I was just wondering if it would be weird to call you. It has been nearly a decade since our friendship washed away like strawberry ice cream on a rainy sidewalk, but it seems that I have stumbled across your Facebook profile, and holy mother of god I am losing my mind over here.
Could you really be the chubby bespectacled boy that once sat in front of me in homeroom, back when mp3 players were all the rage? Are you really the ten year old that frequently quoted Family Guy, and stuck pencils up his nose, and found armpit farts hysterically funny? True, even then I had an enormous crush on you, but something about seeing you now makes me… (sigh.)
You are 6’3” now, and lean like an athlete. You are still as sweet and goofy as I remember. Obviously, given the number of comments on your wall, you are loved in this community, by people I’ve lived among since I was eating paste out of a jar but still know nothing about. And my god, you look handsome in your dorky glasses now.
I was never very good at revealing my feelings. It was always easier to tease, and laugh, and hope that things went in the direction I desired. Which is why I have spoken to you only once in ten years.
That ‘once’ was prom, if you’ll step back in time for a moment. I saw you standing in the sticky club room, under the flashing lights, in the midst of a sea of sweaty bodies. Coward that I am, I actually walked around for like twenty minutes trying to gather the courage to talk to you. And when I finally had your attention, I ran.
I’m sorry. I don’t know why I do that.
What are you doing now? Childhood feels like so long ago. I just want to talk with you again, and maybe crack a few bad jokes to see your placating smile, and then feel completely mortified later about saying something so stupid.
Should I call you? I still have your number. I still remember your house. I remember your kind family. And I remember the old Jess, the one who patiently sat back while I took over our project on Bobwhites like a micromanaging asshole, but I think I want to get to know this new Jess. It’s sort of like I’m seeing you for the first time, again.
Or I could just walk around thinking I could run into you somewhere. Small town, small world. What difference would it make, anyway?
That Girl You Probably Don’t Remember