Re: Valentines Day Love Story Contest.
Love Story |
This is about my parents. If it doesn't qualify for the contest that's fine. I just wanted to share it with everyone.
Title - Forever Seventeen
They were sixteen when they met.
It was a different time. The second world war only a few short years passed. Many married young then. The horrors and threats behind them. Cautious optimism and the hope of a brighter future was the order of the day. The beginning of the baby boom. Those who believed in reincarnation felt that all of these new babies were the returning souls of those who perished on the battlefields. Everyone felt that it was time to begin or resume lives stalled by war. The guillotine hanging over their young lives was slowly rusting. Love was eager, love was rushed, and it aided in masking their fear that all the chaos would return. That's the way it was.
They cherished their time together. Spending hours at the local restaurant where she worked. Planning their lives, laughing at his silly jokes, whispering soft sweet endearments to each other, and talking late into the night. Happiness was the language they spoke. Dreams of children and growing old together melded their young hearts into one.
It was a time before rock and roll. People danced and listened to Frankie Laine, Bing Crosby, and the Andrews Sisters. They went to the movies to laugh, to see Abbott and Costello acting silly with their zany slapstick antics. Laughter helped to dry the tears of war that were still burning upon their cheeks. The tears they shed for loved ones lost forever.
He took her to the movies, they held hands and shared chuckles at the craziness on the screen. When they went dancing she held him so close that she could feel his heartbeat. She felt safe and secure in his strong arms. They went to the lake to picnic. He taught her how to fish. She cringed and felt sad for the live bait that he put on the sharp hook. When she caught her first fish she giggled and jumped up and down with the pure honest excitement that it brought to her. And, although he thought it not possible, he loved her even more.
Televisions replaced the shrines once occupied by radios in the living rooms of homes. Housewives followed the soaps and families gathered to watch 'The Adventures of the Lone Ranger'. The memory of the war was drifting away, evaporating like the early morning dew on a sunny day. It was what the people needed, to forget, and to begin again.
She looked into his beautiful eyes and felt them the softest blue she had ever seen. Bluer than the sky, bluer than heaven. She thought of the future, their life together, and the warmth she felt inside made her cry. He asked her to be his forever. He saved his money since the day they met for the modest ring that he placed upon her finger. And, although she thought it not possible, she loved him even more.
They were seventeen.
Youth were now called teenagers. Hawaiian shirts were introduced while the girls wore oversized skirts. The swell thing to wear on your feet were saddle shoes. Frankie, Bing, and the Andrews Sisters made way for Sinatra, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. Informal dances, sock hops, were held in high school gyms. They danced the jitterbug. People were beginning to find happiness again and laughter finally replaced their tears.
He hated to leave her after each weekend but his work in the remote forest camp left him no choice. And, at the end of each weekend she hated to see him go. They made a promise to one another that every night at the same time they would whisper 'I Love You' to the stars. The same stars that they could both see.
Walking through the forest to the job site that morning it was as if he was seeing everything for the first time. The crisp spring morning sun bounced and glittered off of the trees. A doe with her fawn came so close he almost touched them and the birds flew around him. He held out his hand thinking one might land upon it. The crystal clear brook that hugged his path was singing a love song that he never before noticed.
He arrived at the site and began to drill into the rock. Holes to slip in the dynamite that would blast the rock away so the hydro power towers could be assembled upon flat ground.
Then his world stopped.
The newspaper ran the story about a local boy who was injured while working in the bush. He had stood in the midst of a dynamite explosion. Twelve charges had ignited prematurely causing severe injuries. After the slow process of getting him out and to the hospital the outlook was grim. He had been moved to the city and specialists were working around the clock to save his young life.
She sat beside his bed every day and every night. Willing him to live. Never allowing herself to think it was over. She cried herself to sleep each night holding his hand. She held it with her left hand, the one that wore the ring he had given to her. The doctors told her to be prepared for the worst. He would not make it. She never believed them for a moment. She knew that their love was stronger than anything, stronger than dynamite. They told her that if by some slim chance he should live he would be blind. His eyes were lost in the explosion. She thought about those eyes, eyes bluer than heaven and knew that whatever happened she would never forget them. They weren't gone but locked in her heart forever.
The local newspaper ran another story about a boy who against tremendous odds had returned to his home town. Although blinded he had survived a horrific accident and was to marry the girl that stood by him.
After raising five children and sixty years of marriage he was once interviewed by a local television reporter who asked him how he managed to accomplish all that he had. He told them that he would never have been able to do it without her by his side.
She never thought him any less or different than the boy she first met and had fallen in love with.
And, when he thought of her and how beautiful she looked the last time he saw her, she would be forever seventeen.
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