I’ve graduated college with one week until my class reunion. Has it really been five years? Seems like yesterday I sat with Alec at the senior class picnic, splashing him with water after eating. If only I had known what that night held.
I dread seeing Alec the most. I don’t care if most of my classmates are married with good jobs while I’m single with no boyfriend and no real job. The pain of Alec’s comments five years ago almost stopped me from even going. “You may be the prettiest girl at Jefferson High, Sandee, but next year I’ll be playing for a college team. There’ll be better girls to choose from.”
I don’t know what I would’ve done if Collin hadn’t been in his yard when Alec dropped me off that night. I’d always thought of the boy next door as my brother’s friend, not mine, until he joined me on the front step as I cried my eyes out. He didn’t say much that night, he was just there. He spent the summer encouraging me. I probably wouldn’t have gone to college if it weren’t for Collin. “Choose a college based on your goals, not someone else’s.” I found a good drama program at an out-of-state college. I haven’t seen or heard from Alec since.
I got a phone call today for a second interview at the Children’s Theater. It wouldn’t be the most prestigious job in the theater, but it would get my foot in the door and I do want to work with kids. I want this job.
Also got a call from my brother, Jacob, regarding picking me up at the airport tomorrow for the reunion on Saturday. Mom saw an ad for a drama coach at a local theater. I know she would like me to move back, but it’s not what I want. I haven’t been home much over the last five years, and never for more than a long weekend. Just haven’t been willing to face the humiliation of not being good enough for Alec. I’m sure he did well in college ball and perhaps even went on to the pros. I stopped paying attention to football and have no idea if he made the draft or not.
Jacob said he talked to Collin, and he asked about me. He’s never missed a Christmas or birthday card, and has even sent occasional emails over the last five years. I need a few more friends like Collin. None of the guys I knew at school cared about me as a person the way Collin did. If he had asked me out that summer, I would’ve gladly gone. Instead, he repeatedly told me to wait until I no longer hurt over Alec before I dated anyone.
Last night’s class reunion couldn’t have gone better! I’ve not laughed that hard in a long time. And the exciting news of everyone’s lives! Becky and James are married with two delightful little girls. James works hard to provide, but they are so happy together. Alyssa, so quiet and studious in high school, is a deejay on the radio.
The biggest shock of the night was Alec. He looked like he’d aged ten years instead of five. Turns out, he didn’t get to play football at State. Ineligible due to grades most of the time, he also had a few run-ins with the law. The loser had the nerve to ask me to dinner, to “pick up where we left off in high school.” I don’t think so.
This morning’s church service was better than the reunion. Collin, now a seminary student and the guest speaker, talked about integrity and living our faith in front of other people. Every point he made in his sermon this morning, he practiced in how he helped me through that summer after high school.
I talked to Collin after church and he’s going to start an internship at a church in my city next month. Not the church I regularly attend, but I have friends there.
In the two weeks since the reunion, I have enjoyed reconnecting with Collin. I’ve learned he’s liked me all along, but didn’t want to push. He starts his internship on Monday, July 1, the same day I start work at the Children’s Theater. He moves into an apartment tomorrow, and then we are going out for dinner. I can’t wait.
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
“Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.” Proverbs 13:6 (NIV)
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