I met Emily long, long ago, during my time at Memphis State University. Completely random encounter, you know, she was a friend of the girl I was dating at the time (irishbanshee) . I recognized her since we had a class together, German 101 as I recall, and I had been spending classtime not listening to the teacher (a huge, fat, annoying woman with a buzz cut), because I was admiring Emily's long, red hair. She seemed odd, but fun; a bit of a strange duck, but with the potential to be a riot. We became fast friends.
Time passed, a year or more. We became closer and closer friends. We hung out, we did stuff together, we gamed. When irishbanshee and I broke up, and I moved out of her apartment into a friend's place, she saw me through that low time. It brought us even closer, and we spent many an evening fooling around. When the winter holidays rolled around that year, she went to Austria to see her folks (missionaries, teaching English abroad), and during that break, I met and fell for a young lady named Laura. When Emily came back from break and discovered this, well, it was the first time I really realized just how she felt about me...we were friends, close friends, so it didn't get ugly, but you could tell, you know?
That was one factor in the later break-up (another being the fact that Laura was in Michigan and I in Memphis...long distance was a bitch). Emily and I started dating, she moved in with me, and things were great. Well, they were pretty good for a year and a half, anyway. I'm not really sure just what happened between us...maybe we both just needed to grow, maybe I was selfish, I don't know. All I know is that there was a misunderstanding, and we called it off, and she moved out. I started dating multi_jinx, and it wasn't long before Emily and I realized that we were still damn good and close friends, and we remained that way. With all the problems I ever went through, she was there. Through her, I met discordian, and a new crew of solid friends slowly formed.
One day, we discovered she had started seeing this guy that none of us really knew. What little we DID know of him and what little we saw led us to the opinion that this guy was a first-class asshole. We tried to tell her, but it didn't do any good. Very shortly, she pretty much vanished. Last we saw/heard, she was pregnant, and then she was gone. No contact, nobody saw her, she just disappeared.
When I was leaving for the West Coast, I tried one last time to find her before I left, but it was so sudden that it didn't do any good. I've tried since then to get hold of her, time and again, since I've been out here, but to no avail. I'd pretty much given up on ever talking to her again...but just recently, as in days ago, my brother-in-spirit Merddynn ran into her at an SCA event. In turn, discordian happened to call him yesterday, and he passed the info along, and the news made it to me...and today, after 5 years, we finally have spoken again.
It made me smile just to hear her voice again. I especially smiled to hear that she's just days away from being divorced to the asshole she married, who apparently was even crazier than any of us knew. She's moved back in with her folks and is trying to go back to school. We talked for quite a while, doing a Reader's Digest version of catching up with the last 5 years. I'm sure it's not the last time we'll talk.
There's something beautiful about re-establishing a friendship that really meant something to you.