It was the beginning of December, but we were determined to see the show. We drove without a single stop from Chicago to Detroit. No one else wanted to come along, so it was just the two of us. But we were too late. We ended up missing it by a fraction of time. I was so disappointed, and so was he. But we found a way to make the trip worth our while in the long run.
We sat outside the arena in the parking lot with the car idling. The radio was on, but only faintly in the background. We started talking about music. From specific favorites, to music in general. Then we steered to life in general. People, emotion, and the connection between the two. I reached for my coffee in the holder in front of us at the same time he reached for his. Our hands brushed against each others. I looked over at him, and smiled. He returned the gesture. We were both quiet for a minute, then, I turned to face him.
“Hey, can I ask you something?” I started, softly. He looked over at me.
“Of course.” He agreed. I nodded, but hesitated.
“Do you think I'm, holding Jason back?” I mumbled. He looked over at me and raised his eyebrow.
“Why do you ask?” He questioned. I lightly shook my head.
“I feel like he'd be better off without me, you know.” I continued mumbling. He was quiet, so I looked over. He seemed lost in the question. It was loaded like a gun and without knowing, I had pulled the trigger. I had seen this exact look on his face weeks before, sitting on his couch. It was after a fight I had been in with Jason. I went to his place, mostly to rant. He listened to every word, and offered his suggestions. But I knew that night, like I knew tonight, there was something he was holding back from saying.
“Never mind.” I dismissed, shaking my head. He looked over at me, sighing.
“I don't know if you are. I don't know if he's better with or without you. But, if you're questioning it, maybe you already have your answer.” He advised. His tone of voice confirmed my thought that there was more he wanted to say. But, he didn't. He didn't say anything else. He went quiet, staring up at the streetlight flicking above the windshield. I moved to the middle seat, and put my hand on his. He looked over at me and faked his best smile. I rested my head on his shoulder, and wrapped my fingers around his. We both sat quietly, looking up at the snow as it slowly covered our view of the sky.
The silence in that moment said more than words ever could. In fact, words even fail to put the right emphasis on this night. This night that should have had much more emphasis than it ever did, or ever could. A night that is only remembered when time lines are being traced. From the idling car that every so often sounded like it was choking for breath. To the background radio that was neglected for lack of interest. To that flickering streetlight illuminating the car as we sat in silence. Finally, the stars twinkling as they played front row witness through a light blanket of white sparkles. But it took me 15 years to see that night for what it was. To truly comprehend what it meant. To finally hear what that silence said. Then, to finally say the words that were never spoken. But, back then, we were just two people, disappointed in missing a show.
When he retells this story, he says it's the night he realized he was in love.