Summer is ticking along quickly. I have only a few days left in the Maritimes before returning home to Alberta. A few days ago my last surviving great aunt died (at the ripe ole' age of 94) and I will be attending her wake today. The prospect is not at all depressing, in fact I am looking forward to seeing many cousins and family friends from the area.
I am excited to see one person in particular and crossing my fingers he is there. Last time was 18 years ago, half a lifetime for me. He was the first boy I ever fell in love with. If one even knows what love is when you are 15! Regardless, we met because I was trying to do a blind fix-up for a girlfriend who was smitten with the boy in question. I was brazen in those days and without a shy bone in my body, I offered my services to call him and make the connection. At first I felt a bit awkward, calling up someone I'd only ever gotten a glance at and certain that he had no idea who I was. To my surprise, he did know of me and had made enquiries. That I should just out of the blue call him, seemed too good to be true.
For weeks we conversed on the phone. Late at night before the invention of the portable I would snake metres of cord, carrying the rotary dial into the living room and closing the door. More than once we talked all night in quiet hushed tones. We were becoming fast friends, I was far too innocent to be anything other. One day, as I heard my dad stirring to get ready for work in the early morning hours, I quickly said my goodbye and feigned sleepfulness on the sofa, smiling that we had talked for the entire night. All the time my heart beating rapidly, terrified I might hyperventilate.
Later we finally met at a graduation dance. It was by invitation only and I accepted another's offer just to make it in the door! I caught his eye many times that night but he was forever surrounded by his friends and I by mine. No one, not even my bff at the time knew of our secret burgeoning romance. As bold as I may have been to call him, I was equally as shy to approach him.
Finally the last two waltzes of the night arrived. I felt desperate and brokenhearted that we had not so much as even talked. We began with different partners. And somehow as the first came to an end we found ourselves side by side with another on each of our arms. As the music changed so did we. We just went to each other and embraced. For the life of me I cannot recall who either he or I was with. But I do remember how he smelled, his dark wavy hair, those hazel brown eyes, a faded yellow shirt and equally faded Levi's. It was heaven to me. At at the end of the waltz we kissed. Not my first but until the day I die it will go down as one of my best.
Our romance ensued for a few years on and off. When I last saw him, he told that had been one of the most memorable nights of his life. Me too.
I'll let you know if I see him at the wake. ;-)