I had not shared my separation and plans for divorce from my first husband with my oldest friend. I felt like a failure and didn’t know how to call her – or anyone else for that matter, and tell her the marriage was over. She called one day and basically just asked if my husband had moved out. I suppose there were subtle hints. I had changed the message on the phone. My friend was sorry of course, but that was a brief part of the conversation. What she asked next was if it would be okay for her brother to call me. I was a little surprised at her suggestion, but not uninterested. We had all gone to high school together. He had mostly been her annoying older brother. After I had moved away to go to college, my family attended one of their other sibling’s weddings. It was a magical night. He and I shared our first dance and he transformed into a young man in front of my eyes.
While on the phone with his sister, I remembered how I felt about him at the wedding so many years ago and his subsequent visits to see me at college. Eventually we lost contact as he lived far away and we both met other people, my first husband included. I wondered how he had turned out. He was currently living in Manhattan. What could a phone conversation hurt? My friend said he had continued to ask about me over the years in a “different way” than he asked about her other friends. I felt flattered.
For the first Christmas that my soon to be ex husband and I would spend apart, I would not be with my family. I had spent a good long weekend with my mother after the break up and decided not to head back for the holidays. Instead I would spend it with my friend and her family. I felt the need to reconnect with her and my mid western roots. Excitingly enough her brother would be flying in from NYC for Christmas as well. We’d see each other Christmas day, when we were both at yet another sibling’s home. He and I did end up having a couple of phone conversations prior to this holiday trip. He was intelligent and charming on the phone and I was looking forward to seeing him.