I’m immobile. My nervous system is failing to send messages from my brain to my feet. My mouth is dry. I don’t think I could speak, even if I knew what to say. I’ve contemplated this moment in my head a million times, and somehow I still don’t have a game plan. Not that it matters, even if I had one I wouldn’t be able to follow it at this point.
He saw me, I know he did. I could feel his steel blue eyes piercing my skin from across the room. Our eyes met for a brief second, but his face was unreadable, emotionless. He always had an amazing poker face. I never knew what he was thinking, even when we were close. I look away, I can’t meet his gaze. But curiosity gets the better of me, and I look-up again.
My eyes search the room, and I see a flash of his coral blue polo amongst the color spectrum of the crowd. I realize he’s making his way toward me and my heart freezes. We make eye contact again and he motions for me not to move. But I don’t listen, I have to get closer.
And when we reach common ground somewhere in the middle, tunnel vision kicks in and he’s all I see. His tan skin looks worn, but I know that if I could just touch it, it would be soft. He’s smiling, and though it’s as goofy as ever, something about it makes me hold my breath.
I try my best to smile back. There are so many things I want to say, so many things I left unsaid. I can’t even remember the last time we spoke. Once again, I’m immobile. Do we shake-hands, all formal and adult like? Do we high-five like we used to when we were kids? So much time has passed, I don’t know the appropriate step to take.
Luckily, he makes the first move. His hands are open at his sides and he takes a step forward. Somehow I mirror his actions. Then his arms are surrounding me and I rest my head on his chest as he squeezes me tightly. But not too tight. The hug feels foreign, yet somehow familiar at the same time. I realize we’ve never been this close before; we’ve made a point to keep a safe distance our whole lives. And yet here I am, in his arms, all past inhibitions floating away like leaves on the wind.
“It’s been forever,” his voice says right above my ear. “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you, too,” I whisper.
By: Lori Buchanan
Submitted: 11/15/12 at 2:37 p.m.