There was much debate between my friends and family over whether or not I ought to take the assignment. The half that were for it saw it as a great adventure, my graduate school friends mostly, less spoiled than my school friends, and Summerlyn, she was at the forefront of pushing me to go. She was always the adventurous of the Hyacinth sisters, the younger of the two as well, a year younger than me and three younger than Milla, my best friend, they were both Broadway girls now, Summerlyn in the smaller roles and chorus and Milla the supporting roles, maybe the star one day we thought.

Milla was less sure about my going, her and Skylar both said they wanted nothing more than my happiness, but feared this was not how I would find it, I had a sinking feeling they were both simply more worried about miss their best friend, or their lover. Skylar was more straightforward about it than I expected him to be, we'd been together nearly three years, he was two years younger than me, still in Med. School to be a pediatrician, and he wanted to work with juvenile cancer patients. He told me I should go if I think it is best, but that we should see other people while I'm gone, a year is a long time after all. This was easier to handle than I expected it to be, we weren't breaking up, he'd visit and when I returned we'd try again, but in the meantime, it seemed futile to try and make such a thing work.

When I met Skylar we were young, preteen young and younger. We acted together, like Summerlyn and Milla, at AmbrynOlin Theater, a professional theater outside Cleveland. As I've said, a majority of those children live throughout New York City now, but I've mostly separated myself from them, except for Milla, Summerlyn, and Skylar. It would be years before I wanted him, but I did, the summer before my sophomore year, and his 8th grade year, our affections for one another became all too clear. But at that point two years might as well have been a million and I told him so when it came up. But I wasn't over it. He was, as far as I could see, entirely flawless. With wide blue eyes and pale skin that tanned lightly in summer, he was a swimmer and it showed in his build. His golden blond hair grew straight up until it got too long and the nit would fall floppily around his face. He was kind and funny and intelligent, mature beyond what one would expect. He knew when I was upset before I said I would or it showed on my face and he taught me to hug properly. He made me laugh and he sat on my lap even though he was much larger than I.

I became infatuated and decided that despite age differences, when Skylar was a freshmen and I was a junior, as long as we were both in high school, it would be ok. I just had to wait out the year, once he entered high school, then we'd be alright. He became my best friend and confidant, and as the wait was hard, I dallied with boys all around us. The other actors, and he knew, for I told him nearly everything. We'd lie on queen bed late at night, my head on his stomach eating popcorn and chocolates and talking, or not talking. And we'd whisper backstage, our faces so close so we couldn't be overheard. We'd hesitate sometimes and I'd see the flicker in his eyes, I'd wait for it. So close, but I wouldn't let myself think, not for more than a second, I'd look away, or he would, and that would be that.

Our high school romance would never come. The January of his 8th grade year, he'd announce the news that I though would kill me, he was moving, to St. Louis, in July. We'd finish off the show we were in then, and I would finish of my romance with another actor, Avery along with it. And that summer we'd be cast in our final show together. One thing got in the way of another, I met another boy just weeks before rehearsal began and I fell for him to quick and forgot for a moment that I wanted to be with Skylar. It came down to the gamble of starting something new with Skylar only to lose it when he left, or to take what I knew I could have with the other. I chose the other. And Skylar left me with a kiss on my cheek and tears in my eyes.

He would return to AmbrynOlin a few times a year and every summer, and our visits were always full of the sexual tension we could never escape, and the comfort level we had come to love. When I went away to college I saw him less and began to think it was the beginning of the end. Until that is, I went to grad school at Columbia. He was a junior studying Pre. Med. We became instant best friends all over again, and within a month I found myself in the king sized bed of his Greenwich Village apartment at 6AM is a post sex daze, half watching the sun rise over the city skyline, and half watching Skylar sleep. Sex became a relationship, which became what I felt might have been the sort of love that leads to the word forever.

My last night in town, I couldn't sleep and so I dragged myself to his house at midnight with all of my luggage and rang the bell until he let me in. "What are you doing?" He asked me, surveying my set of matching LV luggage; I had sent a lot of my clothing ahead of me. "I leave in 7 hours." I whispered collapsing into his bare chest and trying not to tear up. He just smiled and picked me up, throwing me over his shoulder the way my brothers friends did when I was little and closing the door behind me. He left my bags in the entrance way and carried me up into his bedroom. I had expected the type of hot going away sex you think people have. But it wasn't, it was just once, and then we slept, woke up with my fingers curled in his blond hair and watched the sunrise over our city one last time, I told myself. One last time.

On the day I left, I stood at the security check of JFK airport in queens with a Louis Vuitton tote dangling off my shoulder, sportin early morning sex hair, as Milla said it, and scared out of my mind as I said my goodbyes, once everyone but Milla and Skylar were gone, she ducked off for five minutes before walking me to the gate, knowing we'd want to be alone. Some sort of classical music was seeping out of the airport speakers, mixing with gate announcements for delayed flights and the names of children found separated from their mothers. Skylar swept me into some sort of a waltz for about three steps then dipped me low, especially for only 6:33AM, I giggled despite my hate for movement so early, and let his kiss me as he pulled me back up. "I'll come." He said, "In three months I'll come, during my winter break." I must have smiled because he rumpled my hair up, and laughed at me and I slipped my hand under his white Armani Exchange tee shirt to feel his abs and arched back bone. Neither of us spoke for awhile and when Milla returned with snacks and ironically, copies of French and American Vogue for me, we kissed a temporary goodbye and wandered off in separate directions.

Parting with Milla herself was harder. She hugged and kissed me goodbye at the gate, "Just don't think the world will be on pause doll." She told me, "You can't just run away, life is going to go on here." She knocked her forehead against mine. "Je t'aime Lillian D'aime." She said to me.

"Je t'aime aussi Milla Hyacinth, pour tous les jours." I returned, "Au ciel et vers le bas." She smiled. Our parting words as they had been since high school, I love you, to I love you too, for all the days, the sky and down For all the days.