It was around midday today when I was working at my desk, and a Facebook direct message popped up onto my phone. It was from someone who I was good friends with, perhaps potentially even a little bit more, in high school, who I hadn’t seen since high school graduation in June 2004, so 17+ years now. He said he was in New York for a quick trip and was actually leaving tomorrow and realized I was here, so he asked if he could see me. It was a happy, pleasant surprise, so I checked my calendar and suggested we meet up this early evening for tea.
We met up and chatted for about an hour, and it felt so funny but happy. I have lots of fond memories of hanging out with this old friend from high school. He had feelings for me and expressed them openly, and while we did hang out frequently and even went to a winter ball event together, I never really reciprocated or acted on anything since I knew he wasn’t really a fit for me both emotionally or intellectually. That sounds kind of snooty, but I knew what I wanted, and he was definitely not the person for me. It also didn’t really help that there were plenty of rumors during high school that he was closeted and likely gay (and, well, since then, as an adult, has “come out” and is now openly homosexual). Since graduation, we’d had zero contact. The most “contact” we’d ever had was “liking” or “reacting” to each other’s Facebook posts, and that was really it. So it was a total surprise when he actually reached out to meet up.
It was like a trip down memory lane, as corny as that sounds. We talked high level about things that have happened since high school. He admitted he’d been closely following pretty much ALL my Facebook posts since high school, as he thought about me often and wondered how I was doing. He knew about my boyfriends, my travels, my wedding and current partner, my brother’s passing, all my AFSP fundraising. He knew I was still closely in contact with two of my best friends from high school, who also used to be friends with him.
“When I look back at all the guys and girls I used to date or had a thing for, you always stand out to me,” he said, thoughtfully. “Even though we never really officially dated, you were always special to me, so I think about you often. I just hoped you were doing well.”
It was touching to hear this, but it also felt strange at the same time… to think that someone who was once close to you in the past but has kept quite the distance still thinks about you often, keeping a laser focus on all your social media posts, and still holds you close to their heart. It’s not like he was never able to directly message me or reach out in some way; it would have been so easy to do that given Facebook, but he just chose not to. I barely even knew what to say in response; I just smiled and said I appreciated his thoughts and well wishes.
He said that since his sister is living up in Toronto now that he’d have more opportunities to come to the East Coast, so he’d like to come to New York more often. I couldn’t believe it when he shared that this was not only his first trip to New York, but also his very first time on the east coast of the U.S.! I’m not sure we have much in common, but it would still be nice to see him for old time’s sake moving forward.
If I thought I would see him again, though, I never imagined it would be when I was pregnant. It was pretty hilarious and he seemed pretty happy for me. Everyone is happily looking forward to Pookie Bear’s arrival.