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Dear Stranger

I was always an introvert. I was a super shy kid and even off at college at 18, living away from home, I would prefer to stand back and observe others as it was hard to jump into any given situation. I was considered "pretty" but I would look at the ground if a boy I liked talked to me..super awkward and afraid. I met HIM for the first time when my brother drove down with a group of his friends from their college, a few hours to the north to hang out that day. My brother and I had always been super close and it made me feel pretty special that he and his friends wanted to hang out with me. We went to the beach and got some food etc..nothing too crazy. My college, unlike theirs, was in a "fun" "hippie" kinda town. Honestly, I was barely aware of HIM that focus was on another guy who was more of my opposite, super outgoing and friendly. But ya, I was aware of HIM...HE was always taking pictures...(many years later I would find them in a photo album in HIS closet...they were all taken from a distance but I was in many of them..).

Life went on after college...a few years, back in my hometown, my brother invited me to Johnny Rockets to meet up with one of his old friends. WHO??? Was it the outgoing friendly guy? wasn't that guy. It was HIM. I got the impression that HE wanted to meet up with me and my brother was the arranger here. To this day, I'm not sure.

There was something there between us...something I had never experienced before. Time kind of froze and I guess we were actually there for over 3 hours..My brother had put his head down and had fallen asleep on the table while we talked. So many random mouth hurt from smiling.

We started writing letters, a lot of letters. Then it was phone calls...then trips back and forth as HE was working on a post grad degree.

Seven years of this. Off and on. Always long distance.

Then HE requested to do his post grad program in the same state that I lived in for his first choice and he got it! The distance between us was reduced to 2 hours driving down from 5 hours flying time.

HE was my person. I was sure of this. Until he wasn't any more...

I got pregnant. It was an accident..pure and simple. I was ecstatic when the test my friends convinced me to take had a positive result. I was also terrified. My parents were supportive of me and any decision I chose to make.

HE absolutely was not on board. Having a baby would ruin his career plans most definitely. Ya so you can imagine I went from the highest high to the lowest low...I ultimately decided to terminate my pregnancy as I didn't want to bring a child into the world knowing that her father didn't want her.

So many tears, I haven't ever cried so much in my life even since those days..

Two weeks later, HE ended our relationship. Looking back, HE was terrified. HE doubted me. HE doubted my intentions.

I tried to close myself off from HIM. It never lasted. HE found little ways to creep back into my life, even from a distance.

I gave him several opportunities back then to open the door so to speak. Nothing.

It has been about 40 years now. We stay in touch. Just emails..a few lines here and there.

I promised myself back then no phone calls. No meeting in person. No crossing any lines by any stretch of the imagination. Somehow he follows the same rules...

I always wonder, if events in life happen for a reason, WHY did I have to meet HIM at all? This is something I never figured out..and maybe I never will.

I am lucky though. LUCKY I got to know HIM. LUCKY I had this experience. LUCKY that I am still able to call him a FRIEND.

Thanks for listening.

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