Compelling how that headline’s quotation marks can express such contrasting sentiments. When specifically connected with this post’s Part 1, it involves words I don’t really mean; i.e., signifies my shunning days of yore, superficial, dreary students. Yet, when associated with Part 2, it refers to an actual quotation; words which showcase a long ago, meaningful, far too fleeting friendship with a delightful classmate (more about her in a moment).
BTW, if you happened to miss Part 1, my following catch-up synopsis should prove adequate.
Of late, I’ve been flouting bygone, classmate acquaintances’ persistent messages (logged on my landline answering machine / lodged within my snail mailbox); thwarting their attempts to invite me to
OUR… correction… THEIR 50th Class Reunion. Here’s why…
- From the 4th grade, onward, bullies had rendered me a social pariah
- As such, I have absolutely boycotted all of THEIR previous reunions
- Past reunion organizers could not track down THEIR other outcasts
- If “lepers”, such as I, aren’t gonna to show up, why bother attending?
Even so… truth be told… I certainly would love a second chance at transforming that above mentioned fleeting friendship into something more forever. Alas… long sigh… No Way On Earth could that ever, possibly happen.
You see, a delightful young Miss had officially joined the Class of ’72 at September’s outset of the 2nd Grade. Assigned to the desk directly in front of mine, on that Day-1, she spun around to introduce herself. Tho she had certainly needed no assist from beauty, Debbie’s charming presence did get further enhanced by her shoulder length wavy blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes and beguiling smile.
And that was just for starters. From each school day, onward, she’d turn to face me, remind me, “We meet again.” Wow, what an original expression from someone so young!
Regrettably, that was not for long. Debbie was destined to complete her formal education ten years too early; “graduate” in a most unexpected, unconventional manner when her oncologist meted out his death sentence diagnosis.
Sadly, in that bygone era, schools didn’t, yet, have grief counselors in their employ; delegating such a duty to our teacher, Mrs. M. Her sixty seconds, tops, somber announcement was all we could rely on to console us.
The problem with such a scenario… developmentally speaking, seven and eight-year-olds have yet to fully grasp the finality of death. Personally, up to that very moment, my only previous experience was as an even less aware six-year-old; my ambivalence to my maternal grandmother’s passing on, due, mainly, to the multiple hundreds of miles between Minnesota and Michigan; the expense of travel keeping us apart (my school teacher father was working for peanuts).
Returning now to the life that Debbie might have had… to this day, I cannot help but wonder. Had she remained healthy, been allowed a full lifespan, what might our friendship have become? Considering how well we had gotten along, might the phrase childhood sweethearts have been appropriate?
Returning now to the life that Debbie had been denied… due to the custodian’s next day, get ‘er done efficiency, my classroom’s far left column, where I was situated, was now shortened by one desk; that omission advancing me forward. Somehow, none of this seemed right. In essence, I was now seated at Debbie’s desk; and even worse, would never, again, ear witness her cheerful greeting… unless…
Theologians’ claims of an afterlife do prove true. If so, once my final day on Earth arrives, perhaps I will finally be granted my second chance at transforming a fleeting friendship into something more FOREVER?
I do intend to train my ears… correction… fine tune Eternity’s equivalent telepathy, which will permit me to discern Debbie’s in good spirits, three welcoming words…
“We meet again!”
Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!