What is it for me? I haven’t had any horrible gut wrenching things happen to me. Unless you count the time my first serious boyfriend went on vacation.
We’d been seeing each other hot and heavy for about three months. He was about 12 or so years older than I was. A Vietnam vet who flew helicopters for the medical rescues. He was sure of himself, good mechanically, and he took care of me. He’d even designed a solar water heater for his pool. I was always chilly in his house so he bought me a quilted pink robe with a satin belt to wear. We’d make love the every other weekend I’d stay over at his house.
Then early one Saturday evening just before we were leaving for dinner, he got a phone call. He took it outside in the carport where I couldn’t overhear and the conversation lasted close to an hour. I was so naive that I didn’t think twice about it and we didn’t talk about it over dinner, either.
That’s when we stopped making love and he stopped having me spend the night but we continued seeing each other. Then about two weeks later, he told me of his vacation plans to Alaska. I noticed he was buying gifts, but thinking that they were surprises for me, I didn’t let on that I saw them. I had no clue in my young brain.
His vacation was two long weeks. My girl friends (who were co-workers and much later proved they had been no friends of mine) kept asking me if he’d called. I didn’t even realize that perhaps that was the proper thing for a young man to do with his girl. No calls.
No calls until two nights after I knew he’d returned. He called to tell me that he’d gotten married to his high school sweetheart and that we ought to go out to celebrate. I hung up on him. My chest felt like a building was sitting on it and I couldn’t breathe. My tight throat was choking me and the tears came so fast I thought I was going to die.
When I gained a bit of composure, I started dialing those friends. No one was home, not even my mother. I was all alone with the worst agony I could have ever imagined.
It took weeks of over-the-counter sleeping pills and telling my tale to whatever poor person made the mistake of stopping long enough to listen. I even blew a date with another nice young man by telling my story.
I wish I had turned to the page instead.