When I was 16 I walked into a classroom to deliver a note to a teacher and in the middle of the room was the cutest blond boy with an ear to ear grin. Story has it he told his buddy he was going to go out with me. I wasnt so sure about that.
He was a rough kid with a mile long strut and a chip on his shoulder bigger than mine. I wasnt in the mood to settle down but I kept hearing what a nice guy he was. Over the summer we talked a little and for awhile he took off to Florida with a buddy. He left me a note that I never got and would always regret not getting.
That fall at a football game he came over to talk to me. I started spending time at his house and next thing you know, he's mine.
And we got very serious very fast. He told me stories of his mother and father and their crazy life. He didnt come from a great home, but I loved being there. Its been 20 years but my main memory is laying in bed talking and cuddling and pondering our future. We were going to get married and run away. We had it all planned out. For my birthday that spring he baked me a cake and bought me a ring. A few months later we hit the bricks. He was unsure about where he was. He thought he might still have feelings for his ex girlfriend and here I was with my first broken heart. We spent the next year and a half on and off. Fighting and making up. It was sometimes really ugly.
It was sometimes so sweet it would break your heart.
We'd be apart and he'd call me and cry. We'd get back together and be great, then jealousy and anger and all sorts of teenage angst would kick in and we'd be scrapping again. We were young. We were stupid. We were angry and we drank too much.
But he'd come see me, with that crooked grin and i'd fall all over again.
He kinda moved on, and so did i. I got my own apartment and he'd come see me there and it would be like "the old days". But it wasnt. Too much had changed. He was still in school and we had drifted apart. the last time I saw him it was christmas time, he had a girlfriend but I went over anyway. We didnt part on the best terms. I never saw him again.
Not too long after that I was married. I had heard here and there that he was having serious issues with his mom. Schizophrenic. I tried tracking him down. I got his number but I was never able to reach him. I kept thinking surely I'd run into him soon, see how he was. I missed him. I just couldnt seem to find him.
On this date, 20 years ago in the evening after work I got a call from my best friends mom. She was the one who told me Statton had been killed. I can clearly picture where i was. What I said. What I did. the next week was a fog. I went to the Branning house to be with the boys of my youth. I went to the funeral. I remember thinking, its not supposed to be this way. We were supposed to run off and be married and live happily ever after. And I feel like a stranger with all these people I didnt know crying and acting like they knew him.
and they did.
but not the statton i knew. before he was "skrinny".
When he was just a boy. and i was just a girl. Two lost kid with big dreams and big hearts and cheesey grins on our faces.
after his death his friends were kind enough to give me back all the letters I had written him, that he had saved. I put them in the basement with all the ones he had written me. They are still there. I still wear his packers shirt from his freshman year of hs. Its so thin you can see through it, but it comforts me.
I cried every single day for a year after his death. In the shower so my husband wouldnt hear me. I dreamt of him for years. years. i dreamt of trying to find him. And then one day in my dream he showed up. and he was fine.
i miss him. im sad that i didnt see what he was going to do. who he would be as a man. because i think he was going to move past his family history, and be great.
there are a lot of people today, who miss him. his best friends. his circle of friends who knew him after i did. the girl who took my place once we finally quit trying to be something. his little sister . . . .
nothing makes today better. and 20 years marks that turning point where he has been gone for as long as he lived. and somehow it feels more wrong than usual.
Statton babe, we all miss you. We love you. You are not forgotten.