Last night, my dreams turned to Lesh, my high school heart: the one fiance I fully claim. His real name isn’t Lesh. When I was nineteen, I wrote a story for him and gave his character the nickname. Whenever I think of the real man (increasingly rare outside the dream world), I think of him as his character.
I lost track of that story. It was several chapters with many more waiting to be written. It’s likely buried in computer files, or even the paper files cluttering my mom’s house at the other end of the country. Wherever it is doesn’t matter; I remember the plot and the emotions behind it. If it needs to be written, it will be.
My dream: Lesh had been hired on at my company — in my department, on a team close to my desk. All I had to do was stand and look over and there he would be.
He recognized me right away (the only thing that’s changed since high school is my natural eye color), but after the initial flicker of recognition, he pretended not to. And I did the same.
We were at the company’s Christmas party and somehow ended up next to each other in the same line. Up close, I could see his wedding ring, so my hopes that his beautiful wife ran of with the mechanic were dashed. He looked everywhere else, but I stared him down until his eyes met mine — his gorgeous eyes that defy color by being every color at once.
We finally started talking, not about the past that doesn’t matter anymore but about the little things that were happening now. We avoided the subjects of his wife and my son. We talked about nothing special and ended up all right.
It’s absurd that two people from such a small high school would end up working for the same company in the same obscure curve of the country. I’ve only seen Lesh twice in the last ten years. Our school was so tiny that our reunion was actually a celebration of the school being open for a quarter century. All graduating classes were there with their families and barely filled the gym. I had only been out of high school for two years then, and I had my one-year-old with me. Lesh never said a word and only looked at me once. The other time was a mutual friend’s wedding. There was an equal amount of silent treatment, and he didn’t bother looking at me.
I deserved the coldness. The breakup was bad timing, and I lied to him with the hope that hating me would heal him quicker. When I started writing his story, it was mostly to finally tell the truth: I didn’t stop loving him, and I was going to marry him someday.