We went to school together and even hung out in groups near each other but that was all. It wasn’t until a few years later that we really met.
It was early days for me, only a few months after going full time. Walking around in public still made me nervous but I was trying to get past it. That day I was browsing in the women’s section of the local super store.
I froze as I heard the name I hadn’t used in months. A name that no longer fit who I was now. I glanced up and saw a girl who I recognized vaguely from high school looking at me over the clothes rack. Cynthia, my mind provided after a few seconds.
I panicked. I dropped the skirt I was looking at and began to walk out of the store as fast as I could. She followed me.
“Hey, wait up,” she called after me.
“Why are you following me?” I said still walking away.
“I … I just wanted to say hi.” I kept walking and she kept following. Then she said, “I’m a lesbian.”
I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around confused. “What?”
“What?” she said looking around to see if anyone else had heard her.
“Why would you say that?” I asked.
She started rambling, “Because it’s true and I saw you and thought maybe we had more in common than when we were in school and I’m sorry for calling you- that name but I was surprised and- ”
“Ok, slow down.” I realized we were standing in the middle of the main walkway.
“Come over here.” I walked back to the women’s racks to get away from the flow of people.
“So, do you have a ‘new’ name?” she asked.
“Melissa,” I said quietly.
“Hi, Melissa.” she stuck her hand out.
I took her hand and shook it, “Hi.” And that’s how we met. We became roommates the next year and girlfriends a few months after that.