Six months ago, I was excited as I drove to deliver a Pontiac to Indianapolis. Because waiting for me there was none other than Karen Robbins, the first love of my life. First girl I ever held hands with, first girl I ever kissed, first girl I ever... well, anyway, I've never fallen out of love with her. And even though I hadn't seen her in 16 years, she still held the key to my heart. I had stayed in touch, and knew she was running a successful Cafe in downtown Indy with a partner.
As I got closer, visions of a lovers reunion danced in my head.
I pulled up to her house late in the afternoon. As I walked up to the front door, my eyes were covered by a pair of hands that crept up from behind. "Guess who?" I heard a familiar voice say. I spun around and hugged Karen, who was still slender and had remained remarkably youthful. Her hair was still shiny blond, and her smile was pure sunshine.
"Hey there, sweet gal. I didn't hear you come up behind me, you are stealthy."
"Yeah, I'm a sneaky little SOB. Boy, its sure is good to see you." She brushed her hand against my cheek. "You made good time if you drove from Virginia today."
"I knew you were waiting on this end, so I was inspired to break the speed limit."
"I've always been your inspiration."
"Yes you have."
"So, you want to come inside, or just stand here in the yard all night?"
"I vote for inside." We walked in and a Golden Retriever came rushing up to meet us. I fell to my knees and began petting her. "Who is this?"
"Bill, meet Lily. Lily, this is Bill. You still love dogs, don't you?"
I nuzzled Lily and said, "Yep, and I always will."
"You want a beer?"
"You bet." I followed her into the kitchen and we both opened a beer. I held mine high and said, "Here's to the most beautiful girl that I ever fell in love with."
We clinked our bottles together, and she laughed. "You're just as corny as ever."
"Yes I am. Wait... did you say corny? I thought you said horny."
"You bastard!" She punched me playfully in the arm. "How was the drive?"
"Mildly boring. How was your day?"
She yawned and set her beer down. "Rough and tough. My partner Cheryl is out of town, so I had to run things alone."
"How's business at the Cafe?"
"I'll open another brew and tell you all about it. Ready for another?"
I gulped down the rest of my beer and belched. "Now I am."
"You are still a nut." We adjourned to the Den, and kept on drinking as we strolled down memory lane together. We talked about our first kiss, where I was scared to death and she finally had to grab me and plant one on my lips just to save time. And the field trip we took to the State Capitol in High school when I tried to make a U-turn on the highway going 55mph and ended up doing a 180. She remembered nearly peeing her pants. And she asked about my Mom, so I told her about the accident and the pain I felt after the funeral over unresolved issues.
After a few hours and a lot of beers, we were both feeling buzzed. I laughed and said, "Do you remember the gift you gave me on my 20th birthday?"
"You mean when I drove 300 miles to steal your virginity?"
"That's the one."
"I rocked your world. Admit it, go ahead, admit it."
"You did, I admit it freely. Can I... would you mind if I asked you
for some insight?"
"Step into my office, lay down. Don't worry, I haven't lost a patient yet."
I laid down across the couch I was sitting on. "OK, Dr. Karen, I feel alone all
the time and need somebody to hold and to love."
"If you want to be showered with love and told how wonderful you are, forget it."
"Shut up, I'm analyzing. You care about people, often too much for your own
good. You try to help people, but often get taken advantage of. And somehow,
nutty folks and crazy situations always seem to find you. I read your Blogs,
I know what I'm talking about here." She got up and walked over to me, sat down on my lap and kissed my forehead. "You're a good soul, Bill." She cradled my face in her hands. "I'm just glad you're here. I wish Cheryl were here, she wanted to meet you."
"Cheryl, that's your partner at the Cafe, right?"
"Right, and my roommate and my lover."
"Oh... Oh! So... now wait, are you saying--"
"I'm gay, Bill."
I was completely flustered. "Oh, yeah, well sure you are. I mean... How's that working out for you?"
"Well, I like it fine, and Cheryl seems to dig it, too."
"I'm sure, of course, I mean why wouldn't she?"
"Are you OK, Bill?"
"Fine, fine, just great. No problem at all."
"What's bothering you?"
"We had sex. It was the best I've ever had."
"I was there, I remember."
"So, did I somehow turn you gay?"
She burst out with laughter. "Honey, it's not always about you. When we were
together, I was in love with you. You were my first and only man. And it was
very special to me."
"Me too. How did I not know this, I feel so stupid."
"I've been thinking about you all these years, then I come here and
fall in love with you all over again. And you're taken."
"I still love you very much. I just took a different path."
"I guess I hoped we'd have the chance to reunite someday."
"We have, right here, tonight. Just not under the sheets. Is that
what you were hoping for?" she asked with a smile.
"No," I answered, a bit embarrassed.
She began poking me playfully. "Is that what you wanted? To wrestle under the
sheets with me?"
She giggled and shook her head. "You're still the same sweet guy I fell for all those years ago. Come on, time for bed." She took me to the guest room, then kissed me on the cheek and said she would see me in the morning.
I laid in bed for an hour, unable to go to sleep. My mind was busy processing all of this new and unexpected information. My heart was tugging at me, because all of my feelings for Karen had resurfaced, and yet... I couldn't help feeling alone, it had been over five years since I had felt the touch of a woman. Sex is great, but I would settle for just someone to hold.
In the darkened room, I heard something moving towards me. "Hello? Is someone there?"
"No," answered Karen.
"OK, Mysterious Voice, I just thought I heard a noise."
"Pay no attention, I'm just sleepwalking." She climbed onto the bed beside me. "Pay no attention at all. This is just a dream. We can cuddle, but no hanky panky. When you wake up tomorrow, you'll forget all about this, like it never happened." I put my arms around her and held her close to me, and was filled with a warm feeling of love and security like I hadn't felt in forever. It was wonderful.
The next day, I seemed to have a vague memory of it all as I drove the Pontiac to deliver it. With a huge grin on my face,I suddenly found myself bursting into song. "Zip a dee doo dah, zip a dee a, my oh my, my ex-girlfriend is gay!"