Tell us about a time you found out after the fact that you’d been mistaken and you had to eat a serving of humble pie.
Pete returned to his 20th class reunion. He managed to miss all the rest. Success made it easier to return. Ten years ago his company went public and was now global. Few in his class knew and that’s the way he wanted to keep it.
In the last few years he thought about George Stone. George was always the lead in class plays and musicals, a brilliant student. He recalled his effeminate manner and at times mocked and teased him.
Peter truly wondered if such teasing had scared him.
To the contrary, from all recent reports of George indicated he had become snobbish and aloof. He had even commented that the class reunion was a shabby little affair hardly worth his time. He was now an actor. He appeared for a while on Broadway and was in a sitcom for a while. Not a star by any means, but enough for him to be recognized by the public.
He entered the class reunion as if it were arranged especially for him, but was left alone after a few handshakes and slaps on the back. Apparently, his reputation had proceeded him and no one wished to perpetuate it any further.
This left me feeling sad for George. He sat alone.
“George,” Pete said sitting next to him and extending his hand. “Pete Gorman.”
George shook Pete’s hand limply. “Oh, yes I recall you, played basketball, right?”
Pete smiled. “Football.”
“Sure,” George said. “One of them.”
“I’ve become a fan of yours,” Pete said. “Actually saw you in a play on Broadway about five years ago. You were really good.”
“That’s nice,” George said and seemed to look for someone else to take notice of him.
They sat silent for a few moments with only an occasional reference about someone they recognized.
“George,” Pete said. “There has been something on my mind for quite a few years. It has been bothering me. I treated you rather badly when we were in school.”
“Strange,” George said. “I don’t remember. I hardly remember you.”
“Well,” Pete said. “If you should ever remember, I’m sorry. I was an immature self-absorbed punk. I’m really sorry for how I treated you.”
George stared at Pete coldly. “Well, you should be.”
Pete stood and offered his hand. George turned away.
“On second thought,” Pete said. “I take it all back. I hope you live with the scar I inflicted till the day you die, because that’s the way you want it. And thanks for making this a wonderful class reunion. And in case you‘re wondering I will be here for the next one, no matter how shabby it appears.”
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