When I last left off with my Recent Happenings, I wrote about my decision to have lunch with an old flame by the name of Heather. To summarize for those just starting to follow, Heather and I had an on-again/off-again relationship many years ago and haven’t communicated in five years. Just last weekend I got back in touch with her by email, and after a few back and forth messages she asked me to meet for lunch and I agreed.
It’s been months since I’ve had a dream I remembered, but last night I dreamed about Heather. Not about meeting her, but rather just hanging out on a summer day with either her family or friends. Regardless, I didn’t sleep as soundly as I usually do on a Saturday night. This morning I cleaned my place a bit, trying to distract myself from all the thoughts running through my head. Then I spent an unusually longer amount of time getting ready- especially for a lunch date! We were meeting at place that is both a restaurant and a brewery about half way between where we live, which meant we both had to drive over an hour to get there. She texted me when she was on her way there, and I left shortly afterward so we would arrive at the same time. Many, many thoughts were running through my head while I was driving , but I tried to stay focused on taking the advice that I had been given to just simply enjoy the company of an old friend.
I arrived and took a deep breath before entering. I didn’t see her, but Heather was already there, sitting just inside the door waiting for me. As soon as I walked in she jumped up and gave me a hug. She looked fantastic! She said she had just gotten there and that my timing was perfect. Shortly afterward we were seated at our table. I asked her what she had been up to and she jokingly said, “Gosh, in the last five years… a few things here and there.” I laughed! We spent the next couple hours catching up, eating, and having a drink. She asked me about my overseas trip that I took this summer. I went on and on for a while telling her about all the amazing highlights I encountered, on what was the best trip of my life. After I was done rambling, I asked her about her family, which has always been important to her. She filled me in on quite a bit, but there were definitely some occasional breaks in the conversation. In time, it eventually came out that she had been through a lot with her family in the last five years. Most significantly was the passing of her father. When I heard the news my heart sank, and I told her how sorry I was. Here I have been telling all the great things I’ve been up to, and she has essentially taken the weight of her family on her shoulders almost the entire time since we lost touch. I could tell she didn’t want to talk about it further, so the conversation then changed to our careers which are very similar and we had a much lighter mood the rest of the conversation. Later on, I caught her checking her watch and sensed she needed to go. Apparently she had a few errands to run back home and had to get things ready for work for the upcoming week. That may have been truthful, or perhaps she was sensing that I was getting ready to confess my feelings for her and she wanted to end things quickly! Honestly, I think she really did have to leave, but she’s always had an uncanny ability to read me… so I wonder a little bit. We walked out together, and Heather mentioned that we should do this again. I reminded her that I would be visiting some of my family in her area at the end of the month and told her I could meet her then. She said that would be great if I had the time and I told her that I was confident I could find the time. We hugged and parted ways.
My car ride home seemed significantly shorter than the drive there as my head filled with questions. Does she feel the same way I do? Does she just want to renew our friendship? If we keep spending time with each other, would we find we are a good fit? Should I tell her how I feel? Is the timing finally right? Yikes! I got home and texted her that I had a nice time seeing her and thanked her for driving out to see me. She agreed and said she wished we could’ve talked longer. That was nice to hear.
Shortly afterward my mood changed. I kept thinking back to the news Heather shared and I became upset with myself for not being there for her when she could’ve used the support. Guilt began to overwhelm me and I was in the need for something of comfort. Then as if she could read my mind from a hundred miles away, I got a Facebook message from Heather. She apologized for bringing up the subject of the passing of her father and hoped that it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. She also thanked me for going with the flow afterward and keeping the tone of our first meeting upbeat. That made me feel a lot better! I told her that I was glad that she told me because it was a significant life event, and that she could fill me in on more later when she felt ready to do so. It also gave me the chance to let her know that I wished I could have been there for her during that time. She appreciated that and seemed relieved at the same time. We messaged back and forth for a few more minutes and basically agreed that we both looked forward to our next meeting.
I’m very excited about the possibility of what is to come. Perhaps after the years the timing is finally right this time. I’m trying hard not to get to caught up though. We had a nice time catching up today and both want to do it again, so I’m trying to leave it as that. Typically after a first date scenario that isn’t a problem, but when it’s someone you have a history with and have known for a long time it is much more difficult to put your emotions on the shelf. This is pretty uncharted territory for me, so hopefully I’ll find the strength to do what is best.