“Yeah…me too.”

I picked up my phone and called his number.  Again.

It hadn’t changed in over 30 years.

I had called it so many times I knew it by heart…and I always ended the call before entering the last number.

But not this time.  This time…I forced myself to finish..

It rang seven times.  I waited…seven times.  My heart beating just a little faster after each ring.

And after each ring…my other hand…as it had done so many times before…moved a little to disconnect.  But not this time. 

“Hello…”

It was him!

My God…he sounded so young!  I hadn’t expected that…

Suddenly the years disappeared and we were both seventeen again and he was asking me…to go to the football game…to go to a movie…to go to dinner at Freddie’s…or…or…

…to find out if I was pregnant…and then when hearing I was not…laughing nervously with me in relief.

Now…I couldn’t speak.  I didn’t know what to say.  This was a mistake.  I had made a terrible mistake.

What if he had forgotten me?

I couldn’t bear that…my heart would shatter into a million pieces…dreams vanishing in a split second.

I had waited too long.

But then…

“Riley?”  His voice was now urgent, intense….

My hand started to shake so hard, I dropped the phone. I grabbed at it with both hands.

“How did you…?”  I whispered but then stunned into silence.

“Oh, Riley…” he said…ever so softly…and I could tell he was starting to smile.

“I’ve kept track of you…I’ve waited for this call for so long…for you to…”   Then suddenly his voice broke and I could hear the tears in his eyes.

“Yeah?”  I could barely speak…my voice cracking as well.

“Are you…okay?”  That familiar deep voice was back…but sounding a little hesitant…perhaps wondering if he had the right to even ask…now…after all this time.

“I’m okay…” I sighed.  I could breathe again.  It would be all right.  Somehow I knew…it would be all right.

“God, I’ve missed you, Riley.”

“I’ve missed you…”

“It’s been almost 40 years…”

“I know…”  My words dropped into the depths of unspeakable anguish.  The pain of so many lost days and nights slashed like a razor into my heart and would not let me say more…

“Riley…?”

“Yeah?”  I struggled to answer as hot tears were streaming down my cheeks.

“I still love you…I still love you, Riley.”

“Yeah…me too.”

The End…

 

 

“Quite By Accident” Chapter 2

The Paperback Edition…

I was so tired that snowy, cold November night.  All I wanted to do was eat a very  unhealthy (read that very tasty) frozen something from my freezer, add a bottle of beer, some Cheetos Puffs (of course this is a plug for Cheetos Puffs…HAVE YOU NOT EATEN CHEETOS PUFFS?) and then collapse in front of my big screen TV.

I had worked an extra shift at The Book Shop.  I was the assistant manager.

Don’t be impressed by the title.  It only means I get an extra 5% discount on the books I buy and 20% commission on the books I sell.

And…it also means I get to fill in for those employees who fail to show up for work when there is a major snow storm…for instance…like the one we had tonight.

My name is Tobey Larson and I’m 24 years old.

Tobey Larson is not my real name, of course.  I’m not going to tell you my real name.  One does have to be very careful when sharing odd experiences.

Look what happened to all those people who reported seeing flying saucers…

I don’t remember…do you?

“Then and Now…”

A single girl’s journey from Pizzazz to Fizzle…

THEN

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I was remembering the other day, how it was when I was young, legal and single and still living at home with my parents.

They were my best friends, so I saw absolutely no reason to give my hard-earned money to complete strangers for the privilege of living in some crappy apartment…where I would obviously have to clean, cook and do my own laundry.  I wasn’t an idiot.

Anyway…I remember many, weekend nights I would come home from some trendy bar…after drinking, dancing and smoking cigarettes for hours with my girlfriends.  Don’t judge me…it was the early 60’s–even my doctor smoked…and that was during my yearly check-up!!

As the night would wear on, I always hoped the cute lead singer of the band was smiling at me…I don’t believe that he ever was…but still…

Soon I would be just a little tipsy….okay, okay let’s just say I was intoxicated.  (Drunk is such a harsh word.)  The bar was closing and it was time to leave.

Since it was the weekend, I didn’t have to get up and go to work the next day.  Blessing.

One of my friends (the one who didn’t drink…or drank much less than the rest of us) would drop me off at my home.

I would ever so quietly unlock the door, open it, slip off my shoes and softly meander into my bedroom where I would fall carelessly onto my twin bed.  “Good Night Moon”

Many…most times:  No removal of clothing. No pajamas.  No face washing or teeth brushing.  No pillow fluffing.  Just a silent prayer that the  bed hadn’t been moved during the day, since by now my eyes were closing.

Bedtime ritual for slightly inebriated single girl of the sixties…accomplished!!

Ta Da!!!!  (No drum roll, please.)

NOW

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Age:  No longer young.

Weekend nights, I actually start thinking about ‘going to bed’ a couple of hours before I actually ‘go to bed’.

I can’t believe I just wrote that.  That is so embarrassing.

You know…I had a long (really long) list of nightly chores that I now do every night before I go to bed and then go to sleep.  I was going to share that list with you…so that you too could join me on this fun trip down memory lane…but it was so boring that I decided to scrap that idea.

Suffice it to say…Old age sucks.

THEN was better…MUCH better…

Have a nice day…

 

“Quite By Accident” Chapter 2

The Paperback Edition…

I was so tired that snowy, cold November night.  All I wanted to do was eat a very  unhealthy (read that very tasty) frozen something from my freezer, add a bottle of beer, some Cheetos Puffs (of course this is a plug for Cheetos Puffs…HAVE YOU NOT EATEN CHEETOS PUFFS?) and then collapse in front of my big screen TV.

I had worked an extra shift at The Book Shop.  I was the assistant manager.

Don’t be impressed by the title.  It only means I get an extra 5% discount on the books I buy and 20% commission on the books I sell.

And…it also means I get to fill in for those employees who fail to show up for work when there is a major snow storm…for instance…like the one we had tonight.

My name is Tobey Larson and I’m 24 years old.

Tobey Larson is not my real name, of course.  I’m not going to tell you my real name.  One does have to be very careful when sharing odd experiences.

Look what happened to all those people who reported seeing flying saucers…

I don’t remember…do you?