He came strolling around the corner of Sunnyside and Claremont with keys and a smile. Keys: covered in little rubber monkey heads to discern which went to which door, waiting to unlock my sister’s apartment and open the door to my first weekend in my new city. He held them out to me and I grasped them.

Upon his insistence, we walked down the street to Fiddlehead — my favorite — for a drink. We were celebrating, he said. A glass of carmenere was ordered. Carmenere turned something sparkling, which turned into five sparkling somethings. We talked for hours about things I needed to do this summer, things he needed to do this summer. We talked about Paige: my sister, one of his best friends, missing her while she was away for that first week of my summer. We just plain talked.

I don’t know if Doug realizes how important he was to me this summer, but he was my one-man welcoming committee and quite literally my key to the city.

He sent me a text me a week ago asking if I missed Chicago and how was campus? (Yes and fine.) He said he was looking forward to fall and football.

Doug died last night. I hope he got to watch a football game and god, I hope the leaves have started to change in Chicago.

Unexpected, too soon, not fair. Makes you think about how you’re spending your time. Who you’re spending your time with. The things you say to people. The things you don’t.
Just think about it.

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