The refreshingly cool San Diego breeze in the Summer air tickled my cheeks as I grasped the warm sand in my hands. I blinked and squinted my deep brown eyes at the blaring sun as I pretended the sand was another hand interlocking its fingers in mine. Alas, it wasn’t as satisfying as a real hand. I pulled my hands out and turned my head to Henry.
“Henry,” I said.
“Yeah Zach?” His light brown hair was swaying back and forth in the wind and his blue eyes shimmered in the light. His slightly burned cheeks looked like they were blushing.
“Do you wanna be my boyfriend?” I asked nervously.
“Sure… What’s a boyfriend?” his eyebrows raised questioningly.
“Well, it’s when two boys like each other.” The sun forced my eyes to squint and my cheeks hurt from the constant contraction of my muscles.
“Ok. I guess I’ll be your boyfriend then.” A huge smile spread across my face and I had a warm aching feeling in my stomach, but I didn’t mind it.
“Okay Henry, hold my hand.” I bit my lip again. I thought I tasted blood, but I dismissed the thought when he interlocked his fingers in mine.
“Why are we holding hands?” Henry wondered curiously.
“That’s what boyfriends do,” I suggested.
“Oh, I think I get it now.”
I told him to come with me and I squeezed his hand in mine and pulled him up off of the sandy beach. We walked back to my house and I dragged him upstairs into my room. My bare, still sandy feet, slid across the carpet with each step and he kept up behind me so our hands wouldn’t separate. I started to let go of his hand to see what he would do, and he squeezed back, making me smile. We sat on the floor in my room and turned on the T.V. My parents usually weren’t home until dinner, so I became a fairly independent eight year old.
After a few episodes of Spongebob, Henry let go of my hand.
“I’m sweaty,” he apologized.
“It’s okay. We don’t have to hold hands all the time,” I said knowledgeably.
“Okay. Zach, how long are we gonna be boyfriends?” he asked curiously.
“Only until one of us wants to stop, I think.” I hoped he didn’t want to stop.
“Oh. Well I don’t ever want to stop. I really like you Zach,” he smiled.
“You do? …Should we kiss?” I asked.
“Sure. Except I don’t know how,” Henry said with a giggle.
“Hmm… Have you ever watched T.V. with your mom and she tried to put her hands over your eyes, but you saw the T.V. anyway?”
“Oh yeah!” he remembered.
“Do what they did on T.V.,” I said.
We both puckered our lips and leaned our heads into each other. Our lips touched and we held our heads where they were. I hadn’t kissed anyone before, so I didn’t know what to expect. His lips were cracked in some places from the sun at the beach, but I didn’t mind. After a few seconds we pulled away and stared at each other.
“That was fun!” Henry said.
“Yeah!” I agreed.
Henry left about two hours later. He said his parents wanted him home by three, and that it was very important. I hugged him before he left and I didn’t want to let go of his short lanky body, but eventually he pulled away. I smiled and waved and he closed the front door behind him. I couldn’t wait to see him again tomorrow. He only lived a few houses down so we played together often.
The next day he came over to my house a few minutes after my parents left for work. Henry knocked on the door and I ran excitedly, knowing it was him, and opened the door. He stood there with a sad frown on his face. My smile disappeared immediately and I asked him what was wrong.
“My dad told me that we were moving to New York,” he said mournfully.
“What? When?” I asked frantically.
“I’m leaving in an hour. I wanted to say goodbye before I left,” he said.
“Oh… I guess we can’t be boyfriends anymore…” I wanted to cry and I felt my eyes tearing up.
“I guess not…” he said sadly. We stood there in silence for a few minutes. I stared at my feet, not wanting to look at him, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to look at him again in an hour. I shivered as the breeze drifted through the open doorway.
“I’m gonna miss you,” I said, looking back up at him. His eyes sparkled and I saw tears rolling down his face.
“Yeah, me too,” he said, trembling.
I heard his dad yell for him from his soon to be empty house. I winced and clenched my fists, trying not to completely break down. I was surprised to feel his hand on my face, lifting up my chin. He leaned his head into mine and kissed me for what would be the last time. His lips were still cracked and I pushed my head into his and felt the tears from his cheeks rubbing into my cheeks. He let go and we hugged again. I buried my face in his shoulder and he mirrored my actions. He let go when his dad called for him again and started walking back to his house, repeatedly turning his head back to look at me until he went inside of his house. I slammed the door in frustration and sat right where I was standing. I cried with my head in between my knees. I decided to go up to my room to cover my ears with my pillow so I wouldn’t hear the moving truck pull out of his house.