This is my favorite memory of you.

You parked in front of my house. Mid-September, LA heatwave, windows down. The sun was already setting, and the sky was pearlescent blue, the color that turns all the trees to shadows and birds to phantoms. You have to go home soon, you say, but neither of us move. We haven’t seen each other in a long time, and the day’s gone by too fast.

My mother pulls into the driveway, home from work; she smiles at us as, surprised and pleased to see you. She gets out and makes her way over. You get out of the car, hesitant, and go hug her and she says how happy she is to see you—how long it’s been. She glances at me. She’s remembering our frequent conversations about how you’d disappear, how it seemed like you never had time, how I’d wait until you had time again, because you always came back around again. You were around again. I sit in the passenger seat and watch you hug my mother and I smile and she tells me hello before heading into the house. She tells us to take our time, and so we sit a little longer.

After you’ve left, I sit with my mother in the house. She says you look sad, that you’ve looked sad each of the few times she’s seen you lately. I say I think you are. She says she worries about you. I say that I do too. She asks if I’m feeling better. I say that I am. She says she knows how much I’ve missed you. I say I know.