Chapter Eight: The Easter Visit
I was going to see Dave. God, I was so excited! We talked and planned about it for weeks, coordinating schedules and arranging time off of work. I told Howard I was going to visit some friends in for Easter weekend, as he couldn’t make it back because of the contract he was working on.
Then I had to sweet-talk my friends into covering for me in case Howard ever asked any questions. I had a few twinges of guilt about going to see Dave and deceiving Howard. After all, I was an engaged woman. Before Dave had come to see me, but now I was going to see him. I was becoming an active contributor to the deception and could no longer claim that it was something that “just happened.”
Despite the pangs of guilt, it was something that I knew I had to do. What if I made the wrong choice and married Howard, when I really wanted to spend the rest of my life with Dave? And what of my love for Dave? How can I be in love with two men at the same time, totally and completely?
Howard did not know that I was in love with Dave. He knew I had a friend that I met at the office, who was from and did business with our company and flew into town on occasion. I was very careful to be true to Howard. But how could I be true to Howard when I was visiting Dave?
I sighed. The difficulty of trying to solve an impossible question was too much. I was just going to see Dave and spend the weekend with him in his home and see what happened.
I had never been in an airplane before. I took a direct flight from to at night. It was beautiful! So many small towns we flew over, each one lit up like a Christmas tree. Then we flew over —my seat was next to the window, and I could see everything! The airport, the streetlights, the skyscrapers downtown, it was amazing. Like a million diamonds glittering in the moonlight.
was nearly as pretty, but the view wasn’t quite as good as we came in to land. Still, it glittered and lit up the sky in a way that amazed this country gal. I started getting nervous when the plane started its descent. I felt guilty and incredibly lucky at the same time, having two men who loved. All I had to do was to choose one or the other. So I had to see Dave and his world and get to know him. I was going to decide which one I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and I needed to find out which one was the best for me.
I got off the plane and Dave wasn’t there. I felt him close by, so I wasn’t worried. I just sat down in one of the chairs and waited for him to show up. Pretty soon, I saw him rushing up the isle. His trench coat was flapping as he ran, looking a little bit like a cape. He looked as handsome as ever, with that grin of his and those deep blue eyes.
Once again, my heart started pounding and I was short of breath. Please God, don’t let me sound like a schoolgirl!
He had flowers in his hand. For me. My heart fluttered again.
“Hi, Jen, sorry I’m late. I misjudged the traffic.”
“Hello,” I uttered, afraid to say anything more. Then we were in each others arms. It felt so good, so right! My choices were not clear. At that moment, if he had tickets to Tahiti or Paris I would have run off and married him.
Walking down the concourse, I turned and gazed at him. He was perfect. Slim, fit, dark hair, deep blue eyes that touched my soul. When we hugged, our bodies fit together like hand and glove. “I love you,” I said, unsure how the words managed to make the journey from my mind to my lips. I was filled with a million emotions, a million feelings at the same time. I was amazed that the conscious thought “I love you” became syllables that he could hear and understand. Maybe I just thought them hard enough and he read my mind?
“I love you, too, Jen,” he answered, squeezing my hand just a bit for emphasis. I squeezed back. It’s amazing how little things like that can be filled with such feeling. With my hand in his, it felt like we were joined together, totally and completely.
He drove me through downtown on the way to his home. I remember he was giving me a tour and explaining things, but what he told me was a blur. I just wanted to hear the music of his voice as he talked. He could have been saying, “a-e-i-o-u” and I would have been just as content.
He had a house on a lake surrounded by woods. The moon was up and I could see the lake through the trees in the moonlight. The air wasn’t too cold, so we walked down to the water’s edge and I gazed at the stars. I looked for and found my favorite wishing star, and at that moment I knew that one wish had come true. The moonlight glinted off the ripples and the lights from the various houses twinkled in the darkness. I felt like I was in a fairy tale, it was so beautiful.
I looked at Dave as we walked back to the house. How come I feel so comfortable with this man, I thought. Why does it seem like we’ve been together forever? I marveled at it for a moment, then decided to enjoy the weekend together and let the future take care of itself.
We went inside and built a fire and cooked dinner. It was strange, making dinner in a kitchen I was never in before, yet feeling like home at the same time. We laughed and joked and talked about our week. The dinner was, well, dinner! We could have eaten at the finest restaurant in the world, and all I would have remembered was laughing with Dave.
I had to call Howard before it was too late. I talked to him every night, and if I didn’t call, he would worry. Fortunately this was before the days of caller ID, so he didn’t know where I was calling from. We kept the conversation short, since he knew I wasn’t at home (I was in , remember?) and the call was charged against my calling card.
That out of the way, I could devote my attention to Dave exclusively. I shut my mind to Howard and looked at Dave. Then I took my engagement ring off, put it in my purse, and said, “This weekend I am just me.” And I kissed him.
I don’t remember making love to Dave. I still remember how warm I felt, how comfortable I was in his arms. What I do remember is waking up with him next to me in the morning, and what a rich experience that was. In I had a roommate who knew Howard, so when Dave was in town we never spent a night together. Now I could luxuriate in Dave’s presence and relax and just be together.
We did mundane things that Saturday. Shopping and sightseeing and lunch; nothing special, just the normal things that couples do. It felt so normal, like we’d been together for a long time, and not just our first weekend together. It felt like he was an extension of me, a part of me, someone that was always there and always will be.
Saturday night we went flying. I was very nervous at first. It was one thing to fly on a big airplane, but a little one? We took off and the ground fell away—what a feeling! I looked over at Dave and he seemed so calm, so in control, my heart leapt yet again. We climbed up into the night sky, and it was beautiful! The city lay sparkling before us, twinkling in the moonlight. It was even prettier than ! Dazzling lights, shimmering, glistening, with the stars above and the moon shining down. It was like a fairy tale.
It felt like Dave was creating this all for me. I reached down with my hands and touched the seat, touched the door, touched the control wheel. Yes, these were solid, real things. I wasn’t dreaming. Or was I? I looked over at him. This time he looked at me and smiled. I looked into his eyes and said, “I love you.” He laughed, the devil! But the moment didn’t pass, instead it went on and on. We flew around the city. I have no idea where we went, it was all too magical, too beautiful. He pointed out his house to me, but all I saw where lights and lines and I couldn’t tell which was his.
I felt like a schoolgirl at the prom. My heart, oh my heart. I checked it. Yes, it was beating normally, but it felt as if it would burst. The emotion that filled me felt like it was lighting up the entire city, it was so strong. How could this man love me? Never before had I felt anything like it, even with Howard. Howard was gentle, and constant, and there for me. I loved him, but what of this love for Dave? It was rapturous, it was passionate, it was so strong I did not know if I could control it, or if it would overpower me with joy.
We landed after a while. I knew the plane was on the ground, but my spirit was still in the sky. Words could not express what I was feeling. Driving back to Dave’s house, I couldn’t let go of his hand. I had to touch him, to hold him, to be connected to him physically. For that little while, he was mine, and I was his.
I thought there was no way the night could get any better, but it did. When we got back home, he made some popcorn and we curled up on the couch to watch the movie Somewhere in Time. It’s a love story about a man who goes back in time to meet the love of his life, only to be torn away after they meet and fall in love, forced back to the present. It was filmed in on , about four hours away from Dave’s home.
It was perfect. Heartbreaking, yet so passionate. It touched my heart, and mirrored how I felt about Dave. It seemed like the movie was made just for the two of us. Here we were, together only a short time, yet it seemed like we were always together, somewhere beyond time, beyond space. I didn’t understand how these things could be, only that they were. Dave and I seemed to be from another place and time, transported to the here and now, a place where it didn’t seem like we belonged.
I had tears in my eyes when the movie finished. I looked at him. The look in his eyes told me that it was the same for him. “How did you know?” I asked.
“I didn’t. It was just my favorite movie, and I wanted to share it with you.”
From that point on, became a favorite place of mine. A place I’ve never been in person, only in spirit. Whenever I hear Rachmaninoff, whose music was used in the movie, I think of and Dave. I wonder where he is and what he’s doing.
I still love him. I always will.