Two Hearts that Grow Together
Harrison and Rene had been neighbors and best friends since they were in diapers. Harrison’s mother was a stay at home mom, and since she was friends with Rene’s parents, she often babysat Rene and Harrison at home all day. The two had started walking and talking around the same time, and their parents had multiple embarrassing pictures of the two of them naked in the bathtub together as kids. They grew into toddlerhood together, and as time progressed, due to gender differences, the two kids grew apart.
While still neighbors and family friends, Harrison and Rene went their separate ways as far as playmates went later in grade school and in junior high. Harrison became more of a school nerd and book worm, while Rene became one of the popular pretty girls. While the two hung out together on the weekends still and at family get-togethers, the two never hung out in school. Harrison started noticing how Rene had changed from his childhood friend into a woman as they progressed into high school. Harrison started being unsure of how to act around Rene – and things only became more awkward for Harrison as Rene started dating.
The boys Rene dated were jerks. They were the kind of boys that made fun of Harrison in school and would pick on him. The more she hung around them, the further away Harrison distanced himself from her. He couldn’t stand boys like that – nor the way they treated Rene like she was nothing more than arm candy. Harrison knew Rene and he knew that there was so much more to her than her looks. The more Harrison thought about Rene, the more he realized he was falling in love with his childhood friend. He was sure she didn’t feel the same way, which made him sad.
As the two graduated high school, they both learned they were going to the same college. Rene and Harrison’s family threw a joint graduation party for the two to see them off to their new school.
“Now Harrison,” Rene’s mother said, “keep an eye on our daughter. We’re counting on you to keep her safe while you two are so far away.”
“Yes ma’am.” Harrison replied as Rene walked into the room.
“Why am I not being asked to keep an eye on Harrison?” Rene starkly interjected.
“Harrison is a good boy; you wouldn’t have to watch him do much besides read.” Rene’s mother informed her.
Harrison wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not. “I like other things.”
Rene’s mother smiled and patted Harrison on the shoulder and left the room.
“She thinks she knows you. It’s so annoying, isn’t it?” Rene commented.
“Yeah.” Harrison said shortly.
“So, are we going to hang out in college? I haven’t seen you much in recent years.” Rene observed.
“Well – yeah, I hope so.” Harrison honestly replied.
“What keeps you away, Harrison?” Rene probed further.
“Your boyfriends – they’re jerks.” Harrison
“You noticed?” Rene said sarcastically.
“I noticed in junior high when they beat me up in a locker room, before I grew taller than them.” Harrison informed her.
“I didn’t know they did that,” Rene said, the edge in her voice subsiding.
“Yeah, well, I didn’t tell you. You didn’t need to know that I was wimpy.” Harrison tried to smile and lighten the mood, “besides, I’m not a wimp anymore. I’ve been lifting weights. Check out the guns.”
Rene laughed and felt Harrison’s arm, “Wow,” she said actually sounding surprised, “you have some major guns there.”
Harrison laughed back, “I miss hanging out with you,” he admitted.
“Yeah, well, we should see each other a lot more now in college. I’m depending on you. We should try for some classes together.” Rene commented.
“Yeah, for sure, I’d like that.” Harrison smiled.
After the party, Harrison and Rene had all summer to bond once more and become great friends like they were in their youth. Harrison tried to keep romantic feelings out of the mix – figuring that Rene had no interest in him in such a way. The friendship blossomed, and when the fall came, they talked their parents into renting an apartment for the two of them together off campus, to save on the cost of living. Now the two college mates would also be roommates.
A few months into the semester, Harrison and Rene were hanging out in the house and reviewing homework together. That was the moment their relationship changed forever.
“Hey, Rene, I’ve been meaning to ask you something,” Harrison began.
“I don’t know the answer to number eight; I’m looking it up now,” Rene commented as she flipped through their text book.
“No, I’m not asking about homework or anything like that. It’s just – you had a lot of boyfriends in high school. You almost were never without one – why aren’t you dating in college?” Harrison was truly curious on this matter.
“Well, I don’t know. I guess I don’t need a boyfriend. I have you.” Rene replied shyly.
“I thought we were just friends?” Harrison asked, probing more deeply and hoping to get the answer he wanted to hear.
“I don’t know.” Rene admitted. “I’ve known you all my life, it seems weird but, I don’t want to be just friends.”
Harrison’s heart leapt at her words – she liked him, just as he liked her. Before Rene could say another word, Harrison wrapped his arms around his best childhood friend and gave her a soft, tender kiss. He had wanted to feel her lips for so long, and the smooth warmth of her lips upon his was like a dream come true.
The kiss broke, slowly, and Rene looked into Harrison’s eyes, “I guess this means you feel the same.”
“I do,” Harrison said while softly stroking her hair.
“I think we should take this slow, Harrison. I want to do this right. I don’t want you to be another three month relationship. I think I want this forever.” Rene said as she took Harrison’s large hands into her small, dainty hands.
“That’s okay. I don’t want to ever hurt you. Forever sounds good to me.” Harrison said as he kissed her softly again.
Four years, after both Rene and Harrison graduated from college, the two were wed. In college they made friends with a few other groups of people and, as luck would have it, in their adult lives they moved next door to some of their best friends from college. Their lives progressed pretty closely together – and the two couples ended up having kids around the same time.
Rene and Harrison had a little girl named Ashley, while their friends the David and Lorraine Castro had a little boy named Michael. Rene was a stay at home mom, and she watched Michael while his parents went to work. Michael and Ashley were inseparable, until they got to middle school, when they split ways. Ashley was a book worm like her father, while Michael became one of the more popular boys in school.
One day, Michael was over at Ashley’s house and Rene and Harrison were both home.
“Why did you guys get married?” Ashley asked out of curiosity.
“Your daddy was my best friend growing up, and we just knew we were made for each other when we went to college together. He really is the love of my life.” Rene answered her daughter.
“Like Michael and I were friends when we were little?” Ashley asked, a little skeptical.
“Yup,” answered Harrison, “just like Michael, except I was the book worm and your mother was the popular one.”
“I don’t believe you two. I’m going to go do my homework now.” With that, Ashley headed up stairs.
“Who knows honey, maybe history will repeat itself.” Harrison said as he kissed his loving wife.
“I could only hope that our daughter finds someone to love as much as I love you.” Rene said as she hugged her magnificent husband.