This is a followup to my post about receiving the contact info of a very long ago girlfriend, Amy. You can read the first post here , the second can be found here , the third is located here, and the most recent is right here.
I stopped in my tracks and opened my arms. Amy slid between them, and reached up and hugged me … hard … like she had always done those so many years ago. I held her close. Then kissed her cheek. At last!
I’m fairly tall. And Amy is very short, but solid. Nothing had changed over the years. As a teenager and young woman, her dark hair had been long down her back. Now, still dark as promised, it extended only to her shoulders. She hugged me tightly.
“It’s so wonderful to see you, Marty.”
“Amy, you look great!” I replied.
“Oh Marty! So do you.”
“Come, let’s get a drink,” I said.
We strolled into the bar, and the hostess found us a table near the tall windows. Amy ordered white wine and I chose a beer. We just looked at each other for a few minutes, both smiling. Amy rested her head on my shoulder.
“Where do we begin?” Amy asked.
“How about when we last saw each other?” (I had asked her in an email if she remembered that. Sadly, she did not).
I said “It may be you won’t want to remember. I was staying at Paul and Mary’s when you and Tom came over.” Paul and Mary were married friends of ours who lived close to where Amy was living at the time. Tom would become Amy’s first husband.
“Oh,” she said. “I tend to block out anything to do with that time with Tom”. She had married Tom, but that had ended in a very adversarial divorce not too many years later.
Then she told me how she had been the “other woman” for 13 years to her next door neighbor in the little town she then lived in. This fascinated me because, when I knew her, she was anything but the radical. Fairly prim and proper. I admitted to being very surprised.
Eventually she married that man and they’re still together. But he has serious illnesses. She then told me of their dream property they had bought, and invested heavily in with some overseas contacts. How the contacts had cheated them, and now she and her husband had lost everything. They had no financial security, no retirement savings. And a devastating fire a year ago had eliminated most of their remaining personal assets.
I looked into her green eyes that so sparkled those many years ago. Maybe it was the dimness of the light … but I saw no sparkle. Still, she smiled weakly and invoked the Buddha.
“Life is difficult. When we accept that life is difficult, it becomes less so.”
I looked at her and could tell that truthfully there was no sadness, but neither was there much joy. I held her hands as she opened up more about her life, and what she felt she was missing. We chatted a bit about old friends. She was surprised at how many I was in contact with still. She regretted not keeping up.
She started to get excited as she said ” … and I’m going to touch base with Andy and catch up on all the things he has been up to over the years. I heard how well he had done in business. We were so close for so long!”
Andy, our age, had been a neighbor of hers growing up. They were always in the same class all through school, and had been the closest of friends.
“I’m sorry, Amy. Andy died 4 years ago. From cancer.”
I watched the tears quickly rise in her green orbs, then overflow, and creep ever slowly then to crawl downward in rivers on both sides of her still stunning face.
“I didn’t know,” she whispered. “It’s all too late now.”
I changed the conversation and talked about about some of the activities I’m involved in. Amy surprised me … she confessed she periodically googles my name, and was even aware of my Twitter account. I was shocked.
“But you never contacted me?”
“No,” she said sheepishly. “I don’t know why not. I should have.”
We reminisced some more, and she made me laugh.
“Oh Marty! I so love your smile. I’m so happy to see that hasn’t changed.”
It was my turn to be sheepish.
Then she said, “I know I was so shallow as a teenager. I was all about being popular.”
“Yes, Amy you were very popular. I was so timid, despite being so crazy about you, I could never take that next step. And all teenagers are shallow, that’s what a teenager does.”
“No, you were never shallow, Marty. I always admired that in you.”
I’m sure I smiled to that. And I wondered if she knew how much I appreciated that little compliment.
We talked on. For 3 more hours and a few additional drinks. Nothing was awkward. Nothing was sacred. It felt so comfortable. Close, touching.
Yet something was not right. Not as I would have expected. I was feeling a little confused. Confused with myself.
Where was the fire in my loins for Amy? Was there even a spark? The Marty, who is so used to his thoughts of lust around attractive women was missing. But yes, there was a spark. And I could feel an eagerness in return from Amy. I’m certain I could have had her. Or at least gone to her room for a nightcap. And then seen what would have happened.
But I didn’t. I didn’t feel the need. The wont was absent. As the clock approached midnite I begged off, mentioning that I had a morning out of town appointment the next day which required my early rising. Clearly disappointed, Amy said he understood. We clasped hands and she kissed my cheek.
After the tab was paid, we inched our way back to the front desk and then a final embrace.
And promised to stay in touch.