She'd been nervous about their ten-year reunion. A lot of people were, to be sure, seeing your adolescent friends after such a protracted absence was stressful. Carla had an extra reason to worry, however, unsure as to how her old peers would react to the quarterback's gender reassignment.
Harold, for one, didn't appear to be judging her. On the contrary, he seemed fascinated. He'd recognized her near the punchbowl, over in the corner of their old high-school's auditorium, under crepe paper streamers and the flickering of lights reflecting off of the reunion's disco-ball.
"I just can't get over it. If you didn't tell me, I'd never had recognized you." He openly admired the way her slinky red dressed hugged her curves, curves she'd lacked back when she was Carl in high-school.
Other reactions had been mixed. A lot of people just smiled awkwardly. Some were barely able to hide their disgust, having carried that old small-town attitude with them wherever they'd moved to -- if they'd left Allendale at all. The best she'd hoped for were those who were politely accepting. Harold's enthusiasm was something she hadn't anticipated, and she wasn't entirely sure how to handle it.
"What about you?" she asked, punching his arm lightly. "You married? Kids?"
"Was married for about two years," Harold said. "Didn't take. No kids, thank god."
"Who were you married to?"
"Nobody you'd know. Chick I met at Dartmouth. Big mistake."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"For what?" Harold smiled, turning to the refreshment table and pouring her a cup of punch. "It was years ago. You? Husband? Boyfriend?"