I don't know whether I mentioned this, but several weeks ago an old friend from school noticed that on my Facebook profile I updated my status to say something to the effect of, "Ryan is glad that he survived the first week of uni... just!"
When one of my old school Facebook friends read this she sent me an email via FB and told me that she too had gone back to university this year and wondered what I was studying and where.
After a few conversations back and forth we found a compatible day and decided to catch up for a short hour.
The only small problem I had was trying to remember what she looked like, especially amongst the thousands of students at uni! The last time we physically met was several years ago when I bumped into her at our 10-year high school reunion and although we talked together for ages, we never really caught up again (to be honest I always thought she lived a million miles away).
When we eventually found each other that day at uni several weeks ago I was quite surprised at how well she had changed. As we had been friends together throughout most of our teenage lives she was the typical high school girl: short, pimple faced, glasses, big smile and contagious laugh - hence why we got on so well!
It was when I was 26 when, at our 10-year high school reunion, that I hardly recognised the girl I once knew at high school. She no longer had the pimples, she was still relatively short although a few inches taller, she had grown her blonde hair longer, and she no longer wore those archaeological-type bifocals I always remembered, replacing them instead with contacts. Yet three things still remained: her greeny green eyes, her big smile, and that contagious laugh.
Four years since then as we sat there under the tree at uni I noticed that she had changed into a well-rounded lady. She had trimmed her hair to shoulder length, had developed a killer tan, and seemed more mature (not that she was ever immature, just more mature), yet even amongst the changes she still sported that smile, flashed those greeny green eyes, and still had that contagious laugh.
Amongst hearing about her travels throughout the years (India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Europe, UK) I found out that she was doing a 4-year degree at university (yes I almost fainted!) to further her career as a nurse.
I also was embarrassed to find out about something else too...
"It must be difficult for you to travel from the hills to university every day?" I asked, remembering that she lived out in the hills.
"Yeah. Don't you live out in the hills?" I asked, slowly, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I had her confused with someone else.
"I've never lived out in the hills!?"
"Ah, didn't you used to live out in the hills?? I always remember you living out in the hills!?"
"No, I've never lived out in the hills. I've always lived south of the river."
I nearly fell off my chair. I couldn't believe it. All this time she had been south of the river and I always thought she lived a million miles away. I slapped my forehead.
Unfortunately the hour went too quickly, so I teased her a little by asking,
"So, if you've been south of the river all this time then I suppose you've had a crocodile pizza?" I cocked my eyebrow (just like in my profile pic).
"Ah-no," she answered thinking that I was probably making something up.
"You call yourself a south of the river chic and you've never had a crocodile pizza in Freo. You probably better off living out in the hills then," I joked, chuckling a little.
"Do they sell crocodile pizzas in Freo?" she asked, now curious.
"Yes, we'll have to catch up again maybe during one of your lunch breaks at university there and have one," I offered.
"Love to!" she responded although somewhat cautiously due to the strange nature of the delicacy.
And that was how we ended it on that day. We both had to race off to our class, but none more so than myself who had a microteaching lesson to give!
Anyway, last week after my return from Coral Bay Curtin university had a one week break. I decided to check and see if she was free for lunch so I sent an email via Facebook to her asking if she was interested in becoming initiated and confirmed as a south of the river chic by taking part in the crocodile pizza eating ceremony!
I heard nothing back.
Oh well I gave it a shot, I thought and didn't think any more of the matter.
Until yesterday when I received a text message from her where she apologised for not replying sooner because she doesn't check Facebook very often (which I thought was a little weird as for those who are familiar with FB know she had updates since the time I sent my email - how can you NOT notice an email and update your profile!?). Anyhoo, she had an available time free due to a cancelled appointment and wanted to know if I was still up for lunch or coffee.
Unfortunately I was at uni about to enter class and replied that I couldn't make it today, but next time I'll endeavour to text or call instead of using Facebook.
The only problem being I just don't know when that next time will be!?
I Knew What I Meant!
2 hours ago