It was almost four years since I'd last seen Miriam's older brother. I hadn't dated anyone else because, frankly, I wasn't interested in boys. I knew if I were to marry, it would have to be a man.
I'd grown a lot in the past four years. I'd spent a semester living abroad and had traveled widely over Western (and some Eastern) Europe, I'd taken a keen interest in Philosophy and was (GPA wise) at the top of the department in my graduating class, I'd been accepted straight from a Bachelor's degree into a Ph.D. program on a full fellowship with a stipend. I was happy, accomplished, surrounded by friends, confident, liked by my professors (the brownie bribes helped), and I had a deeper sense of who I was and who I wanted to be. I was going to live in a big city, be a renowned and published Philosophy professor, and I was going to set the world on fire.
Meg and I were bosom buddies, and her roommate Miriam and I had grown to be good friends, too. So it came as a shock when Meg told me, out of the blue, that she was going to graduate a semester early and marry Miriam's brother. No, not my Miriam's brother... another Miriam brother.
I mean, I knew she'd been talking to him on the phone since she had visited Miriam that Summer, I knew they liked each other, but I'd been wrapped up in my ivory tower and hadn't noticed that it had gotten that serious. My best friend was leaving and going off to marry a man I had never met.
It was at that moment, however, after I'd stopped gaping and started the heart-felt congratulations, that the thought crossed my mind, "Hm... I guess that means I'll be seeing Miriam's other brother at the wedding. I wonder what he's up to now..." It surprised me that the idea didn't meet me with fear. I was no longer the dewy-eyed freshman talking to an unapproachable Master's student. I felt as though now I could meet him as an equal.
That Christmas came, and four days later I flew up to the NE to attend Meg and "Tim's" wedding.
The family was eating when I arrived, but instantly I saw My Miriam's Brother and did a double take. I'm dying if I'm lying; he had gotten more handsome. Working on the farm the last four years, he had gotten noticeably stronger and was darkly tanned. I immediately averted my eyes for fear of gawking and blushing.
"You want some pepperjack?" Tim asked me, cordially.
"Sure, I never turn down a good hunk of cheese."
"Did ya hear that?" Tim ribbed his brother, "She says she never turns down a good hunk."
I flushed the deepest shade of crimson humanly possible, promptly forgot my "air of equality," and, no better than my awkward freshman ducking self, darted for the nearest exit.
To be continued...