I met him on the Fourth of July one year. He was the very cliche, tall, dark and handsome man in all of the popular romance novels. His name was Nicholas, but everyone called him Nic. We were both extremely young and just genuinely enjoyed spending time with eachother. It wasn't about a physical relationship with us, I think we were both too naive to understand what that even was. We told eachother that we loved eachother, and we meant it. We spent all summer together. It was my most memorable summer. Eating deep fried turkey, and chicken wings, drinking his favorite beer (BudLight), sitting around a warm and toasty bon-fire and going for rides to wherever we ended up. I absolutely loved him and he knew that.
Nic had joined the Marines and had everything figured out before he even graduated highschool. He was extremely smart and had a very great life ahead of him. I broke up with him before he went to boot camp.
We wrote letters back and forth while he was down at Parris Island for training. While he was gone I started seeing someone... who I stayed with for two and a half years. I didn't have the heart to tell Nic about it while he was gone. When he came home, of course I was excited to see him, super excited, but I also had to break the news to him. He was disappointed but he still wanted to be a part of my life, and so we remained friends.
Over the next few years Nic and I stayed in touch. He was traveling throughout the states, only coming home every now and then. I remember one time he came home one summer and chased me around my Aunts yard... eventually throwing me into her pool, it was a blast.
When I went to College Nic deployed to Djibouti, Africa. He emailed and called me whenever he could. We were both looking forward to going home around the same time frame... May 2006, me from college, and him from his deployment. I was really excited that I was going to get to see him. Around the beginning of February he emailed me and asked what my address was at school saying that he had something to send me. I asked him what it was and he said that I'd have to wait and see. This was the last time that I talked to Nic. On February 18th 2006 I received a phone call from my mother. She was asking to speak to my roommate so I knew that something was wrong. I kept asking her... "What's wrong mom, what is it?" She eventually told me that Nic was involved in a helicopter crash over the Gulf of Aden off of the coast of Africa. Unfortunately out of the twelve personnel on board, Nic was one of the ones who didn't make it.
After I heard of the news I couldn't deal with everything at college so far away from my friends and family. I packed up and went home. About a month later, after everything had settled down a bit I remembered the email saying that Nic was sending me something in the mail. I immediately got in contact with my old roommate asking her to check my mail box. A week later I received what appeared to be a card in the mail at home. I opened it and enclosed was a valentines day card from Nic. In it he said that he was glad that we remained friends. He said that we didn't remain friends just because we did... we worked at it and got through all of the obstacles because we wanted to. He told me to stay in college and he said that he was so excited to get out of the military and go to college. He told me that he loved me and he said to let my nephew know that he loved him too. I was hoping for some closure from whatever he sent me in the mail... but I didn't get any. It just made me miss him even more... and it almost made me disappointed in myself because I had just quit school.
I realize now that Nic was the most amazing man, and friend that I could have ever asked for. I miss him more than ever. I think about him all of the time. He's always in my heart, a special little place in my heart that will never be replaced.