…No, not like that. There was no actual relationship between us, not even an imagined one. We shared a couple of classes together our junior year. Of course Sherry was gorgeous. But she never knew I existed. Not really. I mean, we exchanged a few words here and there, and my brain was kind enough to let me believe something could have developed under the right circumstances. But hey, she was out of my league, and I knew it, so I never made any type of move. In those days you’d rather be without a girl than publicly rejected or embarrassed. Remember?
A few months ago I was at my desk, thinking up character names for a book I was writing. For some reason, Sherry’s name popped into my head. She had an amazing last name, very lyrical, and I remember thinking it would have been perfect for my book.
On a whim, I Googled Sherry, and was shocked to learn she had died only three days earlier. I hadn’t thought about her in forty years, but somehow managed to Google her on the actual day of her funeral. I’m not suggesting anything mystical in all this, but I won’t argue against it, either. Sherry’s obituary told the story of a special lady, living an exemplary life, who suffered for many months before passing away. Finding out about her this way had a profoundly sad effect on me.