Which One? (Part 2)

Back in those days my routine was to come home from work each day and, after pulling into the driveway, walk over to the mailbox and get the mail. As I walked back to the house I’d separate the important or interesting stuff from the junk mail and—as I passed the re-cycle tub on the front porch—toss the in the junk.

The AARP (American Association for Retired People) magazine was one of those things that usually just hit the tub with barely a glance. But on that particular day I read the name of the featured article which was, “Re-connecting with Old Flames.” It definitely caught my attention. Without even changing clothes or taking off my shoes I immediately sat down on the bed and read it.

I suspect most people—when they find themselves on the far side of fifty—start wondering about people they knew as kids (anyone under the age of 20). I was 58 the day that magazine came and had wondered from time to time for years—“Whatever became of Joanie?”

Joanie was my first girl friend—the first girl I ever kissed. I was 17 when we met—she’s 6 months older than me—she was 18. That was in February of 1963—a long time ago. John F. Kennedy was president and you could buy a gallon of gas for a quarter. I’d even developed this fantasy where I found out where she was living, traveled there, knocked on the door and her youngest daughter—who would be 18—would come to the door and she would look just like Joanie did when we met.

I would drink in her beauty for a moment then ask to speak to her mother who would be living a very successful, happy life with a good husband. Joanie and I would sit and talk and reminisce awhile. I’d let her know how precious our relationship had been to me all those years since we went our separate ways. Finally I’d hug her, kiss her on the cheek and leave to make the best of the rest of my life but—before I left—I’d whisper in her ear something like, “If you and your husband should ever separate, please give me a call.”

The article related a number of cases of people who—having lost their spouse or gotten divorced—looked up former boy or girl friends, got back together and re-established loving relationships.

As soon as I finished the article I went downstairs, sat down at the computer and looked up property tax records for Bellamy County, NY and the town of Odyssey. There were several listings for households with her last name—which fortunately was not a common name. I remembered her family had lived many generations in that area.

I called one of the names—explained who I was and who I was looking for. The man I spoke with turned out to be a cousin of Joanie’s and was happy to give me her phone number and married name.

Before dialing the number I sat for perhaps 15 minutes thinking about what I was about to do. I thought carefully about every girl I’d ever gone with during the 20 years before I married my now ex-wife. I thought about each of them carefully. Did I want to try calling any of them? Would there be any chance of any of them being interested in re-connecting. I couldn’t think of a single one that I felt even slightly inclined to call—that I thought might in any way be interested in seeing me again.

The only girl I’ve ever know who I thought might possibly, somehow, maybe, perhaps be at all interested—was Joanie. The way I remembered her was she was the one girl who was completely smitten, totally, unconditionally, utterly in love with me. I’ve been privileged to be loved by several beautiful women in my life but none of them loved me like Joanie.

Joanie was the one girl in my life who didn’t just love me—she believed with all her sweet, adorable heart that I was wonderful.

I sat there for several more minutes thinking to myself,

“Are you serious?”

“Do you really think a 59 year old woman would be at all interested in getting together or even just getting to know again—a guy she went with when she was little more than a child—a guy she’d had no contact with in 42 years. Are you nuts?—are you delusional?

I took a deep breath, dialed the number and listened to the phone on the other end ring.

End part 2

FacebookTwitterDeliciousGoogle GmailGoogle ReaderDiggShare

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge