No, this is not marked off the list. Because I didn't actually connect with him, but I did see him today.
I met Sam when I was 16 after I changed school my sophomore year. I had a huge crush on him - he had long hair, was a musician and very smart, plus he had started a student Christian group at school. I had a friend that had a crush on him too, and I got caught in the middle as her messenger. He was so sweet trying to let her down easily, and in the process Sam and I became best friends. We would talk on the phone all the time and write notes to each other. I still had my enormous crush on him, but that's just how my adolescence went - I'd like a guy and then we'd become best friends and, well, there goes that...
Sam cut his hair off the summer before his Senior year (he was a year older than me) and I cried.
He called me one night and out of the blue told me that he sometimes thought about asking me out on a date. But he didn't want to mess up our friendship (of course). I sat there in shock after he hung up. I called him back and told him he should ask me out. So he did. He was my first honest-to-God boyfriend.
Sam lived with his dad, step-mom, and sister. He rarely ever talked about his mother. All I knew is that she lived in New York. After we started going out, he would tell me more about his mother every day. Exactly one week after he asked me out, after one date to go watch Scent of a Woman, he wrote me the most heartbreaking and beautiful letter I have ever read to this day. He told me about his mother's death. He said, "sometimes I think I love you and I want to tell you." Then he broke up with me.
Of course, I was devastated, but Sam was more than some teenage crush come true. He was my best friend, so there was no way that I was going to let that week destroy the friendship we had. And I didn't.... we moved on like it never happened.
Part of me thinks maybe he asked me out so that he had someone close to him to talk about his mother with. That was honestly the only true difference in that week. We never even kissed.
After he graduated, we kept in touch, but he went through some strange changes for a while. We would lose touch for a while, then all of a sudden - there he is again. He got into Scientology for a while, he was pretty aimless, living with his grandmother and delivering pizzas... He was so bright that it's kind of a shame, but I should know better than anyone that sometimes good grades in school don't always translate into a stellar jet-setting career.
The last time I saw him was shortly after I met Bill, almost 8 years ago. He came over and played guitar for me. Bill was horribly jealous, but it just wasn't like that. I love Sam, but it's not like that anymore. I stopped thinking he was THE ONE in high school. I do love him, but it's as a friend and like a brother, not romantic at all. Sam called me shortly before Bill and I got married, he delivered a pizza to my sister a couple of years ago and hugged her and said to give it to me, and that's the last I've known of him...
After work, I was feeling lazy and I didn't have the right shoes to workout, so I skipped the gym. I drove to the fabric store instead. It's on the other side of town and I rarely go over that way and the whole way kept telling myself I didn't really have time for this, but still went. I stopped at a red light and there he was, walking up the other side of the road. It's been almost 8 years, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was him. But there was nothing I could do about it. My window is stuck and I can't roll it down. Even if I could, I was at a red light that was about to change - it's not like we could have talked. I just stared at him as he went by - he never looked my way to see me. I felt like beating on the window and screaming "Sam! Sam! Over here!"
But I'm happy. I saw Sam. I know he's OK at least.
I really believe that there are people in your life that you will never be finished with. Sam is so woven through my life that I truly believe that I'll see and talk to him again. It may be a few months from now or years from now, but we will eventually reconnect.