The Phone Rings

Lorelei had an infectious laugh and a sleek muscularity I envied. She was in her late thirties then, married, her kids still preteen. A world away, in North Carolina, she taught art at a private school—though her teaching life matters mainly because she’d once worked with Paul, the man I lived with, and because she had summers off. Years before he moved north and met me, Paul had taught at the same school, where he and Lorelei became friends. Mirthful friends: she had always been quick to laugh, and for that matter, so had he. They managed to keep the friendship going during his travels abroad and his doctoral years and marriage and the first years of his relationship with me. Once she visited our town, and we all drank beer at a local pub. There was plenty of mirth, and also the revisiting of good times I had no part in—but that is often true with old friends.

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