Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
***Collaboration of Kit McCallum and Balladeer***
The invitation came by mail – an unexpected find,
Her Alma Mater had to be the last thing on her mind,
The bright red flyer boasted 20 years to date and more,
A lifetime since they all had been “The Class of ’84”.
A list of names accompanied the celebration plans,
A “Who’s Who” of the days of yore – the cliques, the groups, the clans;
“I wonder how they tracked me down?” she pondered to herself,
Then went to find her yearbook, caked in dust upon a shelf.
The day was long and he was tired but smiling happily.
It's easier to deal with when you own the company!
He thought of words that his old high school teacher used to say,
“Be kind to geeks ... odds are that you will work for one some day."
He sat down with the mail and eyes widened with surprise.
He laughed at the coincidence that lie before his eyes.
The memory of his teacher's words that came to him before
And now a reunion notice of his class of '84!
She brushed the dusty yearbook off, and poured herself a drink,
A little early in the day, but it may help her think;
“Let’s set the mood.” She mused out loud, “Let’s hear Duran Duran.”
Some ZZ Top, Steve Miller, and Bob Segar was the plan.
She set the music low, and heard “The Reflex” start to play,
Then settled in her easy chair to get this underway.
“A little trip down memory lane!” she followed with a groan,
It wasn’t something she had done, since she’d been on her own.
She ran her hand along the cover ... “Heeeeere we go.” she said,
Then started turning pages with a twinge of fear and dread.
“Those WERE the days,” she sighed, “I had my life ahead of me.”
She'd changed so much in twenty years, it was a sight to see.
One picture caught her smiling with her pom-pom’s raised in pride,
Another showed the Prom Queen, with her boyfriend by her side;
“Some friend,” she thought in hindsight, “Look how happy we all were.”
“Now THAT's a crock,” she sighed aloud, to no one else but her.
The invitation in his hand now made him reminisce
About those carefree high school days he never thought he'd miss.
He'd never been too popular. He hadn't been a jock.
He threw himself into his books and studied 'round the clock.
Though not considered ugly, no girl swooned when he passed by.
He was thought of as the worm and not the apple of one's eye
But he had had a thirst for knowledge and a single-minded quest
To NOT be like his father and become a huge success.
And so he had....his business gave him comfortable means.
His face had graced the pages of the nation's magazines.
Reunion? Why should he attend....but, then again, why not?
He knew the answer easily...a face he'd not forgot.
He lay in bed that night, mind racing through his teenage past...
Cheerleader pom poms, study halls and love that did not last.
The last thought in his head as his mind drifted off somewhere
Completely took him by surprise....it was, "Will SHE be there?"
The sun had set some time ago, and yet she still remained,
Engrossed in all that was the past, as feelings waxed and waned;
So many happy moments seemed to jump from off the page,
She never had a loss for friends, at such a tender age.
She’d had her pick of football stars, and joined the trendy clubs,
She went to every party, rarely missed the Friday pubs;
She dressed in top designer clothes, wore Farrah Fawcett hair,
Those pictures showed a happy girl, who didn’t have a care.
But graduation came too soon, then baby number one,
Before she knew it, she was married – all was said and done;
She lasted ten long years before she up and left that cad ...
(Her quarterback was great on field, but lousy as a dad!)
She snapped herself back to the book, and turned the final page,
Where autographs were scribbled – silly rhymes took center stage;
She read a few, then stopped and smiled, at one she knew so well,
It simply said “Next Lifetime”, and her heart began to swell.
She’d seen him not too long ago, within a magazine,
He hadn’t changed a bit, she thought, since they were both eighteen;
She traced his words a time or two, and felt a little glow,
Then closed the book, and thought aloud, “I wonder if HE’LL go?”
The days flew by with business dealings, interviews and such.
He hadn't time to dwell on things like high school days too much
But there were moments when they peeked out from his memory
As thoughts raced back to days gone by and things that used to be.
From times when they were six years old, they were inseparable...
The skinny kid with glasses and the girl with golden curls.
Through grade school they were best of friends. Where he went, so did she
But high school brought a change to them that he did not foresee.
She had blossomed into beauty and admired by everyone.
Cheerleader, prom queen, debutante...her life was filled with fun
She was the girl that all girls envied and that boys adored
While he was just the "nerdy" kid that everyone ignored.
One day while they were lunching, her girlfriends came walking by.
They smiled at her and looked at him with disapproving eye.
He didn't understand the reasons but, from that day on,
They never lunched together and their "special" time was gone.
For ten long years, she’d managed to suppress the distant past,
Reliving it seemed way too hard, for nothing seemed to last;
Her marriage died, and took with it, her youthful take on life,
She raised their child, while hubby took a younger trophy wife.
It seemed like such a paradox, when she got thinking back,
Reverting to her childhood friend, before things got off-track,
He was her pal, her mate, her chum, together, they were one,
From climbing trees, to make-believe, they always had such fun.
Their moms had been the best of friends … their dads were buddies too,
They got together all the time, for drinks or barbeque;
Their folks would tease them all the time, it seemed to make them laugh,
Their mom’s would joke of marriage plans … each was their better half.
What followed came so naturally, she thought in reminisce,
“No wonder he became the boy to give me my first kiss!”
They got along so well, it was a shame for it to end …
But pressures from her newfound clique, had cost her, her best friend.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The days and weeks flew quickly by, and now the die was cast,
Tomorrow she would pack her bags and go confront her past.
She summoned all her courage as she tossed and turned in bed,
While visions of the words he’d etched, kept running through her head.
That night he had a fitful sleep. The time had come at last.
Tomorrow he would catch a plane and fly back to his past.
Perhaps it would be wiser just to leave the past behind
But, in his sleep "Next Lifetime" echoed softly in his mind.