Part 1 (of 3)
I arrived at my old high school well after the reunion was in full swing. It had been over 10 years since I stepped on the campus, and very little had changed. Oh some of the buildings looked newer and the paint fresher, but the old under currents were still there. All the old memories came back once I set foot on the grounds, the good times, the bad times, the triumphs.... and the regrets. I walked closer to the gymnasium looking at the tacky decorations and the garish Class of 95 signs adorning the buildings. Our original 10 year reunion had been canceled due to lack of interest, but someone had worked up the idea the reschedule it for this year and apparently enough people had decided to come.
I still wasn't sure what i was doing here. Most of my time in high school had been devoted to getting out of it and moving on in the world. I hadn't exactly been picked on while in school, I just was there, occupying space. Neither important enough to remember, nor lame enough to not be forgotten. The only person from high school I still talked to was my friend Jess, and he sure wasn't coming tonight.
I sighed as I pulled open the door to the gym and walked to the greeters table. One of the classes student body was there handing out name badges. I didn't remember him, even after reading his name card and I guess I didn't strike a bell either, he numbly handed me my red rimmed Hello, My Name Is badge and I scrawled my name on it. He turned and started walking to a girl I recalled being a cheerleader and ignored me. I affixed the badge to my shirt and headed toward my usual gathering point at any party, the wall nearest the drinks table.
I had just poured myself a plastic cup full of lukewarm punch when I saw her. Or rather, heard her. That throaty laugh hadn't changed in 10 years, and I turned toward the sound. I couldn't kid myself after I saw her, I knew the reason I had come, I knew the reason I had returned to this place after all these years. I had come back to see her again.
I tossed the punch back in a single gulp and walked towards her. Whatever jackass she was talking to had turned to greet someone else and I knew this had to be my chance. I came up behind her and said,
She turned around and a smile filled her face. "MIKE!"
Emily threw her arms around me in a hug and at that moment, I knew I could die happy.
End of Line.