Sunday, November 11, 2018
Over at Death's Head Press, they've got a call for submissions for a new anthology with the theme of "Revenge. They're not accepting reprints, but this is a story I would have written for them:
AULD LANG SYNE
I got a few quizzical looks when I signed in. It’s possible some of the women working at the registration desk remembered me but I doubted it. Back in high school I’d had lank brown hair, bad skin and had carried an extra 30 pounds. I’d spent my four miserable years at
and dreaming of better times to come.
Better times had come. I looked
good for my age. Woodrow Wilson
I spotted Alicia Cooper almost at once. Alicia Womack, now. Everyone had expected her to marry Tommy Womack ever since they’d been crowned king and queen at our senior prom. I hadn’t gone to the prom. I wasn’t asked. I’d spent that night sobbing in my bedroom while my poor mother tried desperately to distract me with vanilla milkshakes. I was inconsolable but I drank two of the milkshakes anyway. I did things like that in those days.
I never really thought I’d come to a reunion but as the years slipped by, the notion of making an appearance at my 50th began to seem attractive. I’d long ago lost touch with everybody, but the reunion committee had set up a group on Facebook, so I was able to get all the information I needed. I sent in my reservation, made my travel plans, and bought a new dress.
The banquet room at the Sheraton was decorated with huge black and white photographs blown up from our senior yearbook. There wasn’t a picture of me. I’d skipped school the day pictures were taken.
I drifted around the ballroom to get my bearings. A few people glanced my way and smiled, inviting me to join their conversations but I kept moving.
I saw Diane Todd and her husband talking to Harvey and Henrietta Martorelli. I’d liked Diane. She’d been nice to me in a way that hadn’t felt like charity. She’d aged gracefully and the way she and her husband stood shoulder to shoulder told me that she was loved. I was glad.
Harvey and Henrietta looked more like siblings now than spouses. Both had evolved into sexless, blocky creatures with the same graying skin and thinning hair. Henrietta had been in my honors history and English classes. She’d been an earnest grade-grubber with a GPA and SAT scores that should have earned her admission to Yale like her brothers, but back then, Yale didn’t accept women, so she’d settled for Bryn Mawr instead.