g — She was the first woman I ever truly loved, and it was our last kiss.
I knew things were ending, the way you know when a storm is coming or the Oreo package is depressingly light or your belly’s about to go bad in the 24th mile. I didn’t want to let go, but what else can you do? Everyone had left for the evening, but I stayed. A Rangers game was on TV. I don’t think she knew what was going on by then, but it was something for me to stare at. I sat by her bed for hours in the quiet evening, holding her hand, thinking of all the things I never told her. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want HER to go. But I knew how the story would end. Even Hallmark couldn’t spin this one. I finally said good night, bent over and kissed her forehead softly. I walked outside and laid down on the sidewalk. I looked up at the night sky and sobbed in a way I didn’t know I was capable of. I wondered how I could go on. But, of course, she had thought of that long ago.
When I was younger, I had a habit of accidentally shaving my head. On one such occasion, I came home for a family visit. Kate, my younger niece, walked into the living room, took one look, SCREAMED in terror, began to cry and ran away. I had no idea what to do. But then a couple of minutes later, she came marching in with a wig and placed it on my head. “I brought you hair,” she said proudly. She then made me wear it the entire weekend. I looked ravishing. Of course, I knew the mastermind behind the plan. The same mastermind who paid Kate a quarter every time she would spray me in the face with a squirt gun during the run across Texas. If plan A doesn’t work out, she always said, we’ll go to Plan B. I think Kate was her plan B. Because you never forget that last kiss. Or that first wig.