Updated: Jan 25, 2019
“A Week of Years” begins with the end of a love story, but the other day someone asked, “What about the love story itself? What happened?”
A couple other people told me they'd been wondering the same thing. The poems in the chapter titled “Tuesday’s Lost Love” were almost painful to narrate so I wasn’t sure what I was letting myself in for, but that story IS central to my book.
So, for Jillian, Marcelle, and everyone else who wondered how true love was lost, please bear with me, I think I better start at the beginning…
It was in fact, a love-at-first-sight story. I’ve loved (and loved deeply) before and since, but Lynne has always been the great love of my life. Although decades have passed, my first sight of her is still crystal-clear in my memories.
I was at the Binary Star, a rock-n-roll club on Lemmon Avenue in south Dallas. My local haunt; the club had a separate area that boasted a dozen foosball tables and six of the top ten players in the world. I spent most every night competing all night in that high-speed game, but every so often I needed a break.
I stepped through an open doorway into the other side of the club, leaned against a post to watch that evening's band, Southern Cross, playing "Simple Man" on the elevated stage in front of me, then casually turned my head to check out the crowded dance floor on my left. That's when I caught my first sight of Lynne.
She had long blonde hair falling in big loose curls down her back. She was wearing a white pantsuit that, as she moved to the music, hinted at her beautiful, full figure. She captured my complete attention and she must have caught me looking because soon enough, she came off the dance floor, walked right up, and asked if I wanted to dance.
Our connection was immediate. There was none of the awkwardness of a first encounter. It was almost as though we'd known each other for years, or even lives. We were totally comfortable together.
After the club closed, it just seemed natural to head for my apartment. I found out she was from Chicago, here visiting a friend. She was on the swim team and, a year younger than me, she was about to graduate high school. She looked and acted exactly like the proverbial girl next door and I kept getting lost in the wonder in those wide, innocent blue eyes.
We talked and kissed and talked some more. Time slipped by deliciously. Then she wanted to hear the poetry I mentioned earlier I loved to write. I was deep into reading to her when Lynne stopped me, looked deep in my eyes, and said in an awed whisper, “John, I have fallen in love with you”.
I had been feeling the magic too but could not really comprehend. I saw it in those sweet blue eyes though and every fiber of her being radiated sincerity. This person I barely knew had just handed me her heart.
The strangest part?
While my brain may have been two steps behind, our spirits were already so intertwined, the moment didn't seem at all strange to my heart.
We fell into each other's arms and our kisses became far more passionate. Clothes were coming off when Lynne, not pulling away one bit, tried to give me another gift, breathlessly stating she was still a virgin.
This is the point where emotions sweep the two young lovers away and a pulp romance like love story takes over the page completely, right?
Wrong. Something inside me decided, in spite of the heat of moment, that taking her innocence would have been a betrayal of a deep trust she had freely given when she declared her love.
Long, slow kisses and gentle caresses filled the next few hours, but as sunlight began filtering through the drapes, Lynne was still a virgin. Passion no longer making demands on our bodies, simple brushes of lips, the soft touch of skin against skin, and most of all deep long looks, seemingly into each other's souls, generated enough electricity to keep us happy as we cuddled and conversed easily and intimately until the sun came up.
I took her home that morning and went back to my apartment to sleep. The phone started ringing a few hours later. It was Lynne. Because she had stayed out all night, her father demanded her immediate return to Chicago. She was in tears and promised to call once she got back home. I was beyond sad to see her go, but it went through my still sleep deprived, too simple male brain that her parents might have just put an end to us.
Shows you how little a young man knows. A trip to Chicago was in my near future.
End of Part I