He had rusty orange hair and freckles to match, a smile that was devious in intention, but sweet and genuine simultaneously, and a Southern accent that could melt your heart with just a simple hello. He was the best friend of someone I was dating at the time, and lived below me in the same apartment complex. At first meet, he seemed like a slacker, an endless partier, and someone who just drank their way through school. Although that very much was the case a little too often, he was intelligent, sincere and had a kind heart that is all too rare...and I was lucky to have been given the chance to know this. His sister was born without hearing, Sign language was second nature to him. This fascinated me, as I had never known anyone who could speak it fluently. The silence contrasted so drastically with his voice, as no one had a drawl like he did. Nathan was the epitome of a Southern gentleman in every part of the definition; meeting him would have brought a Yankee over to the Confederate side without a struggle. If he had been Lee's sidekick, the North would've surrendered immediately. I felt as comfortable with him as I did with someone I had known my entire life. When things started to get bad between my boyfriend and I, I didn't have to say anything to him, he'd just give me an extra smile or hug. When it was really bad, I just went to his place and cried as he stood there hugging me. He was the person that made everyone feel safe. He made me feel like it was all ok, when it really was anything but. Even though it was his best friend that was causing me so much hurt, he treated me like his friend; he told me I was beautiful, and I actually believed it because it came from him. When I left town, I knew I would miss him, that I would leave a part of me there, still dampening his shirt with my tears. We spoke a few times after I was gone, his Southern accent bringing a smile to my face in a matter of seconds.
Last night I lied awake thinking about him. It's hard to believe he's gone because I wasn't there to see him go. I wasn't there to give him one last hug, to hear his drawl one last time before he was taken. It doesn't seem real because anyone that this world should be proud of for creating, it was him.
As over-stated as it is, I feel like he's still with me. I feel like he's my ally in this world, giving me his shirt when I need it to soak. His smile is the first thing I see when he enters my thoughts.
I miss you, Nathan. Thank you for coming into my life when you did, and for remaining in it even now; it was worth all the pain your friend instilled in me, to have known you when I needed to the most. You will always be alive to me...sitting outside apartment B6, smiling like you knew something we didn't. I'm still searching for it, and you'll be the first I tell when I find it.