Time for an Answer - Chapter 12
Time for an Answer
Women are so very different from men in how they handle a love affair that has ended. Females often grieve longer than most people think is necessary. Males usually get back into seeing others almost immediately.
Me? I just hold onto the memory...for weeks, for months, then years, even decades. The reason: a wonderful memory cannot hurt you. It is like visiting a long time friend: no surprises, no complications.
But what happens when the past comes into the present?
First, there is the mind rush, when the hormones release all the "feel good" chemicals within the body.
Then the questions come: does he remember all the interactions we had? Does he remember our first dance, the first kiss, the long telephone conversations? The answer from Richard was "yes".
Richard and I began emailing. It was very comforting to have him read my thoughts and then answer back. We were hundred of miles apart, but I felt as if he was as near as my fingertips. I never knew that my words would flow onto the keyboard like a released dam. The memories of my life's events and my feelings about life's journey poured into the computer. I loved having a confidant and was thankful beyond words that the person was Richard.
After decades had past, I found the answer to why Richard had so suddenly stopped talking to me.
I was unhappily married to James Waters at the time, and he had called Richard at the State Insurance Office, making terrible threats, with equally terrible gutter language, saying that he had called his supervisor, and now he would go to Richard's wife, show her the telephone listing of the numerous, very long conversations, plus, show her the beautiful card with the yellow rose that "her" husband had sent to me.
James did not want me, but he did not want anyone else to have me either. He wanted to rob me of any love or any type of relationship that might be possible for me and Richard.
It had been so long ago, but I was glad, finally, to know exactly what had happened.
I did not blame Richard for I knew that he had suffered since then, while searching for what we had shared. Did he ever find it?
In the letter that he wrote two years previously, he had said,"I have had you on my mind and decided to let you know that I will always treasure your love....I have thought many times of coming to Savannah and seeing you again. I would like to see you...Let me know what is happening with you".
I sent Richard a recent photo of me with my four adult children. I asked him for a recent picture too.When it arrived, Richard commented that he was "an old guy now", but to me he still looked handsome and very distinguished. Yes, his hair had thinned and he wore glasses, but he was still Richard; tall, slender and now in his sixties, thoughtful and kind.
My questions kept coming: how is your golf game? Do you still follow college sports? Do you go to church any longer? Do you still have your leather covered bottle?
He wrote back, "My golf game is fair. I live on a nine hole golf course here in Athens, Georgia now. I can walk onto the 4th fairway without much fanfare. I usually walk about 5 holes when I play.
For several years, I had aisle seats for the Tennessee games, but I got tired of it all. I can sit in a recliner and see most of them.
I have quit going to church. I went down to First Baptist for a while. I made the mistake of playing golf with the preacher and finding out about his "not so preachy" side. You can tell a lot about people on the golf course.
Several years ago I bought an over-sized bookcase bed. Your gift of the leather bottle sits above my head at night...it reminds me of good memories of us."
Emailing to Richard brought back memories of our times together. I took the time to look deep in my closet and I found a coat I had to write him about. The email went like this:
"I thought of a story you will enjoy. Remember the deep red leather coat I wore when we met at the airport? Well, since it cost over $300 almost thirty years ago, I kept in a garment bag in the back of my closet.
My daughter Leigh grew to be 5'7" by the time she was seventeen. When she was in high school she was fascinated by my vintage clothing. She wore my red leather coat and looked great. She has auburn hair to her waist, sky blue eyes (like yours), and is a size twelve. She can really make an entrance.
She graduated with honors in the top 5% of her class, but she has fallen in love with Landon Scott and is living with him in Calgary. Thanks to her broadband telephone I am able to talk with her as often as I wish."
Richard replied,"I know you miss her. If she is happy, then it is good.
You were so pretty in that red coat. I remember as if it was yesterday. I was very nervous that day. More than usual, I think.
I remember kissing you at the airport. Our kisses were always so sweet, don't you think?"
I gulped hard, then wrote back, "Sweet is an understatement. Your first kiss in the back seat of your manager's car went to my soul. I have never forgotten."
Richard's words touched my heart, as they always did. He continued,"I would like to slow dance with you again....what a sweet memory. I think I tried to kiss you all the time?"
"Aren't you romantic this evening?", I asked, smiling to myself."I have the words of an old song running around in my head...it goes like this, "oh, how we danced on the night we first met, oh, how we loved, not a trace of regret." That's all I remember, although I can't say if those are the correct words or not.
You must realize that I have had very little time for romance in my life; just working and loving and caring for my four children until they did not need me any longer.
You have stayed in my heart all this time. There is another song that, when I hear it, the tears come and I cannot hold them back. It is "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. Maybe you can find the music and just soak up the words; let them speak to your heart....goodnight"
A short while later, Richard wrote,"I went on line at YouTube and pulled up the words and the music.....very moving. Thank you for still caring about us all these years."
CONTINUED in CHAPTER 13