Porch Chat

            There was a lonely log cabin, with a large wooden porch, sat in a lush pine forest. At first glance, the only hint of life in the cabin was the smoke billowing out of the stone chimney. If you looked closer you would notice the old man, with his thinning gray hair and his coke-bottle glasses, smoking a pipe while sitting on his favorite rocking chair, staring off into the distance, admiring the natural landscape. The sweet smell of Christmas and tobacco filled the air.

            A young man pushes open the squeaky screen door and walks out onto the porch. He looks around. The old man lets out a big puff of smoke. He walks over and sits on the rocking chair opposite of him.

            “What are you looking at?” said the young man, searching for something that would catch his eye.

            “I was looking at the sky. It looks extraordinarily beautiful today.” The old man smiled.

            “You think?” the young man shrugged. “It looks okay, not any more special than normal.” He let out a big sigh.

            “What has you troubled?”                 

“Well, there is this girl in class, Emily. She's great and fun and well...I don’t know...I kind of have a thing for her. The problem is that we’ve become pretty good friends and I don’t want to do something to ruin that.”

“Well, my advice is to tell her how you feel if you really like her. Life is too short.”

“It’s not that easy. She is my best friend. It’s high school and good friends are hard to come by. Plus, she just started talking to this other guy, Wallace.”

            “Then, what's the problem? If you like being her friend, be her friend.”

            “Well, I’m head over heels for her.”

            “I was in a similar situation when I was your age. In high school, I was in love with my best friend, Doris. Want to know what I did?”

            “Let me guess, you confessed your feelings and dated her for a while,”

The old man chuckled. “Not quite, I did tell her how felt. I had the same reason not to tell her that you have, but I decided that being just her friend wasn’t enough for me. Unfortunately, she didn’t feel the same way.”

            “How the fuck is any of this helpful?” said the young man, pulling on his hair.

            “We tried to remain best friends but it was too awkward. We were still friends, but we were never as close as we once were.” He paused to chew on the end of his pipe.

            The young man stood up and said, “So you’re telling me not to tell her?! Make up your mind!”

            “No, the opposite actually. Tell her, because you never know what will happen and if it is meant to be it will. Years later, after we had stopped talking for a while, we reconnected. This time we did have a relationship. We dated a few years but it didn’t work out. We still keep in touch.”

            “I’m confused, it sounds like she was pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Emily, isn’t like that,” said the young man sitting back down slowly, scratching his head.

            “She was actually a very important part of my life and that's the point I'm making. I learned a lot about myself dating her and it was through her that I met your grandmother. Life works in mysterious ways, Jason. If I didn’t tell her how I felt, my life would be extremely different and I wouldn’t have you here.”

            Jason looked at his grandfather and smiled. He took out his phone, scrolled to Emily, and sent a text saying, We should talk. Jason sat back and looked up at the evening sky and thought, the sky truly does look extraordinarily beautiful.