I received a surprise email from a high school acquaintance tonight. He was a close friend of a long term (>5 year) serious boyfriend, but I never really hung out with him apart from the boyfriend. I try to keep a pretty low "real-me" profile on the internet these days, no facebook etc. but he managed to find an old email of mine that's still active. I doubt he knows my married name. Anyway, it was a short "googled this address, feel free to respond or not, I've often wondered what you're up to all these years" type thing.
I don't think I will respond. Things didn't end well between me and the boyfriend. There was a moment several years ago when I saw him randomly at a church service and approached to say hi, and he sort of slipped away/avoided me, which I guess I understand but it still stung a little. Sadly, when we had the final-final-FINAL-break-up so many years ago, the ties were not only cut from him, but from his large circle of friends who I had come to know well... it was like the loss of an entire community. Being an introvert without a large amount of friends, it was hard for me. I have always felt that the door to that community was closed forever from that day forward. This boy was loved by them all so much, and they were all intensely loyal to him, and I often saw him as the glue that held people of different walks of life together who might never have been friends otherwise. I don't doubt that he remains friends with many of them to this day. So although I wouldn't mind emailing this person back (to be nice? for curiosity's sake?), my gut tells me this is a door best left shut. How could we write to each other anyway, without the boyfriend coming up in conversation? I don't want to talk about him behind his back. Then there's the question of how dh would feel about it.
It's funny how such a little unexpected message can bring back the strong memories and emotions... the complicated relationships we all had back then, the sadness and feelings of rejection, and the good times, too. At the same time, I admit that I'm flattered that a 20-year old acquaintance cared enough to seek me out. It took guts for him to email out of the blue.