Thursday, January 17, 2019

Microstory 1019: Calvin

Funny story, Viola and I lived in this town our whole lives, but only spoke on one occasion, and it wasn’t anywhere near here. When we were seven years old, our respective families took a tour of Europe. The way my parents tell it, this was not at all planned or coordinated. They had no idea they would run into each other, so it was just a big coincidence. Well, the Woods are very well-traveled, and that was not their first time out of the country, which made it easier for them to adapt their itinerary to ours. My dad can’t work, and my mom doesn’t make that much, but she had a really good year that year, and they wanted to take my sister and I on something really big, so we would have some good experiences. They also wanted us to learn about other cultures, and gain perspective about the world. Anyway, the Woods helped us figure things out. Her dad speaks, like, a hundred languages, so he was a big help. Viola, Pauline, and I spent a lot of time together during that impromptu joint vacation. Ya know, if nothing else, it brought my sister and I closer together. I often look back fondly on those memories. I don’t remember anything we talked about, so I couldn’t tell you much about what kind of person she was, beyond what we all saw just by her walking around school, but I’m still glad it happened. It’s like this little secret amongst us. When we got home, we didn’t tell anyone that it happened. Our families don’t exactly run in the same circles. People like to think there’s nothing that happens in a small town that not everyone knows about, but that’s the case all the time. People have their own lives, with their own friends, and if you don’t have a reason to talk to one another, you won’t. So no one really noticed that we were all out of town at the same time. I don’t think our parents remained friends after that, even though they seemed pretty chummy during. Likewise, Viola and I didn’t talk again either. I never got the impression she didn’t like me, or that she was faking it the whole time we were hanging out. When we would see each other in the halls, we would exchange this knowing look, but we never said a word. I guess that’s what made our relationship so special. It was short, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t regret not getting to know her better. I knew her well enough.

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