We met because I lost my ride at my friend's 'Sweet Sixteen' party. I was stranded in the lobby of the hotel because my friend had just driven off in the brand new Z28 Camaro her parents had given her. Sitting in that lobby across from me were two guys that had also been at the gathering. One cute, one not. Guess which one spoke to me?
As it turned out, the three of us knew some of the same people and the conversation went by quickly. "Cutie's" name was Alan. He was already out of high school, working at a grocery store and we had a lot of things in common. We talked to each other like we were old friends. After a while, Alan said,"Don't take this the wrong way but do you need a ride home?"
"Well, kind of "I said.
"Would you let me drive you?"
"I don't know."
"How 'bout this. You call home and ask if it'd be ok for me to bring you home, then I'll talk to them and hopefully, they'll see that I'm trustworthy. If they say it's ok to take you home, then we'll go." he said. Twenty minutes later, I was riding in a 1968 Mustang with my knight in shining armor...and his sidekick. Ten minutes later, I arrived safely home almost hand-delivered to my grandmother.
As a teenage girl, the entire thing went through my head the rest of the night. Oh No! He didn't ask my phone number! Maybe he didn't like me? He acted like he did. He must've liked me. He was so nice and so cute! What was a girl to do?
I decided I'd send him a 'Thank You' note. He had 'rescued' me, right? The least I could do was send him a letter! But how? My teenage mind decided that since I knew his first and last name and where he lived (a very, very small town) all I'd have to do is address the envelope with that information. So a letter with my contact info was sent in a blue envelope sealed with a kiss along with a prayer...four days later, he called.
We were together four years. After my high school graduation, I went to nursing school so to think our relationship would last forever was unrealistic but I decided that with his brains, Alan should go to college, too. I got him interested in an orderly position in my hospital and ultimately, he became a radiologic technologist who landed a job with a firm providing this service all across the country. Our lives (and loves) went in different directions.
Through the years, my grandmother kept up with his life and periodically, gave me updates. She thought we'd end up together. She found out through his mother that he'd be doing X-rays at a local physician's office a few years ago and tricked me into taking her. The only thing more stunning than when we met again face-to-face was the smug look on my grandmother's face as she admired her own handiwork.
A few months ago, Alan committed suicide in the garage of his brother's home. No one knows why and it doesn't matter. Memories do. A song he used to sing to me has a different meaning for me now.
He'd sing, "Bye Bye Love."