“Rory, we didn’t register,” said Allen.
“Stop it. When did that ever stop us? It’s not like we’re a couple of rejects. They’ll let us in.”
The timing of seeing Coach Cauthorn could not have been any better for Rory and Allen. His advice to them was to get back in the game, to rejoin the group. Rory felt like the last ten months had been going on for years. He thought he had been on a spiritual journey that included whacked out visions of all sorts of religious figures and people spreading their word in an effort to get Rory to find peace in his soul. As Rory saw it, Allen had been his Sancho Panza, who kept him focused on his journey. In reality, Allen had been beside Rory as he had a terrific sleep that was full of fantastic dreams. Seeing their old coach had put these two in a different frame of mind and the impact of his words had them heading to their high school reunion.
“I wonder if we were targeted by some middle aged twist of fate to start thinking about what life is all about,” said Rory.
“Dude, you were sound asleep. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Allen.
“Maybe, but just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean something didn’t happen to us. You saw Close Encounters, right?”
“Richard Dreyfus, nobody believed his character. Truth was, he knew the aliens were out there.”
“Rory, that was a movie.”
“I know, Allen, it’s an example. If we are going to say that stuff like that could never happen, then how do we explain God, Buddha, Allah? They are very real for the people who believe in them.”
“Now you are talking faith. That’s different than a movie,” said Allen.
“True, don’t get hung up on the movie side of things. How do we really know that there are gods? Why do we choose to believe in some and not others? It’s faith, there you are correct. I believe all that stuff was happening to me. Watch out, tonight I might be called to fly into battle and defeat alien invaders.”
“Shut up, man. That’s Independence Day. Hey, who’s car is that?”
Rory and Allen had made it to the homecoming game which was one of the events for their thirtieth reunion weekend. As Rory was trying to park, Allen had started scan the parking lot for familiar faces and thought he recognized the driver of another car.
“You’re crazy. You don’t know. When was the last time you saw her?”
“Twenty-five years, I think. You know the prospect of me being wrong is great. How about we bet?”
“Game on. Streaking at Sunken Gardens tonight under the full moon to the loser.”
Rory and Allen walked over to the car. The driver got out.
“Oh, my goodness, Rory and Allen. I can’t believe my eyes.” Her name tag identified her as Tina, Class of ’85.
“Damn,” said Allen. The prospect of running across Sunken Gardens on a chilly night was not something Allen had counted on.
Word spread quickly that Allen and Rory were at the reunion. There is something about going home that is comforting and unsettling at the same time. Both Rory and Allen enjoyed their high school experience, but there was something about leaving Williamsburg that had seems inevitable. Physically, Rory went the furthest, although his recent episodes of soulful mining suggested that he never left. He talked to people he had not seen in thirty years. Their conversations were like they talked everyday. He missed that comfort, but also felt the weight of sameness that he felt when he moved away. The was no judgment against reuniting with his past, quite the contrary. Rory was invigorated and inspired by his old friends and wanted to have more contact with them, but he knew that tonight would probably be a short visit back in time. The football game went quickly and good-byes were said. Rory and Allen got back into the truck and headed for William and Mary.
“We will flee before there is an investigation,” said Rory. “Head Games” by Foreigner was playing on the radio.
“Eff you, Rory.”
“You’ll start down by the statue and run towards the Wren Building. I’ll be waiting there with your clothes.”
“Don’t mess with me. You better be there.”
“I’ll be there for you like that time you were there for me at that party with the Walsingham kid.”
Allen peeled off his clothes by the statue of two studying kids, lovers, whatever they were. While he waited, he thought he might ask the college if they would like to rent his goats because the area around the sculpture was a little overgrown. After a couple of minutes, Allen began gamboling down the middle of Sunken Gardens. Towards the middle of his naked run an emotion of freedom overtook his gait and he began skipping to a rhythm that was full of frolic and friskiness. He made it to the end of the gardens undetected where Rory waited and handed him his clothes.
“I hope I don’t get a rash from those woods,” said an out of breath, but jubilant Allen.
“I can’t believe you did that. Let’s get out here. I smell a cigarette. Someone is close by.”
“Rory and Allen. I thought that was you two,” said a man who was leaning against a tree with one leg up and his arms across his chest.
“Coach Fraser?” asked Allen.
“Indeed. I see you guys haven’t changed much.”
“You either,” said Rory. He looked to Allen and said, “I told you there is some weird stuff going on. When in the last time you saw Doug Fraser?”
“Thirty years,” said Couch Fraser. “Come on, lets go get something to eat.”
“I need a drink,” said Rory.”
“If you please, none for me, though,” said Coach Fraser.
Allen nodded, “If you please, really?”