Saturday, March 15, 2008
Today's prompt from Bluestalking reader: Old Friend From Far Away
I was late, again. I had been late leaving, had stayed too long and now it was late; much too late for me to be coming in on such a blustery cold evening. Before even taking off my coat, I turned the kettle on for a hot cup of tea to de-thaw myself. I tossed my gloves on the table. Tomorrow when I ‘m late again I won’t be able to find them. My scarf is now laying on the back of the couch. I had taken off my shoes at the door, so at least I’ll be able to find them. As I walked into the bedroom I took off my coat, jeans and shirt and pulled on a warm fuzzy pair of sweat pants and a sweater. That’s when I saw it. There in the corner blinking for my attention.
I walked over and pushed the button. After informing me that I had one new message, I heard a voice that I hadn’t heard in 16 years. An old friend from far away, who had called to see if I was that Carolina Wilson and was fairly sure after listening to my out of breath, rushing around message that he had surely found that Carolina Wilson. He was going to be in town for the next two days and could I call him at the following number. He was staying at the Marriot and would really love to see me.
I picked up the phone to immediately call him back when the kettle began to whistle. I looked up to see the clock which said 11:35 and thought it would probably be best if I waited until the morning to call him and put the phone down. As I went in to make my tea I thought of the past; who we were and how things used to be. I thought of what had happened and the time that had passed and wondered, worried really, if he would think I had become who I had hoped to be or if I was still a poser. I still felt like a poser. Deep down I had a suspicion that this life I had made was just a house of cards and someday, someone would reveal that I was not who I claimed to be. That I really didn’t have what it took.
I drank my tea and went to bed and tried to read but couldn’t stop thinking about him, or rather me and what he would think. I had read of his success, heard all the stories, good and bad. I missed the days and nights we used to share and wondered about him. What would bring him to this part of the country? Why hadn’t we reconnected years ago? Why does he want to see me?
It was almost early morning when I finally fell asleep and I awakened at 6:40 by the blaring of the alarm clock. Getting out of the bed I reached for the phone but thought it was probably too early so I went and took my shower, made some coffee, read the paper. When I looked up it was 8:42 and I was late for work. I flew out of the house, without my gloves or my scarf. Was late to the office, and of course all hell had broken loose even before I’d gotten there. The day flew by in a blur. I had thought of calling him a couple of times but had left the number on the nightstand.
I got home around 7:15 and there was a second message. He had dinner plans but hoped we could at least talk or hopefully meet before his flight the next morning. Could I call him and let him know if I would like to come over for a drink later, or meet for breakfast, his flight left at 9:30, so it would have to be early?
I wondered what to wear; I thought going over this evening would be really nice. I was really tired and thought I’d just lay down for a couple of minutes and then call him back. I woke up and looked at the clock, unbelievably it was 1:00. Maybe I could meet him at the hotel. I should try to get there at 7:00 so I set my alarm and worried myself back to sleep.
Of course I was late and when I got to the hotel he was gone. I was sad and yet a little secretly relieved. He would not be disappointed with me because he would not know how it had all turned out. I could go on pretending that I really was good at who I was and what I did.