“Hey, I am going to be in New York on a layover for 36 hours. I know it’s been awhile, but I would love to see you.” I stared at the computer for ten minutes, in honor of the years it’s been since I’ve seen him, and then I wrote back. “That would be great! Let’s definitely get a drink and catch up.”
He’s Scottish. He lives in Switzerland. The last time I saw him I was studying abroad in Europe, smitten with his accent and his sweetness. Then I came home, settled back into my life in the States, and we lost touch, as these things go. And then facebook happened, and all of a sudden you are “friends” with every person you’ve ever crossed paths with, some of them meaningful, some not so much. So we’re “friends” but we haven’t exchanged any messages, he’s just a little picture on my list of friends that pop up every once in a while. Of course I’ve wondered about him, what it would be like to see him after all this time, but he lives in Europe, we weren’t going to run into each other on the street. And now, he’s going to be in my city for a brief day and a half, and we’re going to get a drink. A drink- such an inconsequential thing to share for a relationship that once held so much meaning. This is someone who I broke up with because of distance, not because of anything about his character. I have no ill will towards him whatsoever. In fact, when I think of him, see his face in my imagination and hear that fantastic accent that was quite hard to decipher, a smile instantly forms. I’ve secretly always kept a little corner of my heart warm with thoughts of him, but I never thought I’d actually see him again. And now I am. Is this good? You obviously ask, why wouldn’t it be? But it’s only 36 hours, and who knows how I’ll feel when I see him. We’re both single, but does that mean that sparks will still fly, or can ten years quell whatever passion we had as a young couple in love. And is the fact that I’m even thinking this way dangerous? After all, we’re just getting a drink, as two old friends, no one said anything about passion, sparks or any other inflammable devices. But how could I not go there? You’re first love (oh, did I forget to mention that as well?) emails you out of the blue, is dropping into your city (because after all, it is yours) and wants to see you. This is the stuff that bad Kate Hudson romantic comedies are built on, I couldn’t make this up (and I’m not, I promise).
Even so, there is, of course, no way I am not going to see him. I might be self protective and cautious at times, but I’m not crazy. I’m too excited to hear that Scottish lilt and possibly feel the decade-past rush of being young, carefree and in love again, even if it’s just a memory mixed up with fantasy and the reality of the present. For a few hours in a bar, I will forget my pile of bills, laundry, and emails from strangers on a dating website. Watch out Kate Hudson, I’m about to teach you “How to Reignite Passion with an Old Flame in 36 hours”- it’s a little movie I’m about to write.