My third book, Water Lily, begins on the night of Michelle Jones’ 20 year class reunion.
Michelle wasn’t even going to come to the reunion, but her girlfriends talked her into it. Not that it was any big deal. She couldn’t care less what people think of her – especially not those people. Michelle is smart, successful, and very happy with her life, thank you very much.
That’s when she saw Jake Sheffield and realizes that what she wants more than anything in the world is to dance with him. Just one dance. For a second, it seems like her dream is finally about to come true… that is, until Liz Allen, former Miss Minnesota and Almost America, bounces into the room, all Tiggerish to her Eeyore, and whisks Jake away from her… again.
Probably a good thing. The last thing she needs is to re-live a bunch of memories that weren’t all that great to begin with.
Jake has been looking forward to his class reunion all summer. He has no plans to hook up with Liz Allen again, but he’s been nursing a bruised heart ever since his divorce, and he has to admit that taking a stroll down memory lane with a woman as beautiful as Liz on his arm feels pretty darn sweet.
For many of us, class reunions are the highlight of our decade. Familiar faces, a warm, fuzzy feeling of deja vu – it’s like being Norm at Cheers… everybody knows your name. Everybody’s glad you came.
For others, revisiting the past is the stuff nightmares are made of.
We go, expectations high, only be be let down, or humiliated all over again.
I’ll freely admit that reunions are not one of my favorite things. I feel as awkward and out of place as I did in high school – times ten. I’m too fat, I’ve shrunk an inch, and my hair (which has always been fine) is now thin and totally gray. I have no children, no grandchildren, no photos in my wallet to brag about, no comfort zone. My graduating class was over 500 people – I usually can’t remember 90% of the names that belong to the strangely familiar faces around me… most of the time I’m not even sure who’s a classmate, and who’s a spouse (except for the men with mid-life crisis child brides – pretty obvious who’s who in those scenarios).
My 35th reunion is coming up this summer – silly me volunteered to be on the committee. I figured I’d rather have a job to do than to have to stand around and make small talk for 3 or 4 hours. Seriously, I am looking forward to seeing my old friends, and catching up with people I’ve recently reconnected with on Facebook, but I’m a bit nervous, too. How about you?
Do you relish an occasional flash from the past? Do high school memories make your chocolate swirl, or fill you with panic?