A co-worker/friend I haven't heard from in 10 years called me yesterday. Well, she called my Mom and Dad's house (where I was living 10 years ago) to try to find me, and my Mom called me with her contact information.
My first reaction was excitement because I always really liked this girl. She was irreverent, sarcastic, funny and very nice, and we used to have a good time hanging out at lunch and on breaks. But then she got laid off and moved away and we lost touch. I tried to track her down once, but never did make contact.
I figured she was lost for good - one of those people you end up thinking about every now and then, hoping they're doing well but assuming you'll never know for sure.
But she's back. She actually lives in my town now, and she wants to get in touch with me.
My first reaction was excitement, but now I'm hesitant. She doesn't know anything about my life - she doesn't even know I'm married - and so she certainly doesn't know about Thomas. I don't know if it's fair to suck this perfectly happy person into my vortex of sorrow. I don't know if I can do that to her.
She'll be getting a lot more than I bet she bargained for if I pick up that phone. At the very least I'll ruin her day. She'll hang up the phone, look at her two beautiful kids (maybe more by now) and feel sick to her stomach. She'll try to put herself in my shoes even though she knows she can't, and she'll feel sorry for me and My Beloved. She'll want to do something but she won't know what and she'll agonize over every word she said after I dropped the bombshell, hoping that all the right things magically came out of her mouth. She'll tell her husband and the two of them will talk about how they don't know what they'd do if it ever happened to them, and they'll agree that they're incredibly lucky. They'll feel blessed, but sad at the same time. They'll have that "feeling" that they won't be able to shake - the one you have when you hear the worst news possible - and it will hang over them like a shroud.
I've done this before. I know.
So is it fair to do this to her? I don't know. I don't want to ignore her, but I don't know if I feel right about bursting back into her life and dragging my trunk full of sorrow with me. I'd love to talk to her again, and it's so great that she lives in my town - we could meet for coffee and really catch up - but I don't know.
I sure ain't the girl I used to be.