Until I saw Norah again.
Norah was my high school crush, except she had a boyfriend and I had a girlfriend. Looking back, I'm not sure why I liked her--or what I liked about her. She was plain vanilla: a little cute perhaps, but nothing outstanding, not too bright or too dumb, not particularly good at anything, I guess. Nothing I had ever seen. We barely talked, but I barely talked to half of the class. We just didn't have much in common: she had her gang, and I had mine.
But I still had this crush on her.
I never did anything about it, except perhaps using it as fantasy fuel once in a while in lonely nights, and even so very sparingly. As it was expected, we lost touch after graduation--I never heard of her again, at least. This morning someone had bumped on me in the train. I didn't even notice, used to the crowded trains at morning, but I heard my name.
``Peter, is that you?!''
Sure it was me, but I wanted to know who was asking. I looked at this woman that was not familiar at all. I hate when that happens.
``You don't remember me? Norah, from school!''
That was not Norah, let me say. Norah was another person, someone else in my memory, someone that I remembered for no particular reason once every now and then and just wondered what would have happened if I had told her that I liked her or if we were not seeing other people. She didn't look like Norah, although she resembled her. She was shorter, but I probably had just grown more. She did not have the young freshness that was her trademark in my mind. She was wearing a business suite. She had short hair, not long, and it seemed to me to be lighter than it had been then.
``Oh, Norah... Long time!''
We kept that dull conversation of two people that haven't seen each other for fifteen years. She was married, had a kid, that sort of stuff. All the time I tried to see Norah in that woman, but I couldn't. She was not there. I left at my station with a ``let's catch up one of these days'' and a sigh.
Now, at night, I look at the pictures from those times. The graduation. Her individual picture was blurrier than my memory, and the pictures that she was on were closer to my memory, but not too much. My Norah was none of those, but a girl who lived at one of the back corners of my memory, playing tricks on me.