Anxious Hands

He had last seen her at graduation. Sunny outlook, sunny hair, sunny future. They had been comfortable friends and never more. It had suited them.

They had sat near each other in the clarinet section of the high school band. She had once brutalized him with a feather duster onstage when a sound cue hadn’t triggered the next scene. She had always laughed at his jokes.

Then they had disappeared from each other.

After college, his mom had called to say that she was married and living nearby. He should look her up, but he’d had no interest in standing that close to his past.

Then, she had emerged, sunny sight up, after his son’s soccer game. They’d hugged, made quick familial introductions, and he’d rounded up his to get home for lunch. He regretted not getting her number. He wondered if he sounded as happy to see her as he’d felt.

The next game, and the next, and the next, anxious hands held him back. He should talk to her, catch up. He wondered whether they would still be comfortable after all these years.

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