I grew up disliking hugs. I was that girl. Your not so average female. Until one year, I met someone who didn't care for my personal preferences. With my arms hanging by my side, he hugged me tight nearly every day. Until one day, I tightly reciprocated. And from then on, I realized, you can learn a lump some about the way someone gives you an unforgettable hug.
It was a hug goodnight. After what was another ordinary day with him. One full of conversations, laughs, smiles, gazing, and the single upset. I don't quite remember what it was about him this day that upset me but I clearly remember it was upsetting enough to encourage me not to reciprocate his open arms at the end of the night. But not upsetting enough to encourage me to take that step forward into his open arms. With my arms folded, I stepped forward laying my head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around my shoulders. And whispered, "What am I doing?" Not the sort of question a gentleman asks when he knows he has upset his damsel in distress, but the sort of statement a fool asks himself aloud when suddenly struck with confusion. With my face still lain, he didn't witness the comedic smile that came across it. Then I spoke of other matters pretending not to hear his unintentional joke.
It was a hug goodbye. Just before Thanksgiving one year. I had been laying with a particular male for about a fortnight until I had to leave the city I resided for this particular American, family-orientated holiday. And on the day of my departure, he came by to bid me bye. Helping me carry my things to the nearest train stop, I didn't know it'd be farewell. And when a strange elderly woman came up to me smiling when I was sitting alone on the platform waiting for the train saying, "I saw you down there with your sweetheart. I haven't seen two people hug like that in a long time. Glad to know young love still exists," I didn't expect him to tell me he'd be afraid of falling in love upon my return. I didn't plan on telling him what that elder so naively told me because we weren't sweethearts at all, but my distraught emotions dramatically pushed guilt upon him the way my actions pushed a friend away.
They were hugs hello. Every single day the years we went to high school together. A red locker backdrop. A school bell ending. It seemed I only ever saw him between the days of Monday and Friday, between the hours of 8 and 3. And even then, we were mistaken for the teenage lovebirds that spent after school extracurriculars holding hands in the mall and weekend nights at the theaters. Not only by our peers, but by our teachers. And though separated in age by several, several time units, we had in common one particular Biology teacher whose classroom door stood beside the red lockers. Giving me the eyes in AP Bio, she called me the pedophile. And years after my own graduation, she continued to. Even if they were only hugs we shared. They were comedic just thinking about em. And dramatic the way they never seemed to end.
The way I've seen it, there are two types of unforgettable hugs: comedic and dramatic. The ones you laugh reminiscing and the ones you cry remembering. But then there are ones that make you do both...
But I lie. Because how can I forget about all the little ones in between? Like the ones a dear friend tall and strong enough to lift me off the ground gives every time I visit my hometown. Or the ones given by a sweet, tall friend that makes my legs bend at the knee. And the long, bear hugs a shorter friend gives when he wakes or returns home from work.
For lovers, friends, and lover-friends alike, this is number twenty-six.