The New M.E. Generation

The communication kept coming, but basically it remained via email, which started to bother me. I made a few attempts to call him, but it would go to voicemail and then he wouldn’t return my call.

It was that situation again where I felt I was making all the efforts to make anything happen. One early Saturday morning, though, there was a breakthrough. I was still sleeping when he called.

“You’re still in bed? I’ve been up since 8am. I gave breakfast to my kids, dropped them off at their mom’s, jogged for a while, and now I’m headed to the beach for a while. Have something pending to do with my daughter this afternoon.”

I haven’t said much myself and felt I was wasting my morning (and life) all together. “Sounds like an interesting day.” (Is this all I can really say?)

We kept doing the ‘small talk’ and, out of nowhere, I decided to give an explanation of what I felt about him way back then. I don’t know why I did it. I’ll blame it on being half awake or half asleep.

“I think my attraction to you was more that I wished I had what you had. The closeness to your family and intelligence were things I envied. By being with you I hoped those things would become part of my life.”

I had no recollection of how he responded or know if he actually internalized what I expressed. Our conversation had to end abruptly when he received a call from the hospital he works at.

I felt stupid after hanging up. What’s wrong with me? Why do I have to explain myself to him? Sounds like I wanted forgiveness for something I never did.

After all, he was the one who didn’t pay much attention to me at school, continued any contact with me after he graduated, or even after we saw each other years later. And now he’s pretty much behaving in the same way.

I’m giving this situation way too much thought when his actions are giving me the answers.

I was having my coffee when he sent me a photo. He took a selfie from inside his car in which he posed with a wacky face. The message read, ‘my dog took it.’ Guess this is his version of the sense of humor I was wondering about or didn’t knew existed.

The texts continued. ‘Saw this giant stingray while paddling.’ ‘Beautiful day.’ Now this is the beach guy I used to know.

I sort of felt happy for the conversation because I finally got it off my chest. But I didn’t get his side of the whole matter, so this is not yet concluded.

Question is: will that opportunity ever happen?

The rest of the school week continued as usual. I didn’t tell my mom about Johann.

She went back to work after my parents split a few years earlier. They cared about me, but also instilled a sense of independence. In exchange, they were hoping I wouldn’t get into trouble or do anything they might disapprove of. My place was to be in school or related activities after classes, or at home studying.

I was afraid that if they learned of what I did, that trust would be put in question.

But, hey, I was a teenager, and very much looking for some excitement in my life.

Lucky for me, the newspaper advertised (yes, I do read the paper) that Johann’s ship was in town and to be open to the public during the weekend just as he said. There was even a picture of it.

‘Wow, this is so interesting!’ I kept looking at it and wondered why my life couldn’t be this way.

For starters, I was a girl and boys were the ones who could anything and get away with it. Unfortunately that’s how things worked out way back then.

So, what am I doing to do about it?

“Mom, take a look at this!”

While the two guys and I talked about the past days of high school, the guy sitting next to Dina is really working her into his conversation. How committed was he? He had his hand on her thigh.

Say what?? When did that happen? Guess remembering the past got me disconnected. When I come to think about it, yes, it did. It actually made me feel young to be remembered for who I was way back then. Back then when I was just myself, Emma.

Even more, who would have thought that this chance re-encounter made me forget my present reality? To top it all of even more, the guy is still sitting, by himself, at the bar, still staring at me.

I shared a drink with my former alumni when we all noticed that the bar was about to close for the night. I turned to Dina and asked her if she was ready to leave (with him or myself was fine by me). The ‘hand in the thigh guy’ was not letting her go, so I asked Dina what she wanted to do. She chose option #2; he was to accompany her home.

I then asked the guys to give me their business card or something with the hope of keeping in touch in the future.

As soon as I said good-bye to the two guys, the ‘guy at the bar’ jumped from his seat and asked me if he could have my phone number.

Aaah…I was so completely caught off guard that the only thing I could respond was, “could I have yours and I’ll call you?”

He wrote it on the back of the business card, quickly introduced ourselves, and off we went (Dina and me, ‘hand in the thigh guy’ included).

We all walked to my car and I noticed that these two were holding hands. ‘Nice,’ I thought. Wonder what will happen to Dina and me. Well, in my case, that all depends if I make the call.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Dina!” said I while trying to conceal my excitement. “Isn’t the guy with the glasses Erik?”

“Who??” said she totally lost of whom I was talking about.

“Erik, the Swedish guy we met at the bar way back then. You and I met up with some of your friends and this guy asked me out to dance, and I thought he was part of the group, and after we left the place he called me at my mobile, and we both jumped hysterically inside my car, remember?”

Dina carefully looked over her shoulder while her mental memory stick was doing the research, but by the look in her face I could tell the data was not retrieved.

“Never mind, I’m sure it’s him. I can recognize those frames from a mile away,” I continued.

I got close to Dina’s two girlfriends and gave them a full rundown of the incident to which we all ended up laughing about. Dina did too but didn’t convince me that she indeed remembered him or the incident.

Well, I don’t blame her. It has been over a year and Erik was one of the first guys I met after my break-up, and after being with (what’s his name) for so long, I was totally clueless on how to face life, especially men, all on my own.

And now that all this time has passed through my life, including many other men, I wonder this: if my encounter with Erik had occurred today, how would I have handled it?

Now that’s some food for thought.

et cetera