My good friend L___, (she’s shy), (I’m going to call her Lucy) has been playing Scrabble online with Teresa for over eight years. They’ve played over 2000 games and they are completely, amazingly, matched, having each won 50% of the games and tied eight!
They’ve gotten to know each other, sending chat messages as they play. Sometimes Lucy plays at five in the morning and Teresa jumps into the game at midnight. Sometimes they’re online simultaneously.
Our summer sojourn was destined to take Lucy and I to Vancouver, where Teresa lives. I suggested that Lucy should meet Teresa while we’re in her city. Lucy agreed, although she immediately felt anxious. After eight years of online bliss, Lucy couldn’t help but wonder if she would like Teresa in person.
The day arrives. We’re to meet Teresa at a casino restaurant/buffet. We’re late. Teresa has left. We call. She turns around. We wait.
I’m at the restaurant entrance upstairs. Lucy is on the main floor, hunting, pacing, waiting.
Suddenly I hear a sound that’s like a melancholy hyena, a combination of laughing and crying. Teresa’s here.
They glide up the escalator, entwined. Their eyes are shiny with tears of joy.
I meet Teresa but my presence is extraneous. (I don’t care. This is for Lucy!)
As I follow them into the restaurant I notice these two ladies, approximately the same age, are almost the same height and build. One is Asian, one caucasian, as if that matters. What matters is their sister-like connection.
Walking behind them, I feel like I’m soaking in the joy that spills over, joy that gushes from their locked arms and insatiable need to look into each others’ faces.
They can’t look at each other enough. They move close, heads together; they smile, retreat and look at each other with sparkling eyes.
They laugh. They cry. They demur. They gush.
It’s like watching the courtship dance of exotic birds.
I am privileged to witness this meeting. I try to stay out of their conversations. This is their date. I am the fifth wheel.
Thankfully, I am kept busy by the extensive buffet. I take many trips, sometimes just to look at the huge spread. I pop back to our table and do my best to stay on the periphery of the conversation.
By the end of three hours I am spent. All that positive energy! All the sugar from all those trips to the buffet! I’m definitely riding high by the time we bid Teresa good-bye.
And it lasts. Lucy is tired, but beaming. We rehash the meeting again and again. We know it’s not everyday you meet an old friend for the first time.
Lucy’s fears are but ether. We are still smiling.
Meeting Teresa was among the most magical moments I’ve had in years. It wasn’t my magic. Lucy and Teresa generated that magic and I was lucky enough to be there to see and experience it.
It was a highlight of my summer.