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I Still Look For You – The Sequel – Chapter 2
I have nearly driven myself into a frenzy trying to forget this person from my past and have examined and re-examined what possibly could cause me to dream of him so often or have his memory come sneaking up on me when I least expected it.
I had decided that it was not him, per se, that I was trying to recapture, but the times. I was much younger than I am now. We had fun when we were together. And in my memory, life was good. But it was not all good, by any means. It was a time when I had left the horribly abusive and dysfunctional relationship, but the man was truly stalking me and had a legitimate reason to be in touch since we had a son together and he had been step-dad to my daughter.
Work was certainly not going well as I cooperated in an investigation against my boss and ended up being fired and having to move out of town to have a job paying enough to support my two children alone. No, times were not all fun and games, at all. But – he got me through them – even the pain he caused me. It was a feeling of being able to trust that someone was finally in my corner and that they had no doubt what-so-ever that I would succeed at whatever I needed to do. He admired me and the strength he saw in me at a time when I saw nothing at all of value in myself.
Just yesterday these words were written to me, by a complete stranger that I happened upon while still searching for Bobby. “You are in fear of losing your best friend, and hoping that someone that was there for you before will be able to help you thru what you are enduring now...
You will see those words repeated as I continue to write because I believe they are the truth, the piece of the puzzle I had not even considered. I had considered that I still held some romantic feelings for Bobby although I know that is not the case. I also thought that since we spent time doing things with the kids and it was almost like being the kid I never got to be, nor did he, that it was that whole missed youth ingredient that I still long for. But the whole relationship had a bitter-sweet edge to it and I’m old enough now to fully comprehend that it was, what it was and no more. Yet individual moments of that time remain as clear and vivid as the day in which they occurred. I know where we were when I hear a song. I can literally see, in my mind’s eye, him sitting across the table from me as we shared morning coffee and how the sun reflected off of his red hair. It sounds like romantic memories and there was that aspect to it, but there was more time spent as friends than lovers and we broke the rule that once you have been lovers you can never go back to being friends.
He asked if he could come up and stay with us for a while a couple of years after we had to move to another city. It was winter and he was there during New Year’s Eve. A lady friend of mine came over that evening and the three of us had drinks and a great time until I ended up in the bathroom, losing all of the vodka I had consumed. I gave him my car keys and told him to hit the town and see if he could get lucky. He was gone all night and while I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell, he said he really liked that town and flashed that crooked grin of his. He spent the day helping me nurse my incredible hangover and laughing at me for trying to be a heavy weight and keep up with him and my girlfriend. He and my son and I went to the best greasy spoon in all of Iowa and had breakfast, just what my poor stomach needed. I spent most of the rest of the day lying on the couch, my head in his lap and with him rubbing my head and back and just watching movies. It was good having him there and I felt very special once again just from little things he would say or do, yet it didn’t take all that long for me to realize it was time for him to go back to where I’d picked him up and for me to get on with my life at the time. I don’t know how long he would have stayed if I hadn’t arranged a ride back for him but I do know it was the right choice at the time. My life with two teens was just a little too complicated suddenly to include anyone – even him. I think he had just needed a break, as well, and a little time to figure out what to do with himself now that he no longer had the responsibility of raising his younger brothers.
He always knew how to get in touch with me and I’d be doing the bookkeeping or other office work and answer the phone to hear that small pause he always does after you say hello and then his voice would fill the room and my heart. We’d spend as much time as I had catching up and it was as if no time had passed from the last time we’d spoken. I knew when his girls were born and he always told me that if I needed to get in touch, that no matter what, I could always get a hold of him there. I guess he forgot to tell the mother of his girls that this was the plan because I was only able to get in touch with him once there. I was in town and we spent about half an hour at the park catching up.
He called and asked if he could take me to lunch the following day one time and that was when I told him I had married my present husband but that I knew it would be all right. After the relationship I’d been in before, I’ll bet he had his doubts, but he showed up and we left together hand in hand, like a couple of kids and had the world’s shortest lunch. He had thanked my husband for allowing us to have that visit together and he had responded that if I wanted someone else than he had no business being there and it was all good. I walked Bobby to his car and he let me know how happy he was for me that I’d found someone that understanding.
A few years after my husband and I married, we bought a home for my mom and step-dad in the town where Bobby lived. She decided she didn’t want to move into it after all, but that’s another whole story. We ended up with rental property some ninety-five miles from us and would go down on weekends getting it ready to rent. We had just pulled into town and I saw Bobby and another guy drive past us in the opposite direction. I fairly yelled out, “Bobby! That was Bobby in that car.” My husband did a u-turn right in the middle of the street and chased the car down … and you all wonder why I love him so much. He is a keeper for sure. We all met up at a pizza place and he played the pinball machine so Bobby and I could talk for a while and then he told him where the house was and that we’d be staying overnight to work on it and invited him to stop by. They did too and brought some beer but neither of us wanted one. I asked my husband if he’d like to show them the house and the huge basement but he told me no, I could go ahead and do it. At the bottom of the steps, Bobby put his hand across the small of my back and kept it there ever so lightly. I don’t know quite how to describe it but it was such an endearing feeling, sort of like what you’d do for a child you were guiding along.
It wasn’t the last time I’d hear from him ... but it was the last time I saw him.