Finding a Classmate
What ever happened to your friends from elementary
school? Do you remember that classmate that everyone
knew was heading down the wrong path even though with a
little effort he could have become the next Einstein,
Ghandi or Obama?
Is it just me or do most people lose contact with the
whereabouts of 90% of their elementary classmates? In my
case I was out of touch with a hundred percent of them.
A part of my life had been erased, leaving a huge,
powerful, aching void that tormented me like a recurring
People that were a major part of my life for most of my
elementary school experience, vanished! Antonia: shy,
freckled face beauty that puckered up for my lucky kiss
because the game of “spin the bottle” made us do it was
gone out of my life forever! Tina the class genius and
the hottest girl in the class was gone. Patrick was the
boy that pricked me with his sharpened pencil when the
teacher wasn’t looking. I finally gave him a thrashing
(nowadays referred to as a beat down) and then we became
best friends… They fell off the face of the earth as far
as I could tell.
I was left with the names of the major players of my
elementary class. The frustrating thing was due to a
series of “The Road Less Taken” decisions, I had left
the familiarity of my old life and former existence. I
went to a private all boys high school and most of my
elementary school mates went to other high schools.
Factor in that Belize is a country of a sizeable land
mass that includes two cities, about 15 town, and dozens
of villages. Then, factor in that on average 20-30% of
Belizeans migrate to the major cities of the United
States and other countries!
I left Belize and eventually settled in Los Angeles
California shortly before my 19th birthday. Whenever I
returned for a visit I saw fewer and fewer elementary
school mates. I finally gave up looking for them or
asking for them. For all intents and purposes they had
simply dropped off the face of the earth or abducted by
aliens. The sad thing though was, I carried their
memories in my heart like a soldier carrying a keepsake
such as a pen knife or a lucky bullet given to him by a
fallen comrade as he drew his last breath.
I felt saddened that we had started a chapter of our
lives together but the subsequent chapters of the book
were denied me. Despite the years, I clearly remembered
their smiles, their clean scrubbed, innocent faces,
their kind deeds the special moments and memories that
we shared. If I tried I could even smell the hair grease
from the girls ribboned and pigtailed hair styles.
Something was definitely missing in my life.
After feeling empty as if something was missing in my
life for over thirty years or so, I did a search on
Facebook for Tina Rumpelstilskin, not her real name.
With a unique name of her own, I found Tina on Facebook
in less than ten seconds. There she was no longer as
fresh looking as a thirteen year old precocious daisy
which was how she looked in the eight grade. Nontheless,
seeing her picture made me feel good inside. It was
better than stumbling upon a lost wallet filled with
huge notes! Well, maybe not quite but you get the
picture. Seeing her made my day! My heart raced like a
runaway train. I excitedly sent her an invitation, and
she responded in less than 24 hrs, accepting me as a
friend. I then sent her a message inviting her to chat.
“Hey Tina, this is Frank from elementary at St.
“I thought that was you that’s why I accepted your
“Thanks for accepting my request! How are you?”
“Are you kiddin, my pleasure I have been wondering what
To Mr. shy, sweet guy from elementary school?”
“And I wondered what happened to Ms. Class president and
Tina proceeded to fill me in on many of our grade school
comrades! She had been on Facebook since it first
started and had mastered the art of resurrecting old
classmates, old boyfriends, and knowing her, probably
even old enemies for retribution!
We talked or typed using instant message on Facebook for
about half hour. My fingers could barely keep up with
Tina’s questions and her answers.
“I am so glad to have finally found, you, Frank!” You
have no idea!
“Me too, Tina, I am glad to have found you. I just
couldn’t bear not knowing what happened to all our old
classmates. We had so much fun in the 8th grade! We were
close and everybody got along so well. When we graduated
we thought that we would stay in touch for ever!”
Tina said, “Frank, I know.. I know… I am crying right
now… I am a mess.. I’m so emotional I must be getting
old. I’m crying for the pain I felt not being in touch
with so many of you guys, but being happy to reach you
I was glad we were not sitting face to face. I knew what
Tina meant because I was crying too; she knew exactly
how I felt. Before our chat ended, Tina gave me the
names and emails of five other classmates that she was
in contact with.
After we finished out chat, I got up from my computer.
The relief I felt was like a person who had finally been
rescued after being lost for months at sea devoid of any
human contact. I felt as light as a feather as if I was
going to drift off into space and float away like a
piece of cotton. I felt like running around in circles
and screaming my head off like a toddler who had just
been promised a special treat, like going to the
neighborhood park and then ice cream! Yeah, I guess I
was more than a little happy!