground we ran on. We were too busy to fall in love with each other.
The year ended and we moved on, mutually drifting apart as even the best of friends do. It wasn't until that sunny autumn before I started to feel that gentle ache in my core. It's faded since then.
To this day I'm not sure what that ache was. Was I nostalgic for the endless days of his friendship? Or was I feeling my first real heartache for a love that I never knew I was lucky enough to experience?