I dared not look at her. It's at those moments in time we are most vulnerable. The slightest nudge and the damn will explode. We are not allowed to show emotion. Not allowed to be seen as weak. She doesn't like me when I get soft. I am her rock, she is not mine.
I thought about his smile. That goofy ass laugh he always had. He sure was good with jokes and keeping everyone entertained. Always in a great mood. I though about how he was always there to help the younger kids out. How he would hold the door open and greet every single person as they came in for the meetings. Always with that big smile on his face.
I wondered what had changed. How had his life had turned so bad and so quickly. We just hung out and talked days before. There was a sweet girl hitting on him and they were supposed to go out on a date. Everything seemed great. The date never happened. She read about in the paper. I found out in a phone call. I saw myself giving him a hug and saying "I sure miss you my friend, see you again soon." Then he was gone again. Until that next time I daydream.
Somehow I managed to hold back the tears. I cleared my throat with much authority and said, "The sheetrock is cracking in the joints. It is going to need to be calked and painted. It's always something with these old houses." She agreed and we both took sips of our coffee.