In addition to Lora another person who attended my high school that I have kept in touch with over the years is Osso, although it's been several months since the last time we exchanged anything more than a quick "hello" over the phone. She spent a few years working for Office Depot, and during her time there I would often stop by to chat. I was constantly worried about getting her into trouble if I stayed for too long but Osso was never that concerned - all part of the privileges associated with being an assistant manager, I suppose. One of her coworkers at Office Depot was Mrs. Cruz, and they both quit at roughly the same time. Osso left to participate in a forestry services project in Alaska while Mrs. Cruz was pregnant with her second son and took time off to prepare for the delivery (and since then has been looking after her children).
I spoke to Osso over the phone every now and again while Mrs. Cruz was also a customer at the music store, and as they never saw each other I would frequently share news about what the other was doing. I didn't expect to see either of them again after I started attending WSU, but on Friday I was asked to help with the store's annual inventory count and happened to see Mrs. Cruz when she came to the store. We spent some time sharing stories about what we've done over the past few months while Mrs. Cruz waited for another employee to go through some videos she was hoping to sell, eventually reaching the subject of Osso's life before long. I didn't have anything new to report yet Mrs. Cruz didn't seem to mind.
As she was preparing to leave she came back to where I was working and said that she enjoyed hearing from me and that it wasn't just in relation to Osso's comings and goings. She was smiling as she spoke and took a step forward to hug me before walking out the door. I think it was worth going in to work just for that exchange; it has so much more personal meaning than the twenty dollar bills I was given for my time at the end of the evening.
The future is constantly approaching, but it's worth remembering that the past can still provide surprises.