Something happened this weekend that is so big, I can hardly contain myself. It might seem small to others who were not there beside me all throughout the last 42 years of my life.
For 42 years I have been trying to locate a man, Jack D.
He was just barely a man when I last saw him. Well, he was a man but not quite out of college yet. So you know what I mean.
I had fallen in love with him when I was 15. In fact I had only been 15 for 2 days when I officially met him in high school. So I was really only 14 when I fell in “love at first sight” with him. I would see him walking thru the halls at school. Back in the early 1960’s, when this all started, when each class would get out, the students had to go 2×2’s thru the halls, always on one side or the other of the hallway. It was very regimented and seems ridiculous now, but it’s the way we always did it back then. In between two classes, on the stairs in the hallway, I would always see Jack going to his next class. He was coming down the stairs and I was going up. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I was a goner.
Then one day, a friend who attended the same church fellowship group that I attended, told me that he thought Jack might want to meet me. I went thru the roof with joy. Thru this friend, we set up a time, and we did meet officially out in back of the high school by the fieldhockey field after school that day. I think he asked me out, but I’m not 100% sure. But we met, and I was on CLOUD 9. I could not believe my luck!
It was near the end of the school year, and we started dating. The old fashioned way. Once a week on a Friday or Saturday night. To the movies. A lot of times to the local drive-in. Always a good place to get to know each other. But all quite innocent – compared to times since then. The ice cream parlour afterward.
That was the best summer of my life. Every week I went out with Jack. I can’t tell you how nuts I was about him (in fact, I have always felt the same about him, even now!).
But life conspired against us. His family moved away at the end of that summer – I think down to Virginia or somewhere a million miles away from me. I was devastated, but I was only 15, after all, and not very worldly yet, so I just cried myself to sleep for a while and then moved on with my life at high school. More boys. More dates. More loves. It was all there for the taking.
We (Jack and I) kept in touch, though. I was glad of that. He was pretty good at writing letters, too.
Then it came time for my Junior Prom, and the ONLY boy I could visualize myself with was Jack – he was still “it” for me after all, so I asked him to accompany me, and he said yes.
It was fun. I can’t remember much of it, but I was with Jack, and that was all that mattered. He rented a yellow Mustang convertible (they were all the rage back then) and I wore a pale yellow gown. With elbow-length white gloves!
Back he went to college, and I to high school. A little while later, he asked me to come down to his college for a weekend thing they were having, and I did, and it was very exciting and new for me, not being a college type. Jack and I came from two completely different socioeconomic backgrounds, and I guess I always knew in my heart-of-hearts that we could never be together – because of that. I wasn’t college material, and he was.
Some time went by. Three years, in fact. I had another boyfriend in the middle there who, I thought, would be “the one,” but I was jilted in the end because of a girl who became his wife eventually and I went on to other things. Met up with my first husband, Bill, and started seeing him regularly. During this time, I had a phone call from Jack one night saying he wanted to come up to see me. He was quite a few states away, and the drive would have been about 4 or 5 hours, but he insisted, and I couldn’t say no.
It was lovely being with him again. I told him about Bill and he advised against it. I wouldn’t listen. I was headstrong.
Jack went back to college, and I married Bill which didn’t work out, in the end. I had let Jack go off into his world, and I never saw or heard from him again – that was in 1968.
Forty two years later, this weekend, I finally got up the nerve, after searching unsuccessfully by internet for Jack, to write to one of his buddies from high school, and just like that he gave me his address and e-mail address.
I waited a bit but finally summoned up the courage to write him a little blip.
It seemed like a month, but it was the next day that he wrote back.
I have found my Jack again. He is, of course, married with kids all grown up and living far away. But he’s as close as an email now, and I’m hoping to keep it that way. It’s not quite the same as having him here, but it’s the next best thing. We are friends now. That’s enough for me.
I have my beautiful husband, Paul, and Jack has his happy home life, so there’s no need for anything else.
What a weekend!