Cold night air everywhere...
Carrie had a boyfriend. Someone she knew from High School.
We never saw him, but we heard all about him.
Then, one night, she showed up crying. He'd dumped her by letter. Couldn't even wait until they saw each other. Couldn't call her (although it was before cell phones, back when long distance still meant anything).
She waved the letter and we looked at it. It was filled with typos and grammatical mistakes. Someone said "he's an illiterate dope, you're better off without him." This made Carrie cry even more.
I took her for a walk. We went down the hill. To the statehouse with the big fluffy lawn.
I made her roll downhill on the lawn. This momentarily made her feel better.
And we walked back up the hill.
"I never thought we'd be together forever," she said. "But I thought we'd make it to New Year's Eve."
And she started to cry again.
I wanted to hug her, but I didn't. Instead I distracted her with a story about a girl I knew in High School.
It was a funny story. And it made her laugh.
But she would have rather had the hug.
When we got back to the dorms, she thanked me for the walk. Then she hugged me.
"Maybe you and I should hang out later," Carrie said.
And I nodded. I wanted that too.
But I didn't want to swoop in after she'd been dumped.
And it was right before finals.
So I didn't do anything about it.
And then Carrie started dating this guy named Marc. And whenever she saw me, she'd give me a sad smile.
A smile that seemed to say "you should've hugged me."
And I nodded. Because I should have.
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