“You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” Eric Hoffer
It fair took my breath away. Like Rod Taylor in the Time Machine, I felt myself fall down, down, down… and I was back there. That crippling, punch in the guts, flushed cheeks, wave of humiliation.
All it took was a Google. A stumble upon. I wasn’t looking for anything remotely close to what came. Before my eyes, grinning and laughing was the girl, now a woman, that had made my high school days a misery. A YouTube clip. Links to her life showed that she is accomplished. A self-starter, a go-getter. Right out there in the world.
The internet can unearth all matter of information. People that were thought to be long lost, can suddenly appear back in your life, whether you want them there or not.
There was always an air of success about her. A contentment that had been her aura over 25 years ago. Such confidence, the mirror of my own tortured soul. If I were to have a mishap, she would be there as witness. A trip down the stairs of slapstick comedy proportions, yep, I can still hear her loud and hearty laugh ringing in my ears. No sooner was I complimented by an English teacher, and there would be a catcall from the back of the class, just loud enough for me to hear and no-one else.
There was no way that she could have know of the heartache and agony that was my childhood home life. No way could she have known that her words cut me to my very core. But no doubt that she saw a wounded animal and took pleasure in playing with me like a cat and a mouse.
I watched out for her constantly. A deer in a meadow, ever alert should she come close enough to be able to cause me pain. If she went right, I went left. In class, I would sit at the polar opposite. Managed to avoid being lab partners for 4 years straight… believe me when I tell you that it took co-ordination of mastermind proportions to achieve.
So we meet again. The sight of her caused the girl in me to shrink back behind my heart. I consider contacting her, after all, I am now an adult, also accomplished, in my mind. What would her reaction be? Would she remember. Would we be friends today?
It makes me wonder if somewhere, out there, one day, I will discover that I too, had such an impact.
If I hurt you, I am sorry…