It had been twenty five years. She walked into the quickly planned reunion forty pounds overweight and without a haircut. The former meant she could not strut as she wished and the latter meant she could not spike her hair just so.
He greeted her immediately. "He" was the handsomest boy ever, at age fourteen, fifteen, sixteen: debonair and mysterious and soft and safe. He was equally dashing fifteen years later in California, hosting her and her friend for a week while she nursed a broken heart.
"She always liked you," her friend told him in front of her.
He shook his head. "Why didn't you tell me? I liked you too. I had no idea."
She shuffled back to then, her a gawky funny girl who had no idea either.
Later in the kitchen he smiled. "In California too..." His voice trailed off.
"I would have," she grinned.
"I would have too," he grinned back.
"Next time you're in town call me. We'll all meet for dinner."
"Yes," he said, "And next time you're in California, call me. I'll like to meet your partner."
Who knew? she thought. All this time I believed I was unattractive and maybe that wasn't even true. I wish I knew that then.
Ah well, better late than never.