So I'm thirty-six, long-time wife of Hubby, and mom of four, and I discover that somewhere out there, in a parallel universe, maybe, or just stuck on pause like a video game, is me at seventeen, still having that conversation in the barn with Mr. High School. Me, at seventeen, at his high school graduation watching his parents take his picture with his girlfriend. Me, at thirteen even, holding his hand at the community pool. We're all still out there and we want answers.
When I dropped the note in the mail, I reasoned that the worst thing that could happen was he would not respond. And I figured that his not responding was something I could handle, and in any case, would answer as many questions as a response--just with different answers.
In the week after I mailed the letter, I realized that there was something worse than his not contacting me. There was a very real possibility that he would contact me and it would be disastrous. I couldn't wrap my mind around the possibility of picking up the phone and having him on the other end. What the hell had I been thinking? What was I going to say to someone I hadn't talked to in almost twenty years? Someone who probably hadn't given me a second thought during all that time? (I had already rejected the idea of opening with, "I'm married with four kids and I've been stalking you for years anyway.")
A week passed with no word and I began to relax, figuring I had another one to add to my pathetic Mr. High School stories: "I actually sent him a note in the spring of 2005--how insane was that?"
The phone rang on Monday night, a little over a week after I'd sent the note. I rarely answer my own phone--sharing the house with four kids in or near their teen years means (among many other things) the phone is very rarely for me, but on this evening, they were all outside--probably roaming the streets and scaring old people--so I picked up.
I was blogging (what else?) at the time the phone rang, very immersed in what I was doing so it was doubly shocking to hear that voice on the phone, familiar and unfamiliar, expected and wholly unexpected. Some part of me had been waiting to hear that voice for twenty years, maybe longer.
Those Left Behind
2 days ago