Our phone-based reunion involved an intense three-hour crash course covering our lives.
Mike was married on the island of Oahu in 2006. He met his wife, Susie, while stationed in Korea and upon receiving notice of transfer, proposed. They were both granted contracts on the island and after moving there, decided it was the perfect place for their nuptials. Their story had Lifetime made-for-television movie written all over it. Mine, well, it wasn’t exactly script-worthy.
I gave him the overview: graduated college, returned to the city, got a sweet gig teaching high school English in Podunk, Missouri, left after two years to pursue writing, and now, sitting in my house, unable to pay the bills, I was regretting that decision.
We talked it out until the only topic left untouched was my love life. I, a little over two months out of the grip of Ike, wasn’t exactly eager to discuss love, so I dodged the brutal reality of my past and nonchalantly explained that I was recently single…and still uncomfortable with the independence my status provided.
Mike called regularly for the next week. He kept me busy with entertaining stories about his worldly adventures; I provided strategically timed comic relief (when signs pointed at him asking about my relationships). We didn’t discuss me. I was okay with that. The narrative I provided of my friends’ lives qualified as good enough stories that it didn’t appear he was missing much from me.
And then Mike informed me that he would be coming home in two weeks for a wedding. Susie couldn’t come into town but he had already RSVP-ed for two. Mike asked me if I would go with him. The bride and groom were both people I knew from high school. The bride and I shook our pom-poms together for two years on dance team. We weren’t close enough for me to be invited independently, but we still kept in contact. I asked if Susie would mind; he seemed certain she wouldn’t. Excited about the opportunity to see Mike, I accepted the invitation.
Bonus? James’ cousins would be there (one would be a bridesmaid). They’d surely let him know that I was there…questions were still being fired at him from his family…you had better believe I was going to look smoking hot, just to make him feel a little more like an idiot when they blabbed that they’d seen me.
Of course, I didn’t really think he felt like an idiot. I hadn’t heard from him in a week and a half.