On November 3rd, it surprises no one that, when they receive emails inviting them to the Greendale Community College Class of 2013’s first reunion, they come from firstname.lastname@example.org. Although Annie transferred to University of Colorado at Boulder to graduate, she stayed more involved with Greendale campus affairs than most of the people who finished out their education there. The email is short and sweet, a notice that the reunion will take place at the college on December 15th. There’s a link to a Facebook event that gives no additional details, but does include a picture of the Human Being as the event photo.
On November 8th, the event lists 1 yes, 14 maybes, and 26 nos. On November 16th, there is 1 yes, 7 maybes, and 58 nos. By November 28th, the numbers have mostly stayed the same for a few days: 73 nos, 4 maybes, and 2 yeses.
Troy’s phone number is on his Facebook page, but Annie’s isn’t on hers. When she calls him in a panic on December 13th, he doesn’t know the number on the display, but when he picks it up he recognizes her voice right away. “Calm down,” he says, but not before she manages to inform him that the reunion is going to be a disaster.
“Nobody’s coming, Troy,” she says, without even a hello. “Nobody.”
“That’s not true,” he says. He’s sitting at his computer and he clicks onto the Facebook event. “Six maybes,” he tells her, “Hey, Starburns!”
“Troy, we didn’t even like him,” she says.
“Oh,” Troy says, “Right.”
“The only people who said yes for sure are you and me,” Annie tells him, even though he can see it for himself on the screen. “Nobody from our group is even coming.” He scrolls down and sees she’s right. Shirley and Abed are in the maybe column, but Troy had lunch with Abed a few days before and knows he won’t be there; he has some sort of publicity thing for the website where he works as a critic. Everyone else is listed as a no.
“Well, I think Britta’s traveling, and I’m pretty sure Pierce still doesn’t know how to use a computer, and—“
“I know, I know,” Annie says, “And Jeff’s working, but it just won’t be the same. This was supposed to be all of us together.”
“So don’t go,” Troy suggests. He cradles the phone between his shoulder and his ear, and reaches for the paperwork on his desk, thumbing through it absently while he waits for Annie to think it over.
“Troy,” Annie says, “I can’t just not go. I planned the whole thing. You remember Dean Pelton? He’s still the Dean. You can guess how much help he was.” She laughs a little, and Troy grins down at his lesson plans.
“Who cares?” Troy asks, “Starburns won’t miss you, and I don’t know any of these other people. Hey, we’ll go out to dinner, catch up. I haven’t seen you in person in—“
“Two years, four months,” Annie says, “ish.” There’s silence on the line while Troy waits for her to answer. “Well, okay,” she says finally.
“Cool,” Troy says, “See you.”
They meet at a restaurant outside of Colorado Springs two nights later. Annie’s wearing a really pretty dress and it makes Troy wish he had put on a nicer shirt. He tells her that and then realizes it might sound like he’s hitting on her, but he’s not going to take it back so he just answers her smile with his own. They’re seated at a table in the corner and the waiter brings them a couple of cokes when Annie asks him what he’s been up to.
“I, uh, I’ve been teaching, actually,” Troy says.
“That’s great, Troy!” she says, reaching across the table to place her hand on his before quickly pulling it away. He’s not sure how to convey to her that it would be okay for her to put her hand back, so instead he reaches over and places his hand on hers for a moment as well.
“Yeah,” he says, “I like it. I coach football too.”
“What subject do you teach?” she asks. Her eyes go comically wide when he tells her its Español. He remembers that in high school and college she always reminded him of a cartoon character, but now the comparison is closer to Snow White or Belle than Minnie Mouse or that cute skunk from Bambi.
“What about you?” She becomes even more animated when he asks that, tells him how she’s applying to grad school, how she’s working in retail until then and it’s improving her people skills. She smiles and he smiles back, and tells her about Abed’s new girlfriend who writes lists in magazines for a living. She tells him about the non-profit Britta’s working for.
At Greendale Community College, the One Year Reunion is attended by five people and ends at eight-thirty. In a small restaurant with candles on the table and quiet music in the background, the Two Year, Four Month Reunion is attended by two, and a waiter has to apologetically come over to the table and tell Troy and Annie that the place has to close for the night.
Outside, Troy walks Annie over to her car. “We should do this again sometime,” she suggests. “For real.”
“This is for real,” Troy says earnestly. He thinks he might be accidentally hitting on her again, isn’t sure if she meant for real like ‘seriously’ or for real like ‘having a reunion with everyone or for real like ‘going on an actual date,’ but she stretches up to kiss him on the cheek, so he decides to pretend he was hitting on her on purpose. He doesn’t tell Annie that, though, just kisses her on the cheek in return and promises they’ll see each other soon. As she gets into her car and drives away, he finds her number in his phone’s received calls and adds Annie Edison to his contacts, right under Abed Nadir and above the number of one of the counselors at the school where he teaches.
He grins as he walks back to his own car, thinks best reunion ever.