Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ghosts from the Past

Every since I can remember Michelle talked about her love for the sunshine state. She was obsessed with palm trees, the warm weather, the beaches, even though she grew up in New York.
Briefly in her early twenties she moved to Palm Beach. Due to circumstances beyond her control she moved back north a year later. She always talked about returning to Florida one day and last summer had started looking at condos.
Ironically, around the same time Andy and I were breaking up, she had an unfortunate and puzzling ending to an old friendship/former flame occur. I never knew JSR’s name, but throughout the years I remember her talking about him. She would visit him for long weekends and even though they had a long distance relationship they would talk every night.
Occasionally they would lose touch, but always find one another again. What they were exactly I'm not sure and I'm not sure Michelle knew either. But, after one night of poor judgment and drinking they stopped talking. This was four years ago.
That was until one day last spring when she received an email from him that simply said, "Hope your well." She knew that he was now married with two kids. She didn't think any harm could come from chatting online with an old friend and she was also curious as to why he had reconnected with her now.
Over the next several months, they casually talked online. While the conversations now were strictly PG, she found herself once again enjoying their talks. As usual she continued to visit Florida every couple months. There were multiple failed attempts to meet for drinks. In hindsight perhaps they were warning signs. During a brief visit last fall they finally did meet. He had wanted to introduce her to his new wife and their child. Slightly odd in an Alanis Morissette way, but still she decided she wanted to see him, the new family. She no longer was in love with him and was truly happy for him and his new life. She had even sent baby gifts to them. They met at a cafe and all seemed well. While the conversation was slightly odd. More ideal chitchat about topics that she and him rarely discussed she was glad they had met even if it was for only fifteen minutes.
What happened a few days later, I doubt anyone saw coming. She never did find out why he wanted to meet that day or why he had contacted her in the first place, but three days later she got an email from him that said, "We can no longer be friends. I'm sorry. Have a great life."
She apparently had been naive to think that the past could be forgotten and that being friends in the present was possible.

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