College Roommate of Yesteryear

Dear Helen,

I only have a vague idea as to where you’re living.  We lost touch about twelve years ago, and I’ve no idea why exactly.  I just remember that we were hoping to meet up when I was in California.  You said LA was too far from your home, and you were too busy, and I said that was okay, that we’d be running all over tourist attractions – the husband, my sixteen year old daughter, thirteen year old son and myself.  But I left our hotel phone number with you.  I didn’t have yours.  I mentioned we’d be spending time on the Santa Monica pier before our flight home on that Saturday.

And so, the Disney and Universal Studios days came and went.  The message light never blinked on our hotel phone.  I held out hope that maybe we’d see each other again after nineteen years on that famous Santa Monica Pier.  Jim and I stood in a conspicuous spot where we could see people walking our way while we watched our kids go on rides.  I pictured a scene like in a movie – Helen Sue spotting me and yelling “Nina” our Spanish nicknames for one another, as we ran and embraced and let time melt away.

It never happened.  It was also the end of our friendship, though I didn’t know it then.  I wrote you saying I was sorry we didn’t get to see each other.  No answer.  Two Christmas cards and two birthday cards were sent by me with no response from you.  I wish you’d let me know what I might have done to cause the brick wall silence.  I don’t think I did anything wrong, but nonetheless wish you’d given me the honor of hearing what you had to say.  The last birthday card I sent, I wrote that it would be my last attempt to get an answer from you. 

I’m still tempted to try and make contact again, but I won’t.  I’ll just have to remember fondly our young days together.  I enjoyed our friendship, and you were like family to me.  We crossed the country together and back to return to the University of Arizona from our home state of New York.  We both had boyfriends named Rick.  We loved the Fidlee Fig and the chimichangas from the Student Union Mexican restaurant.  We joked and laughed alot.  We ate Thanksgiving turkey in our little studio apartment, shutting the curtains against the brilliant Tucson sun to better replicate the Thanksgivings we were accustomed to.  We suffered the indignity and angst together of having our bicycles stolen.  And we were entertained by several nights of the “woman alone” next door who rang her alarm and had helicopters sweeping spotlights on our apartment building’s walls.  We never did find out if this woman’s “door knocker” was real or imagined, but “I’m a woman alone” became our catch phrase that fall.  That and our other fifty-something male neighbor who had a T-shirt & bumpersticker with a local pizza joint’s schtik: “Bonzo’s.  Had a piece lately?”  We got a lot of mileage out of that one.

I’d relish the chance to reconnect, but it’s not up to me.  My address and phone number haven’t changed.  I know you’re still out there as I looked you up on the internet, but only got an imprecise location.  You’re not on social media.  Maybe you’ll stumble across this, though I doubt it.  Afterall, the Santa Monica scenario never played out.  Know that wherever you are, I still care.  I valued our friendship and miss you.  Love, The Nina – Andrea

About andreamarjulie

Just trying to navigate a life circumvented by chronic migraines. Sometimes I write about managing with those, but at other times I am prone to deviate a bit.
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