Checked my house phone voicemail yesterday, something I do about once a week. And the third call in was a hang up. The forth call was from the same number, but it was man’s voice with an ever so slight Boston accent. This is what the message said:
“I remember that voice. This is Dan O’Reilly. I’m calling from England, so there’s no sense trying to call me back. You could email me. My email address is (his email). I tried to call you before, but the phone cut out. One of the joys of living overseas. I have a one-year-old daughter running around. I was just calling to see how you were. Bye.”
Danny O’Reilly was a man I loved a long time ago. It was a long and complicated relationship that was never quite right, but we really beat it to death before heading to our perspective corners. I have never been the same. I never thought I’d love anyone again, after him. The closest I’ve come to feeling like that again is with The Man. I just can’t believe he’s called after almost ten years and now, when I’m going through this mess. Weird.
I call my older sister first.
“He said he has a daughter?” she asks.
I get her point, “I’m not looking to hook up with the guy again.”
“Still,” she says.
“Right, and he just turned forty last month.”
“Oh, that makes sense. He’s contacting the one’s that got away. I did the same thing, remember.” I did remember.
“Probably. Yeah, that’s got to be it,” I say, a little disappointed. “I don’t care. It’s really nice that someone who meant that much to me still thinks of me after all these years.”
“It is nice,” she says. “Just be careful.”
“You know, he and I were still talking when he hooked up with his wife. I was coming down for a visit and wanted to stay with him in a purely platonic sense. He’d recently had another female friend stay with him, but when I pointed that out to him, he said to me, ‘But I was never in love with her.’ In four years, that’s the closest he’d ever come to telling me he loved me.”
I call my best friend, Carrie, next. No answer. I call her cell. Voicemail. My message:
“You need to call me.”
I text her. “OMG. Dan O’Reilly called me from England.” I copy my other sister on the text.
Carrie calls me back.
“So, email him. Just tell him the basics. Don’t volunteer too much information. There’s a reason he’s calling. Let him get around to it.”
So, I email. He emails twice. I email back. He emails back. And so it goes.
It’s friendly. Okay, so it’s a little flirty. But, I know where I stand, and he knows who he is.
I’m not an easy person to find on the Internet, but I don’t even care how he found me. He writes that he found me through an advanced search engine. I’m flattered that he went to any trouble. I don’t tell him I’d looked him up on the Internet, too, and even found him in England. I’d never called, though. He did, though, and with one phone call, he wiped away years of longing and doubt. And it’s better. I’m better.
It is nice.