Remember Her?

note: another 30-min story exercise

A wave of loneliness washed over me this morning. It made me think about Paige Kim. I wonder what Paige is up to these days, I thought. The last time I had seen her was more than ten years ago, when we were high school freshmen. We didn’t go to the same school, but I saw her every weekend at church.

Paige was very pretty. I can still remember how she put all other girls to shame by being so pretty. She had big eyes, pale skin, and an incredibly feminine aura that made every guy want to be her sole protector. She wore a thin silver necklace with a tiny cross that rested right between her clavicle. Her voice was soft and soothing and she carried herself like she was forty, not fourteen.

I asked her out once. She said no, but in a polite way that didn’t make me feel embarassed or disappointed. It actually made me think – of course, such a wonderful and beautiful girl deserves more than a plain guy like me. And I’m sure many guys who met the same response thought just like me.

I tried to look her up on Facebook. She was nowhere to be found. I even tried to Google her name, hoping it would turn out a lead, a glimpse at what she might have been up to since high school. But no such luck.

What if she wasn’t so pretty anymore? What if she had gained weight? What if she didn’t do well academically? What if something had happened and she wasn’t well, or even worse, dead?

I quit church when my freshman year ended and never kept in touch with the friends I had made in youth group. I was afraid they would judge me or annoy me with pleas to come back. But I missed Paige – she was probably the only reason I even stuck around as long as I did. Where are you now, Paige?

I wondered if she had a boyfriend. She must have one – girls like that are too precious to stay alone. Have enough suitors and eventually a girl has to settle on one. Or does she? I thought how I might have fared as her boyfriend. I would have bought her humble gifts with sentimental value – like a book or a used vase – because classy girls like her are beyond expensive things. Expensive things only offend them. How would we have been in bed? Would she have a wild side to her or would she be chaste and have me play the role of violator? Would we laugh and tease each other? Would my coarse jokes be tolerated? What if I did her from behind and called myself an excellent novelist, a “Paige-turner?” Would she be amused or would she roll her eyes?

I thought of these things and found myself smiling. The wave of loneliness passed, and I thought of Paige again, in her long flower-print skirt and white blouse, wearing her necklace and clutching to her leatherbound Bible. Please have stayed pretty.

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