I don’t remember running into her eight years ago, but maybe that’s because it was eight years ago. In the brief discussion we had we thought it must have been six or seven years ago, but since the last she knew I was happily engaged, it had to be before Fall of 1997. Most likely Winter or early Spring of 1997, if I was happy and genuinely believed I was going to be married at the time. She asked what happened, but I didn’t exactly want to try to get into it.
I’ve never been able to explain either story (there were two ‘real’ engagements in my history, and I don’t know which this would have been) in less than about twenty minutes. Not satisfactorily, anyway. Not in any way that is qualitatively better than “it didn’t work out”, which is what I said. It’s complicated.
I wonder what she remembers.
I’ll probably find out soon – she promised to call me, said we should hang out – but with the rapidly approaching holidays, things like this tend to be forgotten. If you’re reading this and you haven’t called, I genuinely do want you to call, and I would like to spend some time with you, even if I didn’t give that impression – I was a little off guard, a bit distracted/out-of-it.
She was my first real “girlfriend”. I wonder if she remembers that. Or that we dated for only four days before she dumped me in the middle of our first and last date. Then she didn’t talk to me for years because she thought I was angry at her for it; I wasn’t angry at her, just … disappointed? Confused? Whatever. That was a long time ago. I should probably go see if she is represented in Lost and Not Found, and if so, what I wrote. If she is in there, it’s probably a fictionalized version that fits the story better than reality could…
She was with someone … perhaps a “Steve”? It wasn’t clear to me what their relationship was, and that was part of why I didn’t say much. It’s hard for me to know what’s okay to say to people without knowing … something … about their lives. Her left-hand ring-finger had a ring on it, but a single band with three small stones of reasonably similar size, and his had no band. There is no real way to interpret that correctly, I think. So. Assume nothing. Say little. Don’t step on any toes.
She hugged me, twice, even though my own awkwardness made the second one a bit off. And she smells the same. At least, that’s what my mind is telling me. I know scent-memories can be intense and last a long time, so I tend to trust them, and she smells the same to me. The scent of her came off on me a bit when we hugged, though by now it’s fading fast, and I can’t stop breathing it in. It is a pleasant scent, a pleasant memory.
But I don’t know what she remembers of me. Or what’s happened in her life since 1993, really. For all I know she’s married and/or with kids, like most of my other old friends. Or if we’d get along anymore.
Though I expect we would. Even at 15 I had strong intuition about people, and the intervening years have only proven its accuracy, so if she’s the first person I ever felt strongly enough about to get over my shyness and “ask out” and if my sense about her at the time told me she was worth giving up years of conviction about avoiding dating, it probably wasn’t wrong about us getting along. So I hope she calls. So we can “catch up”, and maybe be friends again after all this time.
And just briefly, Heather, if you’re reading this, after the second engagement didn’t work out (remember, I don’t know which one you recall) I had one other real ‘girlfriend’ right after that, and I’ve been single since early 1998. Not exactly on purpose. And we can discuss it at length if you like, but when we ran into each other today I wasn’t sure whether it would be one of those run-ins I occassionaly have where they recognise me, act pleasant, and run off genuinely scared, or one where you were genuinely glad to see me and sincere about wanting to talk to me again, so… I didn’t want to get into it all without knowing.
And now I’ll go … wrap gifts or something. I have the next three days off work. Yay for Monday-Thursday, 4 tens! Three day weekends EVERY weekend!