Time Heals all Ills
The story below is true. It is a story of my first true love. The events took place in the summer of 1962. I have left out the name of the girl I was dating in case she is still around and would read this article. I thought it would be neat to put it in a short story form. I hope you like it,
The music was old and it reminded me of things in my life long past that I thought were forgotten. Life can be strange in that for just a second or two I was still with her still in her arms. I could almost smell that perfume she liked to wear.
“Here’s you bill sir.” My mind snapped back to the present. “Here” I handed him my credit card. I took a sip of the coffee and felt just as bad as when we parted. How long had it been — 30 no 40 no, its been almost 50 years ago–a lifetime past.
I remembered how we met. It was on a moon light cruse to Marshal Hall, that amusement park down the Potomac from Washington.
I asked you to dance and you said “I think you’re a little short for me.”
People around us chuckled and I didn’t see you again until the roller coaster ride. It was a very popular ride and somehow you ended up sitting next to me. The ride was great but not for you, I remember about half way through you started to turn blue and then green. At the end of the ride you were a deep green; we had to pry your hands loose to get you off of the coaster. I stayed with you until the boat docked back in Washington at the 11th Street wharf. I asked if you wanted me to make sure you got home okay but you said that you could make it. I remember giving you my number, in case you needed anything.
About a month later you called.
“I just wanted to thank you for helping me out that night.” There was a long pause, “Are you there?” There was another long pause; for a second I did not recognize the voice or what she was talking about.. Then I remembered.
“You’re welcome,” I finally answered.
“Can we get together for some coffee?” you asked.
“I thought I was to short.” I replied.
Now there was a long pause at the other end of the phone. “A woman can change her mind can’t she?”
“I guess so,” I replied in a way that made me sound like a teenager on a first date.
We met at a coffeehouse on New York Avenue called Coffee and Confusion. It was once a fine restaurant that had seen better days; now it was a coffeehouse where the “Bet Generation” hung out. The background was poetry and bongos and espresso coffee.
“Hey man what you drinking?” the waitress asked. We ordered and for a while listened to the poetry.
Finally you said, “It was nice of you to stay with me after that horrible roller coaster ride, I’ll never get on another one.”
“That’s all right,” I said. From that moment our relationship took off like a rocket. There was movies and dinners and weekend trips. It was a wonderful summer. I could feel us falling in love and for the first time the word marriage popped into my head. We were in love with each other, there was so much more life to live. and with a life time ahead, we would spend it together.
Then as fast as our relationship took off, it ended.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” I said.
“Ya, sure, same time same place,” she said and then she was gone.
The next day I showed up but she wasn’t there. I waited two maybe three hours but she didn’t show. A week passed and there in the mail was a letter from her.
“Dear Jim” it read “I guess you’re wondering what happened to me or should I say us. I too have fallen in love with you, but I feel that its too soon for me to settle down, some how I can’t picture me being a housewife. Take care. I’ll love you always.”
It hurt for a long time, but as they say “time heals all ills” and hurts and in my case a busted romance. I paid the check and walked out into a bright summer day. Maybe I would take a ride down the Potomac on the Wilson Line and do a little dancing.
As I’ve gotten older, I find that the adage”Time heals all ills,” is true. I now look at my first love with a warm feeling. I am glad that she was part of my life.