It is a completely different world. A world with female doctors, a woman running for president and winning the popular vote, men wearing pink t-shirts fighting breast cancer, little girls and boys killing it on the soccer field, female news anchors on every station and just so darn much opportunity. In this environment, it is difficult for a self-proclaimed ugly teenager to stay ugly.
An old high school friend and I are goofing around on Facebook and find him. She dares me to send a friend request. I do, and he has no idea who I am. I am hurt for about 3 seconds because after going to college, getting a degree, getting married, having a kid, getting divorced, being a single parent, teaching kids, seeing my child graduate, retiring from teaching, and fitting in some traveling and new relationships, I still remember him. We start messaging and gradually our texts lengthen. I invite him to my high school reunion (he is one year older) and he agrees to come. I’m a nervous wreck and feel like I have reverted to my former teenage self.
We meet and have both changed, a lot. He is no longer the young Adonis and I am no longer the gawky girl. We talk about those times and I realize something very important. High school had a huge impact on who we would both become. I went on to college dreaming of better things while he enjoyed the fruits of being so darn attractive.
We go to the reunion and my classmates are very surprised to see him again. One comments on how ironic it was that I, of all people, found him. I agree. We have fun and later try to see if there is anything between us. Unfortunately, both of us have traveled too far down our individual paths and neither of us is going to turn around.
We both wonder if we had stayed together if it would have ever worked. I doubt it. Being so attractive, he needed to enjoy all that attention and I needed to pursue my dreams. So maybe things turned out just the way they were supposed to. I now have a new friend who has mad organic gardening skills, hunts and fishes for his own food, is the dog whisperer, can build a house, and I have known since I was 15. Maybe this is our happy ending.
Side note: I recently looked up my “one who got away” from college. He is divorced and has absconded with his clients’ retirement funds. Sometimes there’s a reason they “got away”.