I had not seen her since the summer before our senior year
of high school. She came to my house, left my class ring
and told me she was leaving town
-and me. Her dad got a new job in Atlanta
so they moved and she left and that was that. No letters, no phone calls, no anything. From her. I sent letters and I tried to reach her. It was foolish and humiliating
, but it continued for a month or so. Then I got wrapped up in other stuff and well, time goes by
When I went to the airport this week to pick up my Uncle there she was, sitting at a half empty gate, waiting out a a layover. I waved without thinking and she looked up, smiled and put down her magazine. Scientific American, 'natch.
Well, look at you.
She said this in a light casual way, as if I had seen her yesterday.
Theresa is a small girl, barely five feet with short spiky blond hair and pale features. I used to threaten to drug her and take her to a tanning booth. She would grit her teeth and threaten massive revenge. We were both only kidding .
Then, as now, she favors dark colors, which don't flatter her and tight jeans, that do. Four years have not changed her that greatly, so I recognized her in a second. She made some small talk about my parents and hers. I asked her about school (Emory) and her major (pre med). She was on her way out west for spring break but did not give specifics and I didn't ask for them.
So then she got around to asking about me - and you, what's up with you ? and I considered my choices:
1. the truth, boring and a little humbling. community college and retail work.
2. a lie about lottery winnings and rock stardom
2. a lie about a college scholarship and a beautiful French exchange student
4. a lie about a cool e-commerce job and my impending fame.
5. a lie about imminent death due to incurable disease. (I haven't been sleeping well and I've got the dark circles and blank eyes, so maybe I coulda pulled this one off?)
I thought about any and all of these. I offered none.
"nothing really, just stuff. Came to pick up my Uncle Fred at the airport, that's it."
She waited to see if more was coming and then looked away, getting the message.
ok then, well, take care, ok?
She gave my arm a little squeeze and walked away.
I know I could have given her more. I felt better later knowing I hadn't.