I recently bumped into an old crush, Jerry. We met in high school and lived in different cities. We participated in the same “enrichment” program for geeks who needed stimulation. Jerry was cute, had a twinkle in his eye and a wonderful chortle-laugh. I immediately developed a crush and was thrilled to learn that he wasn’t intimidated by smart females. I didn’t have to hide my intelligence. I’m no genius but I did qualify for MENSA (never joined). We were friends and communicated on occasion (no internet in those days), long distance calls were costly.
We stayed in touch through college and hung out when I was in my final year (he’d already graduated). I don’t consider it dating because we both were seeing other people at the time and never kissed. We hugged but there was no spark. An intellectual match. I am glad that we didn’t try to force a physical relationship. One day he just stopped returning my phone calls. Fell off the planet. I was angry for a long while. We didn’t fight and he never indicated that he didn’t want to hang out. An irritating mystery. Why do men just stop calling? Another facet of cowardice.
A friend of mine, Sally, shared a mutual friend with Jerry. She heard through the mutual friend that Jerry had gotten married. This occurred about fifteen years ago. I wasn’t angry anymore and honestly hoped it was a good match for him. Ironically, I went to a meeting the next week and sat next to his wife. She was really nice and I didn’t tell her that I knew Jerry. Even though I hadn’t dated her hubby, she might have reacted in a possessive manner or given him a hard time.
Jerry had always been thin and when I saw him at a conference about four years ago he had only gained a bit of weight. He kept staring at me at the conference so I stayed close to friends because it sort of freaked me out. However, he now has developed quite a belly. I was rather shocked that he gained a lot of weight so quickly. I realized that he no longer is wearing a wedding ring. Not everybody does but I suspect that he is now divorced since he spoke in the singular and used to wear a ring.
We chatted and conversation stayed light since we were in his place of work. He still has the same laugh and quick wit but the eye twinkle is gone. Maybe it was because he was at work or I no longer have a crush on him. Does the hardships of life take away the twinkle? Still no spark between us. I didn’t give him my phone number but he did email me for work. I don’t expect any further contact. Sally urged me to ask him out for coffee. That would be a bit odd. We are different people after so many years of no contact, I don’t know if we could be friends anymore. I’d be afraid of him suddenly not returning my phone calls again.
Time changes people.