She kept checking her wrist-watch, time didn't seem to pass. Patience is a virtue, but a virtue she lacked. And as usual, a five minute wait felt like eternity.
Whatever she would be though, she knew she wouldn't be late - it wasn't an option, it wasn't possible. Eventually, the cab parked. She matched the address on her invite to that written on the rusty old plate.
''Oh yes, here.''
She handed the man his fee and watched him drive away.
The day was at it's end, the clouds curtaining down by the minute. The sweaty palms, quivering legs or lip biting never registered in her mind, it was her hopes for the evening that kept her thinking.
She'd walked these same stairs up to that gate, walked this very carpet up to those hallways for years- she could never forget it even if she’d tried. But also, she'd seen them enough to never really notice them.
The hall was empty; the stage all done, the tables made, the benches and court cleaned and 'Reunion: Class of 2001' hanging as the banner.
'The basketball court hasn't changed,’ she thought to herself. But of course it had, so much had changed that she just didn't want to notice it.
Her footsteps echoed throughout,
‘’I guess no one will show up.’’
"Wake up, man. Since when are you sleeping here?"
"Well, it was si..... It's nine! When-"
"Hey! It's been so long!"
Oh her ribs ached- whether it was for the hug that paid off for the last 11 years or the wooden bench she'd fallen asleep on, she didn't know. But well, it didn't matter. One by one, all her ribs and vertebrae ached- but she couldn’t care less. The hugs, the laughter, the old faces she'd missed; those who hit her when they laughed or hit her when she laughed- her dear old friends, they had all come. For a while, she'd thought she'd returned to high school.
But soon, the children and wives, husbands and colleagues developed onto the picture - she suddenly realized how it all had changed.
'High school never ends' or does it? The background music didn't seem to agree with her.
Was the fact that everyone had so much to tell, so much that's new to laugh about, so much for her to see and say: ''Omg, is that really you?'' good or was it bad?
Maybe it was true, she was disappointed that her 'dear old friends' weren't in existence anymore- they'd become new people. But they'd also become happier people; people with more in life, more to live for, more to do - people who'd believed the last 11 years have paved the way to their betterment, people who didn’t need her anymore to live their great lives.
'Maybe it was good after all,' or that's what she'd decided to believe.
If she hadn't noticed this, like she'd hadn't noticed so much, maybe she wouldn't leave the party so early, she wouldn't be the heading home with a heavy heart, she wouldn't have fallen off the stairs and hurt her memories. But ‘Everything happens for the better’ and so she believed- memories of all before the last 11 years were lost for her betterment.