Hello Again

Alyson Sawyer

There they are. It doesn't take me any time to recognize them even if it has been a long time since I saw them. I had coffee with Nico once, right after college. She was seeing a guy, what was his name? It escapes me.

Looking at them standing there, Nico perfectly fashionable although her hair is a bit disordered and I can see hints she's been crying, and Patricia exactly what a mom should be, I wonder what the heck happened to me. What happened to all of us?

My life since I last saw them speeds through my mind like a movie on fastforward. Good things, bad things. Nothing that stands out as amazing or fabulous. Just for a second I want to turn around and hope the taxi is still out there. Better, crawl back into bed with Scott and pretend that we have the life we are upposed to have.

"Alyson!" Patricia had always called me that once we hit high school. She told me Aly was a name for a girl, Alyson for a woman. It hadn't quite made sense to me. I still feel like an Aly.

Mentally I steel myself, then smile and cross the space between us. These were my best friends, the two girls I knew better than I knew myself back then. Today, they look familiar and yet they feel like strangers. I suppose they are strangers.

"It is so good to see you Nico, Patricia! It has been way too long." I don't ask why we never see eachother or something silly like that. We just don't. In that moment standing in our old high school, though, it feels dumb. Why don't we get together and at least have coffee or dinner every so often? We should.

"Come on, Aly, get registered so we can go in." That was Nico, her voice a little thick. Definitely crying. This close I could see tiny smudges of mascara around her eyes, see the tenseness in her jaw. Signs only Patricia and I would know. I touch Nico's arm like we are still best friends, like I still know all her problems and she knows all of mine. I feel her stiffen a bit and I pull away at the reminder that things have changed.

I smile wryly at Patricia who is looking at Nico in concern, then pick up my package and name tag.

I just hope I can get through this without blurting out that I'm not in love with my boyfriend. That would be awkward. True though. I just wish I knew what to do.

I sort of wish Nico and Patricia were still my best friends so I could tell them and know that they would help. It makes me remember the time that Nico started the rumour about Cam Schmitd when he refused to ask me to the grade 10 dance. I wonder if he'll be here?

"Okay, let's go." I'm trying to be cheerful, trying to pretend that it doesn't feel weird to be here. It makes me feel like nothing has changed, but I know that so much has.

The End

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