This is the second time I see you and you are no longer a little boy. You're much taller, your hair, you've let grow. You are a young man with a crown of cornrows. We meet in the city, with your dad, at a sidewalk cafe. You walk away from my view. Maybe to pick up our drinks. 
Your dad speaks to me this time. He's no longer the brooding man on the couch. Your dads much older since I last saw you. His eyes are droopy but they rise when he speaks of you and when he smiles. His freckles show more; on his nose bridge, on the high part of his cheeks. His dreds are thicker but the color is lighter, like brown, smoky, dusk. His glasses are the same thin metal frames from always. He tells me how well you're doing. How well your both doing. How everything is well. I mention your grandmother- I heard about your mom. I reach out and place my hand over his- I'm really sorry. Your dad's bottom lip quivers and he gives me a nod. 
You come back to the table and sit there. I can't help but stare at you. You are so beautiful. 
Your eyebrows are full with thin hair. You have my eyes. You have your father's freckles.  You are quiet and in this quietness, I know you are funny and intelligent. I still remember you as the lively little boy giving me a tour of your home. I fell in love with you instantly. 
When we all stand to leave I hug you tight and you hold me. Your thin frame resembles your fathers but you have more thickness on your bones. My head rests on your chest, your warm chest, and I say to you- you were born out of so much love. Your hold stays the same and I look up at you and you smile. You leave to go into a department store across the cafe. It's the start of your shift. You walk past the sporadic crowd of people. 
I look at your dad and ask for your number, for your picture and he shares with me a picture of you both. You with your crown of corn rows reaching your father's shoulders and you're both smiling. As I log into my phone to type down your name, I forget how to spell it. I spell "Roy" but I know it ends with "ee" sound. I ask your father to make sure and I feel horrible. At that moment I felt the distance we've lived. I ask if I can message you, maybe after work but I can tell by your father's side nod that it's not a great idea. So I save your contact information, save your picture, and hug your dad. I tell him how amazing you are. You've done a great job- I tell him and he smiles in appreciation for the confirmation of the hard work he's done in his father role. Seeing you both in the picture reminds me of your father with your grandmother; alone but together. Alone but filled with love.


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