When she'd received the reunion invitation eight weeks prior, there was no urgency to respond. Upon leaving 15 years before, she vowed to not return. She had spent every one of those years putting the pieces back together and filling the hole his death had caused. Then she'd received the phone call. His mother was requesting her presence. Their high school was going to be doing a ceremony in his memory and his mother was hoping she could be there. In 15 years, this was the first time his mother had asked her for anything. She couldn't say no. She RSVP'd to the reunion and began making the plans to return.
In all the ways the little town had stayed the same, there were also major changes. The little Indian reservation on the outskirts was now a gigantic, thriving native community. She made reservations to stay at the casino hotel and quickly made her way through town to check in. Locating her room, she quickly let herself in and sunk in to the oversized sofa. Her head was spinning with the list of events for the next four days and all she could think of is hiding.
The phone was ringing. It was early afternoon and the hot summer sun was pouring through the window. She quickly ran for the phone, hoping it was him calling to tell her he would be off early and they could go to the fair sooner than planned.
"Hello?" she said in anticipation.
"Hey." said the solemn voice on the other end. It was his best friend. The three of them were often called The Three Muskateers. It was rare to see the three of them apart.
"Hey! What's up? Are you two done with work already?" she asked.
"Um, kinda of." She sensed the hesitation in his voice. "Are you alone?" he asked her.
"Yeah? What's going on?" She was confused.
"Well, it's Josh." he said, his voice cracking. "Kara, he's dead."
She fell to the floor shaking, the phone fell to the floor.
She woke with a start, cold sweats across her forehead. It was the same dream she had been having for the past 15 years. She had fallen asleep in the sofa at the hotel. Getting up, she checked herself in the mirror. Straightening her hair and make-up, she checked her watch and knew she could no longer avoid the inevitable. She boarded the elevator to the lobby. His mother would be meeting her for dinner at one of the casino restaurants in 10 short minutes.