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Her future's all used up, as they say. She looked like hell. But it brightened my day, seeing her smoking a cigarette up against the wall near my workplace. I couldn't believe how long it had been. 6 or 7 years? Regardless, I was sure she'd remember me, and at this point, with the combination of my mature confidence and her declining appearance, I thought I might have a real shot this time around. College had been cruel. But here was a fallen star.
I approached without hesitation.
"Gina? Is that you?"
"Huh? It's Isabella. Is-a-bell-a." I froze, utterly confused. "IS-A-BELL-A."
I recalled Gina's interest in becoming an actress. Was this a stage name?
"I haven't seen you in years," I countered. I looked for some signs of recognition in her demeanor, but nothing came. She opened her mouth wide enough to take another drag. I also recalled her having more teeth, so something was amiss. She smiled, I nodded awkwardly, and I then decided to move away.
"Good seeing you," I relayed over my shoulder, for I was already on the move.
A few weeks later, I received a wedding invitation in the mail. Gina Samuels was to join Rick O'Shanty in holy matrimony. The bride-to-be in the picture accompanying the invitation looked nothing like the woman I had encountered previously.
I began searching for cheap airfares online, but I couldn't find any. I decided simply to buy her a nice gift from the registry instead.
Date Written: January 26, 2005
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