We talked about everything and nothing, moments ranging from indelible to fleeting. Silliness and gravitas and everything in between.
We made plans, both present and future. Lists grew. Offers.
So much in common, yet so different. Fascinating that way.
And then, suddenly, silence. E-mails unreturned.
And then obliteration. Unfriended on Facebook. Unfollowed on Twitter. Blocked?
Phone numbers that rang through to busy signals.
One final e-mail from me that simply said, "Would you kindly reply to this and let me know that you're OK? I don't understand what's happened but I'll respect your decision."
I deserve an explanation. But I doubt an explanation will ever come.
My girlfriends got angry. Male friends offered theories.
"He's met someone."
"He doesn't want someone to find out about you."
But one friend, a female friend, as wise as the ages, said it all: "Someone already found out about you. Men don't stop until they get caught."
Weeks later, an e-mail arrived: "I don't want to be rude, so thank you very much for the iTunes gift."
Really? He was concerned that I'd think him rude for not thanking me for a 99-cent song?
"He's trying to re-establish contact," one girlfriend announced.
But I didn't reply.
There was nothing to say.