The church on the corner.

I’ve been driving to Baltimore more often because one of my sons has a good friend who lives near Loyola College. I’ve found that from here (Howard County, that is), the best way to go is I-95 North to Martin Luther King and through town to Calvert Street and North. I’ve become more confident in the route. But still, as I turn onto Charles Street from University and pass Second Presbyterian Church , I can’t breathe.

I’ve only been there once. Just once a long, long time ago.

A young man took his life. He’d been a friend. We’d gone out a few times, truth be told. But he was so unhappy. Brilliant, though. Truly brilliant. But so, so sad. So we stopped dating.

I may not have known he died had my roommate not been dating his friend. There was no Facebook and our worlds were vastly different. But I did know, from her. And I went to pay my respects.

I wouldn’t say I was welcomed. I would say that people whispered. I was the last girl he dated. It must have been my fault, I heard the muffled voices.

I knew it wasn’t. I knew he was deeply troubled. I’d only known him a short while. He was deeply troubled.

But every time I drive by that church, I cry.

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