I knew you would be shocked to hear from me. One of our classmates, who is in charge of the invitations, asked me if I would help contact those who hadn’t yet RSVP’d. The reunion is approaching soon, and the planning committee needs to know an approximate number of attendees. I agreed to help, and you are on the list.
The fact that I am still living in our hometown, and you’re aware of it, is a testament to human connection. I catch sight of you around town often. Why would you wonder about my marital status? Marriage does not make the woman, nor does it make the man.
I am not the only one who pulled pranks on you. In high school, we are all subject to teasing. Malice isn’t involved—no harm is meant.
I do remember Valentine’s Day in our senior year. It was my stepbrother’s idea to deliver all those roses. My stepbrother and his friends thought it would be an amusing joke to play on someone. They asked me to choose a person. For some reason, I thought of you. I only wanted to get them off my back. He asked me to send them to you. It was his idea; I only carried it out.
I remember seeing your face when you received the first Rose. I admit surprise to seeing your naivety. I figured after the next couple of roses, you would realize the joke, but you didn’t. Again, I was surprised, and that is why I laughed.
I’m sorry you felt so downcast and humiliated. The past is just that—the past. We all go through times of humiliation, and we learn from them. All we can do is look to the future.
Everyone in our class had many things hidden in the back of their minds and souls. Growing up and learning about the world isn’t easy in our teen years. Playing jokes on others is a fun way to ease the stress of puberty, even though it may not be the best way.
I think it is essential to acknowledge that we all had situations at home that might cause us to act a certain way. Life is hard for many people at different stages of life. My home life, while attending high school, had its challenges. You could say there were times of strife. Life must go on, and we all have to grow in the strength of mind, body, and spirit. As I said above, I’m sorry you experienced embarrassment from the Valentine’s Day prank. Let’s move past this and enjoy our adulthood the way we should.
I’ll be reaching out to you and the rest of the schoolmates on my checklist at least one more time.
Oh, and for the record, I didn’t start the nickname “Jabba the Jim,” my stepbrother did. Perhaps it is callous to take part in name-calling, and I hope that we can forget the silliness of it.