Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Myra, won't you wait for me?
She was slim, walking with grace. A cloud of rich brown locks bounced on her shoulders. Her skin brought visions of the tropics. She looked straight ahead as she sailed past. My attention was rivetted on her. Then she turned at the gate and was gone.
"Do you want to get in?" I asked.
"Huh? What? No I don't want to get in."
"Oh. Well, what do you want?"
"Directions," she said looking at me with disbelief. "I'm new here and don't know where my class is."
"Tell you what. Let me show you."
I got out of the car and walked her to her class. She nodded a thank you as she stepped into her classroom. She turned a lot of heads that early morning as she moved through the chairs to a seat. She smiled at me when she noticed I was still in the doorway watching her.
It was the first day of my junior year at C of C. The summer prior to this moment I had spent in England meeting the other half of my family. Everything since had been a tremendous letdown. I was obsessed with returning, to live I kept telling myself. What with the draft and Viet Nam who wanted to stay here when my country was across the Atlantic. At least that is what I told myself. But this particular morning a new person had suddenly walked into my life and I was smitten. I didn't realize it as I continued to dream about living in my country of birth.
Myra had begun to work her magic with those first brief moments. She infiltrated my being. I was madly deeply in love though I was oblivious.
We met after class. I bumped into her coming out of class after waiting half an hour for her.
"Oh. It's you again," I said in my most cavalier manner. "Fancy bumping into you again."
She knew I'd been waiting. "Yes, it is," she said her eyes captivating me.
"Uh, um, maybe, uh, uh..." tripped across my tongue.
"Is there a Student Union somewhere?" She smiled and I was head over heals.
"Um, uh... Yeah, come with me. I'll show you. Would you like coffee?" I stammered. "Uh, maybe you'd like me to carry those?" I pointed at her books.
We grew closer each day. I'd had long relationships before but this one was different. We grew togehter through good and bad. There were ups and downs in the extreme but always leveling out to a journey into life together. It was complex. It was simple. We struggled through with the future in mind. My heart was committed as was hers.
Then came the mandatory calling of Uncle Sam. We separated in the afternoon. I got on the bus taking me to the base. We both shed tears. In each others arms we both said, "I love you." And we did.
Over the next twelve months I made some very stupid decisions. I lost her. I lost my way. I lost my first real love.
A little over a decade later I ran into her. I had recently filed for divorce. She told me she was getting married.