Amy and I arrange to meet at her hotel …
We exchanged several emails back and forth while she made her way towards my town on the train. Mostly some quick catch up on the missing 40 years since we had seen each other. She asked who I was still in contact with from our high school days, and she was amazed at the list.
“I have tremendous regret for losing touch with all the amazing friends I had then. Huge mistake,” was her response. In essence, she had walled herself off from her past for these many decades.
I asked her if she remembered the last time we were in each other’s presence. Amy confessed she did not. Now that was a bit crushing, since I remember it so vividly.
“When was it?” Amy asked me.
“I’ll tell you about it when I see you,” I said.
We laughed back and forth wondering how well we’d recognize each other. She claimed to really have no grey hair yet. Even she was surprised. I chuckled and told her I was now “arctic blonde.”
“My train is arriving!” Amy wrote back. “I’ll be out of communication for a while. I have to check into the hotel and then head right out for my gathering.”
With that, I got back to work. Soon enough it was time for me to leave for my evening appointment.
It would be far from incorrect to say I didn’t obsess about meeting Amy in the past. I had wanted to see her again for so many years. Those so many decades ago when I was wandering, I had often thought of her nonstop. And as she reminded me, I had written her many letters. And now we would see each other. Strangely, I was already feeling a little “let down”. Let down, because I was disappointed in my lack of overwhelming enthusiasm.
“What’s wrong with me?” I wondered. “Why am I not over the moon right now?” I bewildered myself. Why was I not nervous at all? Sure, I was looking forward to this. But damn I was being calm!
Pretty much on schedule, my activity was done … Hi there. I’m just finishing up. What’s up with you? … I texted.
… I’m all done – a very few people left here. I’ll head to the bar in a few minutes. What works for you? … she texted back.
… I’ll be there in 15 or 20 minutes. Meet you in the bar? … I responded.
… Sounds good …
15 minutes later I was at the hotel’s front door. The bar was on the immediate right. I headed in. I searched all the faces in the bar. Clearly, Amy wasn’t there … or did I just not recognize her? No, she wasn’t there.
I exited the room and headed toward the front desk. Maybe there was another bar? Then, as I strode around the corner, there she was! She saw me the same instant I saw her. She ran towards me.
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!
To be continued …