Anyone Still There?

Had dinner with a few old friends last night. We've literally grown up together, and though having seen each other through so much of life, I feel a sense of distance that inevitably exists. Maybe it comes from having been abroad most of the year. I look at these familiar faces, and deep inside I know that…I know.
I know those faces, those smiles, those people. I've been part of their past, there in the times of their sorrows, their joys and their hopes. Whether or not I actively participated in all their moments, I was there. I am witness to the root of their lives. The intimacy of such a role drives out some of the detachment I feel, but not totally.
She's changed, this sister who called me brother so very long ago. She was so young then, though a child old for her years. We sent little handwritten notes which I still keep dear to my heart. They chronicle the beautiful childlike love we shared then.
I look upon her now and wonder if she's still the same girl I once knew. We no longer write, and she doesn't read my thoughts here. Life has its way of sweeping us up and keeping us busy with the mundane and eventually inconsequential. Yet I want so much to reach out, yet I fear that I may find someone foreign to me. My heart cries out the words that <em>Chauvelin</em> uttered in <em><a href="">The Scarlet Pimpernel</a></em>,
<center><em>Where's the girl? Where's the girl with the blaze in her eyes?</em></center>
My heart trembles. I don't know where everyone has gone. It looks like I sit here alone. I miss you. I miss you all, so very very much.
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