"Taylor Hanson. When did you get back in town?"
I looked up from the long table I was standing in front of. I squinted at the woman standing in front of me, the owner of the voice. "I don't mean to sound rude but, do I know you?" I put down the now clean sweater I had been holding in my hand.
"Frankly, Taylor I'm insulted," the girl said. She placed her basket on the table next to my neatly folded clothes piles. "After all those years of doing laundry together in this same Laundromat."
My eyes grew wide. "Jen?!?" I exclaimed recognizing my old next-door neighbor from when I was a kid. I hugged her quickly. "How have you been?" I asked. "How's the family?"
"Great," she said. "My parents and I moved back here after you left."
"Couldn't leave the old neighborhood, could you?" I joked.
"No way!" She said with a laugh. "Phoenix was too big for us. Tulsa is just the right size."
"Well, Tulsa's home," I chuckled turning back towards my laundry. "Can't ever leave home."
"Yeah, well New York is my home away from home."
"Yeah," I agreed. She was referring to how I always went to New York when we were younger. I reached into the laundry cart and pulled out a pile of clothing, put it on the table and started folding one by one.
"Look how cute!" Jen exclaimed pointing at the shirt I was folding.
"It's my daughter's," I explained putting it on the table.
"That's something I've never heard you say before," my old friend commented.
I laughed. "Yeah." I kept at my folding. "Don't you have laundry to do?" I nodded at her basket of dirty clothes. "Or are you just here to bother me."
"Hmm... The second one," she said pushing her basket aside and hopping up on the table.
I stopped my folding and looked at her. "You haven't changed one bit," I accused.
Jen laughed. "This brings back old memories... you, me, hanging out... the smell of Downy in the air. Remember Saturday afternoons? What was it we used to do...?" She pretended to think hard. "Oh yeah! We used to do our family's laundry and while it was in the washing machine we'd go get a hot dog. Then we'd come back after 40 minutes, put our loads in the dryer and go get a sundae. Remember that, Tayles?"
I nodded. "Yep, I remember that very well. A person doesn't forget his Saturdays."
"I remember you used to pretend you were Luke Skywalker."
I laughed at the memory. "That was after He-man."
"Well He-man was when you were five, Skywalker was up until you were, what, 15?"
Embarrassed, I went back to my clothes. "I knew you were just here to annoy me."
"Jen, how old are you now? 25.. or 5?"
"Haha, very funny." She jumped down off the table. "I'm going over there now." She pointed to the machine behind me.
"I remember when you stopped coming in on Saturdays," Jen said now behind me loading her clothes into the machines.
"I thought you were leaving?"
"All because you had to tour and stuff. And then you got that girlfriend... what was her name again?"
"Oh yeah, Clare. Whatever happened to her?"
"She's my wife, Dumbo-ears. You were at the wedding."
"I know, I was just kidding... Jordy-pie."
I glanced at her and growled jokingly. Jen and I had been friends for a long time, our parents were friends as well as neighbors. I never knew why we had lost touch but we had. "Are you married?" I asked her.
"I'm 25 years old, Tay. I got out of college three years ago, I'm balancing a career and I still live with my parents, what do you think?"
"OK, bad question."
"I heard Zac's getting married-"
"Yeah," I interrupted. "That's why I'm here." I turned to her. "You're not coming?"
"We lost touch, Taylor. I wasn't invited."
"I'd invite you," I assured her. "If I could."
She smiled reassuringly. "I know, hon. Why did we stop talking to each other?"
I shrugged. "I was wondering the same thing."
"We were best friends for so many years. So many Saturdays in here." She gestured around the Laundromat. "Let me give you my new number." She reached in her pockets and pulled out a piece of paper. "Got a pen?"
I handed her one from my jacket pocket. "A Daddy never goes anywhere without a pen. Going into a restaurant without something for the kids to write on the placemats with is a huge mistake."
She laughed and wrote her number and address on the piece of paper. "Call me and we'll talk."
"I missed you, Taylor. I've seen you on TV since we lost touch five years ago, your kids are beautiful but I'd love to meet them in person."
"Thanks," I gushed.
"I remember Clare well, Taylor. I really was just joking before. She's a lovely woman. We talked for a very long time at your wedding."
I nodded. "I remember that."
"You're lucky to have each other, you really are. I told her that last time we talked."
"Guess what?" I said, almost bursting with the news I had to tell her.
"What?" She asked. I felt like a kid again, the joking and the teasing and the memories. It was a great feeling, reliving those moments from so many years ago.
"Clare is seven months pregnant!"
Jen's eyes grew wide. "Congratulations!" She exclaimed hugging my neck. "I'm so happy for you!" She said as she pulled away.
I nodded. "And guess what? There's more."
"What?" She begged.
She screamed in delight. "My Taylor is a Daddy!"
I laughed as she hugged me again. This was exactly the way I knew she would react. She really hadn't changed since I was young. Being there in the laundry mat with an old friend and old memories made me so happy I wanted to cry, but at the same time my heart ached with longing to go back to those old memories. I stopped laughing and tried to stop thinking those thoughts. What was wrong with me? Wanting to go back to the past, it just wasn't like me at all. Maybe it was the excitement of the wedding or even the excitement of Isaac's thirtieth birthday that brought about those thoughts. I didn't like them that was for sure. I was positive once I got back to New York I'd snap back into reality. At least I hoped so.