• “What’s he like?” I heard Fritz ask as he stared at me with his blue, blue eyes. I had never really noticed, but the color of his eyes matched the color as the pale ring around the full winter moon outside.
    “Who?” I asked the question absently, tracing the soft curves of his bare arms to his shoulders and down to his back, perfection marred by the scars of his past. I couldn’t help the sting of sadness in my heart as I watched a slow, small smile spread across his fair face and wondered why someone would ever want to hurt someone so easily broken.
    “You know, that guy you’re always talking about. You met him in middle school and dated a bit in high school and college.” It took a minute of quiet contemplation before I could come up with a suitable answer for Fritz.
    “He’s like summer,” I replied. The light from passing cars on the street below my window flashed across the ceiling and Fritz’s confused expression. I almost had to laugh at that adorable look. Instead, I pulled my knees to my chest and ran my fingers through his baby blue locks as I explained.
    “He’s warm to the touch. Always. Heat radiates from his skin and I swear sunshine runs through his veins. His hands burn through my clothes, regardless of how thick the layers are. His fingertips scald my bare flesh, be it my face, shoulders, arms, or legs, and falling asleep with him is like falling asleep on the back porch swing on a May afternoon in Georgia: heat envelops you like a blanket, warm and comfy, and there’s a sense of timelessness.”
    A siren wailed in the distance, but I was in a world of my own as I described the man to my friend. I was sitting with the love of my life by the pool at my parents’ house. “He has these eyes, you know. They have all the colors of summer in them. Forest green and hazel fade in and out of each other like wood nymphs in an ancient faerie dance. It’s mesmerizing. A ring of gold around his pupils gives the illusion of an eclipse, almost like how the time we spent together blocked out every bit of reality. His eyes even have these gorgeous cerulean flecks that match the color of the water at the dam. We went down to the dam one day while the water was low and goofed off, taking pictures and all that. Looking at the water was like looking at the sky that day, only a shade or two darker. You could see the clouds reflected. That’s how his eyes are. Earth, sun, and sea all meet in his eyes. They used to be my everything, my whole world.” I wrapped my arms around my legs and laid my head on my knees, watching as Fritz shifted to lay on his side. He was so childlike sometimes, always wanting a story. He waited expectantly and propped himself up on one arm.
    “He was as careless and free as the wind back then. There was nothing he couldn’t, wouldn’t do, especially for me. He loved me like no other. He was my first, my last, and my only.” Memories raced through my mind in the silent moment following that last statement. There were days we spent intertwined, napping on the futon in the guest room of the house he shared with his mom. There were proms and homecomings, football games and marching competitions, school plays and Friday Night Magic tournaments. I let a sigh of yearning escape my lips as I stared at my neon blue toenail polish.
    “Wait a minute,” Fritz interrupted. “What happened? Are you two still together, or did he leave, or what?” His sparkling eyes were wide with eagerness. The sadness in my smile this time wasn’t true sadness, but a mix of loneliness, longing, and remembrance as I answered him.
    “I went off to the college of my dreams before moving here to New York. He stayed behind and we lost touch with each other.” I didn’t tell Fritz that I made the trip every summer back to the little one-horse town I came from just to see the very man Fritz had asked about. No, that was a story for another day. I waited for another query, but when it didn’t come, I looked over at my companion and grinned. He had rolled back onto his stomach and his wounded back rose and fell with each steady breath he took. Long dark lashes fanned his cheeks, and I couldn’t resist placing a kiss on his forehead as I curled up beside him, pulling the flannel blanket to my neck.
    “Goodnight, Fritz,” I whispered into the darkness before slipping into another dream of summertimes past.