It was when the woman made eye contact with me that I realized I had been staring. She was sitting in a group of four at table by the window, just diagonally from where I also sat with a group of four. I lifted my menu up and looked away, but I continued to glance over at her while trying to stay focused on the conversation happening around me. It's just that she looked just like my college roommate, Jenese. I was too timid to go over and say anything because the woman looked just like Jenese from 1998 and I guess it's possible that she hasn't aged, but I would have expected some aging. I sent Amy a text telling her that I just saw a woman that looked exactly like Jenese from 1998. She replied that maybe it was her and I should have asked. Stranger things have happened.
Then I got to wondering about what ever happened to Jenese. A quick Google search brought up nothing. No Facebook. No Instagram. No twitter. I felt bad about not staying in touch. Jenese and I were paired up into a room of four girls our freshman year at USAO. By the end of the first semester, one of those girls had dropped out. By the end of the second semester, Jenese and I were the only two left in that room. Eventually I would get my own room when I became a resident assistant and Jenese would move into a single dorm room, but we remained friends. I guess I stopped noticing her presence when Amy, Chris and I moved out of the dorms our senior year, but I could have sworn that she was at many of our breakfast night feasts. The more I looked for her online, the more it bothered me that I had let myself fall out of touch with her. What was she doing now? Is she teaching? Did she get married? I bet she's a mom. Jenese was mom material. Did she still live in Oklahoma?
Then I wondered if she knew about Chris. She had been there when Chris and I started dating. She had witnessed it all really, just like all the others in our group. Did she know that Chris is no longer with us? I think about these things on occasion. I wonder if people we've lost touch with know about Chris, people like Jensese. Even Melody, the woman who owns the coffee shop we loved in OKC. We sent her a Christmas card every year and she'd put it up on cork board above the sugar and cream counter. Did she know about Chris? I can imagine scenarios where I run into these people and they ask "Where's Chris?!" and I have to say "Oh, he's dead." Then I have to watch the look of shock and confusion on their faces as they try to make sense of what I just said. Sometimes the person I'm having the imaginary conversation with even cocks their head to one side like a confused puppy. "Did you just say, 'he's dead'?!?" Yeah...yeah, I did.
Any way, Jenese if you're out there some where reading this, email me! We should catch up!