When I came to Australia, I said goodbye to lots of people - even if I didn't actually say goodbye to them, I mentally left them back in America, with the intention that that was that, for a long time, until I made it back to the states. It felt final, but I always knew it probably wasn't, because I planned on making it back to the states.
When I heard Jared had died, it didn't really strike me at all, because he was one of the many who I'd said goodbye to, so it just seemed like that was part of that, but as I think back more on my friends in the states, and when I might see them again, he is one I won't see again, and for the first time I'm sad for me about him dying. And so, I want to remember.
Working at Vision, it creates this weird dynamic. You talk to these people every day, multiple times a day, and so you start to build a rapport with people, get to know them, joke with them, but you could have no clue what they look like, and if you do, it's a picture from facebook.
One time there was a huge thing at Vision with lots of people there. I don't think I'd met Jared in person at that point, but we were texting and we'd talk on the phone about random stuff from time to time, so I thought he might talk to me a bit, but all I got was a head nod. I gave him a hard time about that.
Other than that, there were actually only a couple times that I spent face to face with Jared. He took me on a friend date to see How to Train Your Dragon. I remember sitting there with my arms crossed, because he'd told me that he would often hold girls hands on friend dates, and so I wanted to make it clear that he wasn't going to hold my hand. He took me to Applebee's, and talked about the church welfare system versus the government welfare system.
But my bigger memories of Jared were from the phone - him talking me into liking Jesse, telling me we'd make a good couple (with both Jesse and I within hearing), then texting with me when Jesse got a girlfriend and I was crushed.
Can't really think of Jared without Jesse. Those were my most distinct impressions of Jared, as part of the Jared-Jesse duo, the brothers who were so tight. Jesse's the one I was saddest for when I heard, just because they'd had a special bond, and it'd meant something to me, just even to watch it from the sidelines.
I remember there was this huge secrecy around Vision, because I like Jesse, and this girl Jessica liked Jared, so we'd told each other our secrets, but no one else knew because it was a bit taboo. So one day Jared says something to a customer, about how I'm his girlfriend or whatever, and I blurted out, "Not when I'm interested in your BROTHER!" in the middle of the call center. I looked around to see if anyone had heard, and thought they hadn't but I was pretty embarrassed by that, and then started to worry that I'd hurt Jared's feelings, and what if he was interested in me? We women really do overthink things.
The image that sticks with me, though, is of a phone call I had with Jared one night. It was middle of the night, and he had just been out wandering around Viriginia Beach, a few miles from home by then. He ends up in some sprinklers, and ended up hitchhiking home with some apparently cool people, but he tells me that he is going to buy a scooter, and that when he gets it, he's going to ride around with a cape on. Virginia Beach's superhero is kinda how I imagined it, just moreso a dysfunctional superhero.
He took me out when I got promoted too. I don't know if it's because he knew I'd be divorced, so maybe no one else would think to take me to celebrate, but it was really sweet. He let me choose where to go, and took me to Communal. I remember him saying he'd rather take people out and spend his money on people, because that was what mattered to him, and also that he didn't like to be alone.
Above all, what strikes me most about Jared when I think back on him is how human he was. He had uncommon generosity, all the while trying to convince me to try drugs. He called me up one day to ask me about the pig I'd bought, and wanted to go and name a pig, and then have it slaughtered and eat it.
I miss him. I think what I really miss is never getting to talk with him about the church, now that I'm on the other side of it. Because he tried to talk to me about it before, but I didn't know how to listen then. Still not planning on trying that bud, Jar.