We Don’t Ask Where Darren Is

We don’t ask where Darren is.  

He was the bravest and strongest of us as kids.  When we played ninja turtles swinging from the playgrounds he was always Leonardo, the fearless leader.  Each day he’d arrive like a snap of lightning, smiling and ready to play with great discoveries to share, our Moses from the mountain.  From magic cards played on sleeping bag forts at drive-in movies, to hair gel and combs that look like switchblades, which were perhaps the coolest thing an eight year old kid could own.  He let the charge for our roller blade formation zipping through the old neighborhood, and was always there to lift us from our scraped knees and bruised chins.  He was the first to stick his marshmallow in the campfire, but always made sure the sticky fingered little ones had gotten their fill.   

We don’t ask where Darren is.

Ever since his wedding day we watched him parade down the aisle with his white clad bride waiting at the end, never knowing that this was perhaps the last we’d see of him.  Because in the stories we heard as children, it’s dragons and foul beasts that steal fair maidens– not maidens stealing knights with silk scarves and swollen abdomens.  Especially not the bravest and strongest amongst us men, disappearing from the table at birthdays, and anniversaries without so much as a fight.   

We don’t ask where Darren is.  Because we know… his bride stole him away.