In the conversation that followed, we recalled the June day, over ten years ago, when we had first sat next to each other in a public speaking class. She teasingly reminded me how shy I had been.
I pictured her back then, sharing scenes from her social life: her stories a playful medley, drawing me in, subverting my best defenses. High school I had spent seeking refuge in a social cubbyhole. Finding myself seated next to this blonde, lissome girl proved a culture shock. I might as well have shared a desk with the goddess Athena; our early conversations had been that one-sided. Linda had been patient with her shy neighbor, and gradually our conversations became a partnership. Through getting to know her, I had stepped into the sunlight. Seeing her again, I wanted to share this, but it came out this way: “I still think of our conversations before class. You were quite the raconteur.”