Last week on a bus I ran into a girl I went to college with. Without giving too many details, this girl, who we'll call Jane, had a significant impact on my life that I hardly ever speak of.
My sophomore year of college I went to a surprise birthday party for Jane. It was a packed apartment, food, booze, the standard college party. We were waiting for Jane to arrive when all of a sudden one of her roommates received a phone call saying Jane had gotten into a horrible accident - could be fatal. There were many tears, and as you can imagine, the party quickly ended. I then walked back to my apartment, alone, replaying an image in my mind that I will never forget - Jane's roommates, her best friends, crying and holding each others shivering bodies.
Jane recovered from her accident, proving she embodied a strength few had. But after the night of her failed surprise party my contact with Jane dwindled, not because of her accident, but because life went on.
Fast forward six years later.
I'm on a bus and I see Jane sitting across from me. She looks great. If her name was actually Jane I would have sung Sweet Jane.
"Hi, Jane," I say.
She looks at me, squinting her eyes. It takes her a few seconds, but she finally remembers who I am (or at least is very good at pretending she does).
Sweet, Sweet, Jane.
We then talk for a few minutes before enough passengers block our view of each other and we can no longer talk. She's out of my life again. So Jane then smiles and waves goodbye.
And I'm very grateful I got the chance to say that.