Back in August, I was going through some of my old posts when I came across this one, about my old D&D gaming group. I hadn’t talked to any of them for eight to ten years. I felt bad about it, because I was pretty close with them for a while. So, I decided that, if I could, I’d try to find them again. Two of them I was pretty sure I could locate on Facebook, but I really only wanted to get back in touch with one of them. The other guy and I didn’t part under the best of terms.
After a quick search for the name of the guy I actually wanted to talk to again, I found him. I sent him a message apologizing for losing touch with him and asked him to message me back if he felt like reconnecting. I wasn’t expecting an immediate response, so it didn’t surprise me when I didn’t hear back from him right away. As the time went on, I figured he was mad that we had drifted apart and just didn’t want to talk to me. I gave up. At least I tried, I thought.
Then, I got a response last night.
The profile I had sent the message to was actually his son’s (they have the same name). His wife was the one who wrote back to me. She gave me her number and told me to call her because his story was too long for her to tell me over text. After hearing that, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know, because it was obviously bad, otherwise he would’ve been the one to get back to me. But, I had to know, so I called her.
It was weird hearing her voice again after so long. We made small talk while she walked outside so her kids couldn’t hear what she was talking about. Once more, I was dreading what I was going to hear. As soon as she was alone, she dropped the bomb on me. The guy I used to play D&D with, who I spent around 80 hours a week with for over a year, was in prison. While that was shocking enough, it wasn’t nearly as shocking as what he was in prison for. I won’t say exactly what it is, but I will say that, from what I’ve heard, it’s a crime that other prisoners will abuse you for committing.
Out of all the things she could’ve said he was in prison for, that was pretty much the last thing I expected her to say. I never would have thought him capable of doing something like that.
While I was still trying to process the first bit of news she told me, she dropped another bomb on me. The other guy, the one I had a falling out with, was dead. He died five years ago from colon cancer.
When I stopped hanging out with him, it was because he was battling an alcohol addiction. Normally, I wouldn’t abandon a friend when they needed help, but he, for reasons I will never know now, took all of his anger out on me. Every time he was drinking around me, which was most of the time, he’d get belligerent and nasty with me. He still resented me for moving away for a year to be closer to my family, he once told me, but the level of anger he displayed made me think it was something more than that. Although, what that could’ve been, I have no idea.
She told me that a few years after I stopped talking to him, he managed to get sober, and stay that way. Not long after that, that’s when he found out he had the cancer. That is horrible. He fought hard to get to sobriety only to fall to something even worse.
I wasn’t sure how much more I could listen to, but thankfully, she closed out the phone call with some good news. She had divorced the guy in prison and had found someone new. They got married around six months ago and were happy together. After all she’s had to endure, she deserves it. I sincerely hope things stay that way for her.