Ralph was one of the privileged in the class: Tall. Graceful figure, self assured and self contained.
Nene was aware of him long before she knew his name. They first met accidentally in the library between dimly lit shelves of books.
"I was going to pick the book first." Nene snapped half way to grabbing a book with a yellow, half chopped sun drawn on the cover.
"No. I was first." Ralph argued. Nene's hand softly on his.
"C'mon. Dude, be a gentleman." Then he let her have the book.
Nene wasn't ever going to forget his intense green eyes as they began to discuss the book.
They ended up having drinks in a bar and talking until late in the night. After that, they saw each other almost everyday. Nene lived with him.
Then one day, they got into fight. They said words so dark. Argued. Fought. Then a retreat into angry silence that ended with making frantic love. After, they went on sweet and fine.
Nene was at her sophomore year when her phone rang and everything in her life changed.
"He was shot and let to die. He dragged himself, half paralyzed, to where his album laid and slipped a photo of you into his hand." The policeman detailed Nene.
"Can I go inside?" Nene asked. She was fond of Ralph's room. She wanted to walk through it, see if she could handle going into his room, replace the horrible image of his death with something harmless.
It was after many years Ralph left. Nene's phone rang late in the night. She answered.
"Hello?" At first, the voice did not register because she was not expecting it. Then her heart began to pound.
"Hello, Ralph." She said again.
"I am sorry to call so late."