Chapter 7 – Expectations

I wanted to be wrong, somehow. I wanted the universe to prove to me that my teenage memories where in fact just a version of reality. A very distorted one.

I hoped for his eyes to not  sparkle anymore. I secretly hoped he’d be so different I wouldn’t be attracted to him at all when I saw him … or that I just wouldn’t care.

And there he was. Like a mirage. Everything felt like slow motion. I couldn’t look away. What was he doing here? He had been living in LA for years now.

As he walked towards me,  I took a series of short breaths and suddenly… I felt like me again. Me, before… life. Before everything just changed and got complicated.

“Angela!” – he said. So… friendly. So caring. As if we were old friends… which I guess is precisely what we are. People who used to know one another a long time ago. But don’t anymore.

He smelled like chamomile and lavender.

He asked me how I was doing and I lied with a simple answer.

He asked me about Brian. I lied again.

I said we were not together anymore… as if it was a sure thing… as if, I was available.

It was wrong and childish and not something anyone would ever advise me to do… and I know that but I just could’t…. not.

Jordan Catalano makes me immediately forget about my issues with Brian. It’s like he has the power of making me wonder what life would have been if I had forgiven him for getting Rayanne pregnant in high school. He makes me wish Brian had never entered the picture for a moment. And that is probably not fair… and not true either… but I still feel it.

It turns out he is here because of Noah, his and Rayanne’s son. Noah is about to become a dad in a few weeks, which means Jordan Catalano will be around until the baby comes.

I promised myself I would not start another conversation with him because the mess in my head is not exactly something I could blame him for. Not entirely, anyway.  I couldn’t expect Jordan Catalano to fix everything. Or fix me. Whatever it is that is wrong with me. Even though I feel like he actually could do that quite easily.

But he did ask for my number. And my phone has been buzzing all day.

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Chapter 8 – Texts

Sharon is not accepting the fact that Rayanne and Jordan Catalano are going to be grandparents very well… and for reasons completely different than mine.

Sharon is beautiful. She is the type of person who is so confident on her looks she will take pictures of herself eating, post them on social media and obviously get thousands of likes. I feel a lot like she’s from a parallel universe and sometimes our planes just kind of collide for a few minutes. Until she is gone again. Or I am gone. Or both.

So, I guess it’s harder for her. To get older, that is. ‘Cause she can’t like, face the fact that her young looking face is not going to be there forever and I am not sure she can process life beyond that. It’s like she thinks she’d have to reinvent herself. Reinvent her life. Which is completely untrue and probably very scary.

But the fact that Sharon was here today did not distract me enough that I wouldn’t be thinking about the text on my phone from Jordan Catalano.

I appreciate Sharon, but it’s not like I could be honest with her right now… because, I am not even sure what honest would actually be at this point. But, at the same time, I wanted to be. Maybe I unconsciously wanted to share it with her… or brag… or just talk about it.

“Wanna catch up over drinks Friday?” – he texted.

What a short text. Was he just being polite? Did he mean it? Should I just not go because it could complicate things? Or should I just go in the odd chance to break the spell and finally be free of this… this… curse that he just exhales? How long does a person these days take to reply to a text? Like, what is the normal amount of time? What if I reply then he doesn’t reply and then I reply again, because I am not sure he got my text, but he actually did get the message and I am just an idiot?

“Yeah, definitely”. I still replied. Completely afraid of the consequences of that.

I guess, from an odds perspective, I had to reply to him because if he still has some affect on me today, he most likely will still have some sort of affect on me 25 years from now and getting together at 65 seems really like an implausible timeline, considering we could have done it at 40. Clearly.

When Rayanne got here, I felt very ashamed that I agreed to go, though. But it was already done.

He didn’t take long to reply back to me.

“See you at the Pub at 7.” – He texted.

… and it was an unfortunate thing. ’cause Rayanne picked up my phone and asked me, not in a nice tone “Why the hell are you meeting Catalano Friday night?”.

The right answer would be: “Because I am an idiot. Because I just pretend to be an adult on a daily basis when I am actually just a teenager who is clearly not over her high school crush. Because I think I still love him… sometimes.”

But how could I possibly admit that? Instead I chose:

“Because Brian is leaving me.”

Which… is also true. Just a little less embarrassing. And more worthy of compassion. Hopefully.