When BF and I first started “liking” each other, we were going to a very conservative school where boys and girls weren’t supposed to ever be alone together. The faculty had relented and let the opposite sexes sit at the same table at meals but that was only with proper supervision. That didn’t mean it never worked out.
We were both 15. He was just about a month older than me and he had confided in one of his friends that he thought I was pretty special. That, either intentional or not, got back to me and one Sabbath after church, I walked over to him and smiled and that was that. We were going together though we never really went anywhere.
On Sabbath afternoons, I would go into the chapel and play the organ. He would steal in and sit several rows back from the platform and watch and listen. I guess you could say he was a true admirer. He told me he liked to see me play because I didn’t look at my feet. I didn’t think about it. It was kind of like typing. My feet just knew where to go. I would orient them to begin with and it came naturally.
Sometimes we would sit outside on the huge rocks that were everywhere around the campus and talk. We could talk for hours. He’d tell me about his childhood years with his “strict vegetarian” mother. If there was such a word as vegan at that time, I’d never heard it. The school served vegetarian food but it was lacto-ovo vegetarian and not strict.
We didn’t go any farther than hand-touching. To even hold hands would have been a blatant violation of the rules and neither one of us wanted to bring down the wrath of the faculty on our heads.
Then, his mother decided he would do better at a different school. It was another ultra conservative campus but we kept in touch via mail. Email was still in the future so it was pen and paper, envelopes and stamps. Sometimes the envelope I’d get would have “SWAK” on the back—Sealed With A Kiss. I still didn’t know what it was like for him to kiss me but it was nice to imagine and it was nicer still that he was imagining.
One day, he didn’t get a letter from me. We wrote regularly and he thought it odd he didn’t hear anything. Next day, same thing. After several days went by with no word, he managed to get to a phone and call me. No, I had written. He hadn’t gotten my letter? Hmmmmm.
He did some investigating and found one of the office women was intercepting his mail and giving him only what she thought fit. I don’t know if his mother had requested the screening or not but I was steamed.
I sat down and wrote pages and pages then put everything into a manila envelope and mailed it special delivery. It was to be given, by the postmaster, to no one but BF. The letter I got back was full of how overjoyed he was that I’d put one over on the school.
Over the next several years, four total, we would lose touch and then one of us would write the other and here we’d go, all over again.
One year at campmeeting, we walked for miles. I had much more stamina than he did and he finally had to ask for a break. We were beside a creek which ran along the railroad so we made ourselves comfortable on some rocks. He put his arms around me (by that time, we were 18 years old and braver) and I leaned back against him while he talked about our future together. It was a pleasant dream and I had no doubt it would work out someday.
He had graduated from academy and was in his freshman year of college. I was attending the academy that was part of the college campus. We were finally back on the same turf and we made the best of it. He gave me his tie bar and watch (we didn’t wear rings) and we were going steady.
There was always a Saturday night activity and the other girls in my dorm were impressed I was going to the various concerts, etc., with a “college guy”. Then one Saturday night, we were standing in front of the entrance to the dorm and he kissed me. Just like that. The first time we had ever kissed. It was supposed to be magic but it wasn’t. It was like kissing the brother I didn’t have. No shooting stars. No rocket ships. No bells or whistles. It was a huge disappointment.
I told him goodnight and walked up the stairs. I was torn up. I didn’t know what to do. I had to face the fact that while absence made the heart grow fonder, familiarity had bred contempt. Well, not really contempt, but indifference. The thrill was gone.
Next day, I sent him his tie bar and watch by one of my friends. I didn’t even have the decency to break up with him myself and face to face. He let me know he was crushed. I was sorry but not sorry enough to resume dating.
Circumstances took me away from the academy and ex-BF which gave me more peace of mind. I didn’t have to see him with his long face (it was a handsome face—he looked sort of like Dean Cain as Clark Kent since he wore glasses. Without them, he looked like Dean Cain.) I didn’t want to see it when he started dating someone else, either.
After I’d moved on and married, I saw him with his girlfriend and, surprisingly, it didn’t bother me. Then I heard he’d gotten married and I was glad for him.
The years had rolled by as they tend to do and I was at campmeeting. I’d been working at the hospital for a little over a year. I was walking past one of the buildings on the way to my car when I heard someone running behind me. The man ran past me, then wheeled around and stopped right in front of me. “It is you!” he said. I recognized an older version of BF. We talked for a few minutes then he said he had to get back to the wife and kids. I had to get back to DD, myself. He was gone.
And now here he was again. History was repeating itself but would the magic be there this time?