|Trusting a Subtle Lie (standard:Inspirational stories, 2281 words)|
|Author: Eutychus||Added: May 17 2008||Views/Reads: 1833/915||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Life, death, regrets and new beginnings all explored at a high school reunion.|
“So who was that?” Maddie asked. She had answered the phone ten minutes earlier and had passed it off to her husband when the unidentified caller asked if he was home. During the conversation, Kyle's reactions had grown progressively more anxious and almost agitated at one point, so she was concerned. “A character from high school named Calvin Anders. It took a few minutes for me to remember who he was. Told me he was looking forward to seeing me at the reunion next month.” “Isn't that a little odd?” “I thought so. And even more odd was the fact that he claimed he wanted to make good on an old debt. I had a vague recollection of making a short term loan, but that happened so long ago that I didn't recall either the amount or the reason. I kind of wish he'd left me in the dark on that count.” “I really hate the thought of digging out the yearbooks, so please remember. Wasn't Cal the homecoming king our senior year and Leslie Michaels queen?” If someone had asked him on the street, Kyle would never have been able to remember, but Maddie's recollection jarred a memory so he was able to confirm the facts for his wife. Maddie and Leslie had been close friends until Leslie's father was transferred to an Indianapolis division of the company he worked for. After they moved, he wasn't sure how long the girls had remained in contact. “I tried to maintain ties with her for a couple of years. I know her family found a good church, she had gotten involved with the youth group there, and then she quit replying to my letters. Beyond that, I have no clue what became of her. I'm kind of hoping she makes it to the reunion so we can catch up.” “When I was last in contact with the reunion committee, they said eighty-five percent of the class was planning to attend, so the numbers are in your favor. Weren't she and Cal an item for most of high school?” “Yes they were.” “I wonder...” “Wonder what?” “The loan he wants to repay. Evidently, I loaned him money to pay for an abortion in 1997 when I thought I was helping to pay for the overhaul of a transmission. He gushed about what a lifesaver I had been at a critical moment in his past. He couldn't understand why I thought he had a very sick sense of humor.” “You think Leslie?” “Hard to say, but they were a couple. Do you remember what any of your correspondence centered around?” “Local news mostly. Who was getting married, who was having babies...oh boy. I was sending her emotional landmines. No wonder we lost touch.” “I would suggest treading lightly at the reunion. Especially now,” he said, leaned over on the couch and rubbed her tummy. Her eyes suddenly got very large; she tensed up slightly and looked down at Kyle's hand. As he watched her, he felt the look of wonder he saw on her face transfer to his own. “You're not looking at my hand, are you?” “I just felt movement. Like a faint little flutter, but very definite.” “You'd better give your mom a call.” The dinner portion of the evening was stereotypically lackluster, but the incessant joking about hair loss and weight gain made up for the pedestrian cuisine. The time capsule contained few surprises from a decade earlier, though everyone waxed nostalgic at the consumer price list from 1997 that recorded gasoline at $1.30.9 a gallon. Click here to read the rest of this story (226 more lines)
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