It was a blast. I challenged myself to go to Bainbridge High School’s fortieth class reunion. I missed the others and had basically dropped out of sight. But I recently became a member of Facebook and reconnected with some old friends and that was that. I was influenced to go to the reunion. My poor dad was really dead set against me going. He was just protecting his little girl; he didn’t want to see me get hurt again. Everyone in my family was concerned. And so were a few friends over here. It was an overwhelming decision. I wanted to see my past. People change after all, I told myself. As it turned out there was nothing to be afraid of; we had all grown up.
It was so good to see everyone. They were all very friendly. Everyone was in their late fifties so it was kind of hard to recognize people and there was one case of mistaken identity, unfortunately. I came face to face with my tormentor, the leader of the pack. He came over to me and introduced himself. We talked a bit. Afterward, I threw it all back out into the universe. Word had also gotten around that I was living in Hawaii.
My dad had said that this was my party. I was on my own with airfare, cab fare, airport shuttle expense, and evening-at-the-hotel expenses. The reunion was held at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort which is on an Indian reservation on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington. One of my friends picked me up at the ferry. Wow, it was an adventure. The featherbeds in the hotel were awesome. I called my dad first thing after waking up the next morning to tell him what an awesome time I had and that made him so happy. Before I checked out, I went to the casino and played the twenty-five-cent slot machine and won fifty bucks! Then on the way back to my room I ran into my dear friend from the reunion. We checked out and I rode the ferry with her and her husband. I needed to get back to Seattle. It made me happy to see how happy they were. There were several happily married couples at the reunion; it was really nice to see.
My sister Nancy gave me a ride to the airport early Tuesday morning. There were tears in my eyes on the plane trip home. I didn’t know if I’d see these people again. The reunion turned out better than I ever thought it could, and I turned the page in my life away from haunting memories. It really touched me. I think of it when I hear that song “Turn the Page” on the jukebox at the bar. It has special meaning. And my dad. He’s eighty-three. I spent Monday afternoon with him at his place. He’d moved into a different condo in his building after Mom passed away. My friend Paul met me at the airport in Honolulu like he did the last two trips.
I feel very proud of myself for going through with the reunion. I feel lighter. At the last minute I didn’t want to go. But the plane fare was already paid for. I’m pretty certain that there will be a fiftieth reunion. I plan on going if I’m still around.