Previously on Adam Riff:
"The venture capitalist who paid my college tuition is throwing me a party. You'll know some people."
From high school?
Swell. I've spent the better part of this decade fleeing my past, and he sets me up to re-connect.
"Good to see you two again."
No response. Mike and Nathalie continued exchanging contact info.
Well, I tried.
"So how do you know Jose?" an elderly woman asked.
"I attended high school with him."
"Mountain View? I'm on the school board!"
If she's on the school board, that means… Hey! It's the superintendent of the school district! And hey! It's my high school principal!
…with short, spiky, bleached-blonde hair!
"Jon, you remember PJ?"
"Give me a hug!"
"He's working at the NIH."
"She's in law school."
"He's finishing up a PhD at Oxford and plans to return to Afghanistan."
"So what are you up to, Jon?"
"Look at him, PJ! He hasn't aged a bit!"
"I'm [redacted]. It's alright. I want to attend grad school, but I dunno what I'd study. I'm just…biding time, saving up. I really want to move to Vancouver."
"So many people from our class live in San Francisco! Why leave paradise, I suppose.
We should hang out," said Mike.
While I sat across the table from them.
"Jose, I hear you're working on a documentary film."
"Who told you that? Jon? Only he knows so far. But yeah…"
As I headed toward the exit, I bid goodbye to Eleanor.
"Can I call you back? [click] Good to see you again, Jon."
"Oh. A hug. I was expecting a handshake, heh."
I sat in my car for a minute and hyperventilated.
On the drive home, the radio played "I Disappear" by The Faint.