As soon as I heard the prompt, “Think of someone you love. Write about the first person you thought of,” I started coming up with points for the list. I love him because of the way his smiled always starts on the right side of his face before moving to the left. I love him because of the way that when he gets excited, he over enunciates his Ps and Ks. I love him because he likes to bounce up onto his toes when he’s thinking, faster and faster as he gets closer to his solution. I love him because if he gets really excited about something he’ll jump on the furniture like a child.
But then I realized I couldn’t do that. Even if I didn’t put his name to it. I didn’t fancy myself any kind of good writer, but if I was even as half as good as I thought I was, anyone who knew Jamie would recognize him all over the page. It would open way too many questions, and reveal far too much of everything that I’d been trying to keep hidden. I thought that maybe I’d write it later, keep it locked away somewhere, give it to Jamie as a ’for your eyes’ only kind of present. He’d certainly find it—I don’t know—romantic or something. But for right now? I had to focus. I had to write this piece about Samuel. It wasn’t that difficult once I had gotten my brain to switch gears. After all, I love Samuel as well. He just wasn’t the first person I thought of. I was technically cheating—but really, who was going to know?