Single and lonely, Meredith Tanner has spent her life caring for others, while at the same time resenting it. Irritated when a former classmate contacts her asking for help planning their twenty-year reunion, Meredith gives in when she discovers the classmate is the girl she once had a crush on.
Back in school Jennifer Stockton was popular and confident, everything Meredith wasn’t. Twenty years and life in another city haven’t changed Meredith much. Even though she has worked as a nurse for many years, she still feels inadequate and puts her own needs last in order to make others like her. Maybe this time things will be different.
Excited by the chance to work with fabulous Jen, Meredith throws herself into the reunion project, and she and Jen have a great time reconnecting online. When Jen drops a hint about a previous partner, Meredith is optimistic. But everything changes when Meredith suggests video chat. Puzzled by Jen’s refusal, Meredith gets frustrated when Jen not only evades all attempts of a virtual meeting, but backs off completely.
At the reunion, she’s shocked to find out just how much Jen has changed and abandons all hope of rekindling old feelings. But something unexpected happens that shakes both women to the core. Is it too late for Meredith to reevaluate her opinion? Even if she manages to, does Jen want her to revive their twenty-year-old crush?
Hey, I know there’s not much related to the reunion we can accomplish right now, but do you still have time to talk?
Meredith was glad they weren’t on Skype after all. It might be embarrassing to have Jen see her looking as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. Online, she could play it cool.
Sure, I guess so. She quickly backspaced. No need to sound bored with the idea. That’s fine. We have a lot of catching up to do. Safe enough. And maybe she could find out if there is a partner in the picture.
Good. I gave Buster an extra long walk after dinner tonight and wore him out, so he may not bother me for a while.
And I’m off tomorrow, so I don’t have to get to bed so early either.
Cool. So what do you want to talk about?
How about whether you ever fantasized about me in high school the way I did about you? Fortunately the computer couldn’t read what was in Meredith’s head. Instead she typed: Have you stayed friends with anyone from school?
Not really. I see a few people around town now and then, and one of the guys is on the force, but I wouldn’t call us friends.
I’m surprised. You were so popular with everyone. I would think your social calendar is full.
LOL! That’s right. I cleared it just so I could talk with you every night.
Meredith blushed, partly from embarrassment and a little from anger at Jen making fun of her. She didn’t respond for a few minutes. What an idiot. To think maybe Jen actually wanted to talk with her.
Are you still there? I’m just joking. I never saw myself as popular. I thought you were teasing me.
Of course you were popular. You always had people hanging around.
I worked at Dairy Queen after school, that’s what made me popular. Kids were hoping for free ice cream.
Meredith knew that wasn’t the only reason, but she liked Jen’s humility.
I think it had more to do with your charisma.
Ha! I’ve never been told I have charisma before. Did you really think that?
Meredith wasn’t sure she was ready to admit to what she’d felt back then, but somehow things were easier online. If only she wasn’t going to be seeing Jen before too long. It was safer to be honest from a distance. At the same time, she was tired of lying. She’d done too much of that in her life, staying in the closet far too long, and not even being totally out at work. Life was short. Wasn’t that what this was all about?
I thought a lot of things you never knew. She hit ENTER before she lost her nerve.
Meredith could still back pedal at this point. She didn’t have to engage in true confessions. What if Jen got scared off and they ended up not working together on the reunion? Maybe she should play it safe.
I had a huge crush on you. So much for playing it safe.
Holy shit. I wasn’t expecting that. I thought you were going to say you had no respect for someone who worked in food service.
Meredith didn’t reply. Her feelings were a little too raw at the moment. What was she doing? Of course Jen would make a joke out of it.
I’m sorry, you caught me off guard. I thought you were joking. Are you serious? You were interested in me?
It was a long time ago. Meredith’s heart was pounding. Don’t do this to yourself.
So you’re saying that back in high school, you went through a phase of thinking you liked women? A lot of girls do, you know.
Meredith took a deep breath. It wasn’t a phase, Jen. I’ve been into women my entire life. Well, at least since adolescence.
Why the hell didn’t you ever tell me?
I never told anyone. I could barely admit it to myself. A long silence followed.
I just can’t believe this. Were you ever going to tell me?
Considering it’s been twenty years and I haven’t heard from you, no, I pretty much thought I’d take it to my grave. What does it matter?
What does it matter? Jesus Christ, Mer!