Irv was one of my best friends in high school. Freshman year, Spanish class. Everyone thought he was cool because he was a Sophomore in our Freshman Spanish Accelerated class (which means we all took Spanish in middle school and he hadn’t so he was stuck with all the freshman). But no one really talked to him because he was a “bad boy”. And a really bad boy. He was arrested for some drug issue. But I liked Irv. I thought Irv was a nice person deep down inside. And he wouldn’t stand for anyone’s shit. But neither did I…And that’s why our Spanish teacher hated both of us and we became good friends. Irv was there for me through all the drama in high school. The guy that did me wrong, racism I faced, Irv was there through it all. Irv was an immigrant and he too understood what it was like being a first generation student in America. He too was brought up on the values of loyalty and compassion like I was. But after he graduated, we never really talked.
Recently, I found out he owns the Crepe shop on my campus. Holy moly. The Crepe shop my friends are all raving about…is owned by my good friend from high school?? When I walked by it the first time it opened, some intuition in my stomach told me that someone I know works there…Behold, Irv not only works there, he owns it and is the lead chef there! I found out through one of our mutual friends. I had to go see him.
I decided I would text him. This was scary. We haven’t really had a conversation in like 6 years. But Irv was a good friend to me- would he really have forgotten about me? I put my anxiety aside and text him saying that I found out about his business, live in the area, and would like to come have a crepe and see him sometime. Surprisingly, he texted back immediately. “Hey of course! I would love to see you. I’m here all day on the weekends. Stop by anytime”.
Wow. So on Saturday I bundled on up and walked. I feared my worst as I walked. What if he didn’t remember me? What if it’s awkward? What if he doesn’t remember all those silly memories? But soon, I am at his Crepe shop. Oh my god this is it. I smile my biggest smile and walk in.
I look for him. I see someone making a crepe, a short cashier, and oh right in between them- tall handsome Irv.
“Hello” he greets me quickly and returns to directing his workers.
I raise my eyebrows. “Well hello Irv”.
He does a double take and turns around. “Holy shit. SHAHZ???????? OH MY GOD. How are you? How’s life?” he says coming to me.
I hug him. “Good, good” I say laughing. I feel the whole restaurant look at us. Ooooo how lucky am I to be the owner’s friend ❤
“Here sit. You want something to drink?” he asks.
“Oh yea. I’ll have some water” I say.
“You sure? You used to love capuccino’s. I have capuccino here!” he says.
I laugh “No it’s fine, I’ll just have water”. He laughs and says he’ll bring me a menu.
So he brings me a menu. He is very business like and goes through the options suggesting stuff. I decided to order the “lemon sugar” crepe because I have never had it. That may not have been the best choice.
Because a few minutes later, Irv brings it out to me- and it is the most sour crepe I’ve ever eaten.
“You don’t like it?” he says. “Is it too sour? Here let me make you a new one” he says without me even saying anything!
Oh my lord :0 He brings me back a new hot crepe and it is delicious. When the crowd dies down and it’s just the workers, he sits down with me.
“So how’s it going? How’s life?” he asks smiling.
I laugh. “Well I definitely haven’t started my own business! You tell me!” I say.
“I don’t know. I just graduated last year and I always had this passion to start my ownbusiness. I followed Chef’s around and figured I love to make crepes. I grow a lot of produce in my backyard and I can’t wait for Summer so I can put them into the crepes. But now days, I wake up at 6 everyday- buy fresh ingredients, get here, prepare and make crepes. Everything’s my own recipe. Even the batter” he says.
My jaw drops. “Irv. What the heck. you were such a little troublemaker back in the day! And now you have your own business!”
He laughs and fold his hands. “Yea. Well. I ain’t got time for trouble these days”.
I shake my head. “I’m so proud of you. I always knew you’d be something big one day. Our teachers should have payed attention to us back in the day!”
“Yea! I didn’t even need (insert our Spanish teacher’s name) class cuz I learned fluent Spanish by working with my employees everyday!” he says.
“You used to steal my lotion….” I say. I thought he forgot…but his reaction surprises me.
“Oh my god. That freakin coconut lotion you used to wear…I used to love stealing that. But hey, because of you- I bought my own hand lotion and carry that thing with me everywhere I go”.
My jaw drops. My eyes well up. I can’t believe he still remembers.
We talk some more and he asks me how my love life is these days. I raise my eyebrows.
“Well, I don’t know. I was seeing someone. Or I thought I was. But he just, he didn’t want a relationship and wants to see multiple women. And so. I’m like really torn over it. But I’m good” I say a little flustered.
“Well that stinks. Was he Arab? I remember you would always talk about how you would find yourself a hot Arab prince in college!” he says laughing.
I laugh too. Wow. “No. But I did have one of those too. He broke up with me a long time ago. But we’re still close” I say.
“You haven’t really changed since high school. You were always confused about two guys” he says laughing.
I smile to myself. Yea…. He looks up. “But you know what I did admire about you?”
“What?” I ask.
“You knew what you wanted but at the same time, you were so loyal. If a guy didn’t treat you right- you’d walk. But at the end of the day, you wouldn’t give any guy your attention because your heart was still with the other guy. And when they finally came back, you were brave enough to not take them back” he says.
I smile. “I wish I could be that smart now. I take everybody back. I’m like super-loyal now” I say.
“Why don’t you work on being loyal to yourself? Like you used to be” he says smiling and getting up.
I have to get going too. I get ready to pay.
“Don’t worry about it. On the house” he says.
I ask him if he’s sure and he says yes and doesn’t let me pay a penny.
We hug goodbye and as I walk home, I wonder about what he said. “Be loyal to yourself. Like you used to be”. Oy ve. Why did it take a crepe and an old friend to remind me of this? He is so right.