It’s a story for movies, for novels, for fiction.
That it’s true just makes it better.
Boy meets girl, just children, falls head-over-heels for her before he even says hello.
But war happens, and the baby-faced boy ships out, and letters falter, and another boy moves in, takes his place.
And years flow into decades and they haven’t even said the other’s name. She marries the other boy, raises three children. He also marries, raises three himself.
Decades pile on decades and there are grandchildren. And first he, then she, wear the black of mourners and find themselves alone.
And across the years and states and from the other side of a life, she hears his voice coming through the phone lines on a day in October.
“Sonny!” she says, and the years are erased.
The boy makes good on his childhood promise, and they trade rings on Valentine’s Day. It’s like they never separated, they say. Like he dropped her off last night after the concert and is coming ‘round to see her again today.
Only he’s nearly bald now, and she has left far behind the 95 pounds she weighed as a girl.
They’re telling their story tomorrow morning, on Live! With Regis and Kelly.
And they told me their story, too – over the phone from Florida on a Friday afternoon. Her words wandered from incidental to incidental and my time was short and I fretted at the delay but fretted more at the hurry. Their story was worth so much more.
I wrote it fast, words pouring out of their own volition, a story screaming to be told and telling itself as my fingers tried oh-so-hard to keep up. I wrote, but always I knew there was more to be told.
It’s often like that, when there’s a story that needs telling.
Time is short; people unreachable; space for the printed words constricted by ads or the cost of ink or the litany of petty crimes stamped across page two.
And I take just 45 minutes to take in the story and not much longer to type it out again, pack up my bags and leave for the weekend.
The story is told, and read. But it’s only a fraction of it.
Some stories, that’s enough. You get an idea and that’s all you really need or want.
This one, though, deserves a bit more than I could give it.