'Blast from the Past' by Sandra Hessels


Silently seething she opened her backpack and began shoving her stuff back into it. With each item her hand was quicker to get it over with and by now she’d begun to sigh dramatically. She looked up, briefly, to make sure he heard or saw her, and preferably both. He did.
He crossed his arms. ‘Are you going to tell me what this is about?’ he asked in a half cross, half amused tone.
‘You already know.’
‘No, I don’t. I wouldn’t ask if I did.’
‘Don’t give me that. You always have all the answers. I’m pretty sure you can figure this out all by yourself.’
‘Okay, so you’re still mad.’
‘No shit, Sherlock.’
‘Mad, why? What did I do?’ He gestured rather wildly with his arms to indicate he had no clue. Yeah, that really needed to be visualised.
‘What did you do? Lemme see…’ She zipped up her backpack and spun around to face him. ‘You show up literally fif-teen years after I last saw or heard from you. Fifteen years since you heard me say that I might just… you know… like you – in that way. Fifteen years after you basically told me “no thanks, but hey, good news – I kinda dig your best friend”. Fifteen years after you swore we’d stay friends, we’d never ever lose touch.’
‘So it’s the fifteen years that bother you?’ He attempted it as a joke, but he so should have known better.
‘It’s the complete silence, the abandonment, the kick when I was down that bother me, you ass,’ she said without blinking or blushing. For which she gave herself a mental pat on the back. ‘It’s the fact that you show up here without so much as an explanation or an apology, and you bloody well expect to pick things up wherever you think we left off.’ She swallowed a loudly exclaimed ‘are you insane?’ and attempted a deep breath instead.
He shrugged his shoulders.
Nah. She couldn’t hold it in. ‘Are you fucking insane?’
‘What?’ He asked in an innocent voice. ‘I didn’t change.’
‘I wouldn’t know.’ She crossed her arms and stared him down. ‘I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t heard from you in fifteen years.’
‘You can take my word for it. I haven’t changed, I swear.’
‘Your word means nothing to me. Not anymore.’
‘You’re still mad.’
‘And you’re insane. Looks like we’re at a stalemate here.’

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