A Heart’s Journey

A Chance Encounter

She was 14 and he had just turned 19, was their love going to be strong enough to withstand the distance that was nearing them? This was the question I asked myself as I saw her walking down the walkway in the rain towards the bus stop where I stood. She stood there with oval droplets running down along her cheeks and I could not understand as to why. Was she not happy to be spending some quality time with a few of her friends from school or could it be the fact that she was going to be there and he would be here? We were after all on our way to encounter the best spring break experience of our teenage years. I can recall the many countless nights she would call crying telling me that she wanted to partake on this trip, but feared that her parents would not allow here the opportunity to go. It now struck me odd that here we are walking up the steps of our city transit bus on our way to the Central Train Station where we will meet up with the rest of the gang and travel to one of the prettiest cities in the world, Prague and yet, she is crying.

The crisp Luxembourg air blew through her pecan, reddish, brown hair as we began to board the train all while the last droplet of a tear made its way to its final resting spot of her t-shirt. As we placed our bags in the overhead compartment, Madelyne turned to me and asked “Could I ever get over him?” It was at that given moment I realized she was nowhere near ready to say goodbye to what she was leaving behind. It had become public knowledge that her relationship with Bobby was beginning to encounter areas of sourness but we all just prayed it would survive.

They had the type of relationship that as teenagers we only saw in movies. I am still able to recall the minute she got home from Spangdahlem Air Force Base and called me to inform me she had made verbal contact with him. She was like a little girl who had just turned five in a Barbie store. She talked for hours upon hours of their first conversation. The moment she could feel his breath along the nape of her neck as he stood behind her at the Baskin Robbins in the PX shopping center. The way her palms began to encounter a feeling they have never felt before as they made contact with his while he handed her the dollar bill she had dropped. She told of how they had a lot in common despite the age difference. They both had a burning love for books; they shared the same obsession with Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven. For the remainder of what was known as “Winter Break” all she could do was talk about him. The mystery “dates” in the aisles of the PX, the “chance’ meetings in the dairy or produce section of the Commissary. The warm feeling that would travel down her spine when her family would pull up to the base gate and he would ask to see their ID’s. Through him we met a few individuals who were enrolled at the high school on base. We would spend weekends there playing football, playing soccer, walking the tracks, and sitting in our corner table looking out the window of the Baskin Robbins. Our circle of friends grew because of their relationship.

The winter break of 1990 was over and it was now time to walk the halls of our school, American International School of Luxembourg, better known as AISL. It was common knowledge amongst our close circle of friends that they were more than just friends it would not be long before the rest of the school knew that she was dating an older man let alone his ties to the military. Our circle of friends was supportive of their relationship yet a few students who walked our campus halls were hard on her. They were guilty of spreading word on the dangers of the relationship. The impact it would have on him should the day ever arise that their relationship became public. It took one after school encounter for the talks to cease. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The sun was blaring down on our bodies, our skin glistened, and the smell of the flowers blooming along the soccer field was bold. One early afternoon we had been allowed to leave school early. The moment those school doors swung open there he was sitting on the hood of his car in the teacher’s parking lot. It was as if we had been living in our own Pretty in Pink movie. As the school band melodies echoed from the rear of the school it became clear to all of us as we watched him take her into his arms and up in the air as if it had been years since they last saw one another, that what they had was love.

©Valerie

**This is the first chapter to a novella I am currently working on. Hope you all enjoy it**

 Image Source: freecodesource.com

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