When I see Jenny at the theater I can’t take my eyes off her. It’s not that she’s stunningly beautiful, though she is perky and fresh, full of youthful energy.
The thing is: she reminds me of my best friend from high school, who remained my best friend for years after that as well. Though I can’t quite put my finger on the resemblance.
Kelly was taller than me, of course, a good head taller. Perhaps not embarrassed about the difference in our heights, but always aware of it. This new acquaintance is my height, and polite enough. Her eyes shine as Kelly’s did, her glasses are similar.
But Jenny is a bit formal with me. When she’s talking to women her own age, her body language is looser, more spontaneous. She probably imagines she’s supposed to act somewhat distant around a gray-haired lady like myself.
I’m dying to tell Jenny why I’m riveted any time I see her crossing the room. In fact, I’d love to confide in her how dear Kelly was to me and how I miss having her in my life, how sad I am that contact with Kelly has dwindled as the years have passed.
But how would this revelation affect Jenny? It has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with me. Were I to open up to her like that, she’d probably start avoiding me on those nights we’d both signed up to volunteer at the theater.
And even if I did disclose to her why my cheeks tinge with red when I’m near her, I’d still be at the same place I am now: regretting the loss of a friend.
published 1 June 2013