I recognized him as soon as I walked into the house. Dressed in the standard blue uniform, night stick and handcuffs on one hip, 9mm on the other, he greeted me with a smile. "Rachel, how are you?"
I knew that D__ had been hired by the Helena Police about a year ago. I'd seen his mom and dad at the store but I hadn't actually seen him in about ten years. He opened his arms for a hug and I stuck out my hand to shake his. "What? no hug?" I wasn't sure what the protocal was for hugging an officer while in uniform but walked into his arms to receive the bear hug awaiting me.
"It's really good to see you" I said as I looked up at him. He motioned for me to follow him into the kitchen and explained what was going to happen.
He walked into the hospital room and the smile, the walk, the laugh were all the same. The uniform, handgun and mustache all that separated him from high school in my mind. After all that time it was still just as comfortable sitting there talking to him. The conversation flowing as if we'd seen each other only last week.
After taking care of business we started to reminisce. He told me about his move to Missoula, then transfering to the Sheriff's Department and then finally being hired in Helena. He told me how much he liked working for the police force. We talked about my marriage and my divorce. We talked about high school and California, filling in any gaps as we went along. We exchanged business cards and cell phone numbers. We made plans to go to dinner and talk about old times.
An old friend new again.