The first thirty seconds were eternal and like some kind of creative torture. We were both sputtering a little, nervous, stunned that even though we'd orchestrated this mini phone reunion (me by writing the note and him by dialing the phone) we were now actually on the phone with each other.
The truth is I remember very little of the first phone call, but the fact that we were on the phone for 45 minutes indicates to me that we somehow overcame the weirdness. In terms of answering the questions about the past--the primary question being was "it" even a little bit mutual or was it all in my head--the fact that he called at all spoke volumes. He remembered when and where we had last spoken to each other. He mentioned the day in the barn--said he'd regretted that day for almost twenty years--regretted not saying more, not following up afterward. He told me about his life in those twenty years--the marriage, the ill-fated (and recently ended) engagement, the job. I caught him up on my life. ("Four? Wow." is a direct quote from that part of the conversation.) He filled me in on the fates of some of our classmates. I admitted I'd always had a "low-grade obsession" where he was concerned.
We ended the conversation with thank-yous all around. I was grateful to him for calling and he was grateful to me for getting in touch with him. He extended an open invitation to me--call anytime you want to talk, really. I told him the same--but he was concerned about Hubby's feelings on that subject. My assurances fell on deaf ears at first. But, really, Hubby is not the jealous type. Add to that the fact that he's listened to me wonder aloud about this off and on for years, and he's actually kind of entertained by all the drama and thrilled by his chance to say "I told you so." (Which he did in the comments on a previous post, for all the world to see.)
So Mr. High School and I have been talking once a week or so and supplementing with letters in between. We have a lot of catching up to do and, it turns out, whatever "connection" made it so easy for us to talk to each other in high school is not only still there, but we're way more appreciative of it than we were then. We've both experienced enough of life to know that that spark of recognition or understanding is rare and shouldn't be dismissed lightly--even if the package it comes in is older, fatter, and balder than it was when you saw it last.
After three months of phone calls and letters, it was time to see just how much older, fatter, and balder those packages were.
The Skin of Our Teeth
23 hours ago