By Henry Dumas
January 31, 2023
“We were supposed to meet each other on the Bay Bridge at midnight, but he never showed up.” Marlene told her best friend Sally Conner at school the next day.
Marlene Williams was a typical high school girl. She had a Barbie doll figure, long blond hair, and beautiful hazel eyes. Her smile lit up the room, and all the popular boys wanted to be with her.Read more: Write a story that starts with the sentence. We were supposed to meet each other on the Bay Bridge at midnight, but he never showed up.
The first time Marlene saw Allen was in high school, and she wondered why she hadn’t noticed him before. She couldn’t take her eyes off him and wanted to say hello when they passed each other in the halls. But she was too shy.
Allen was tall and handsome. His long, dark brown curly hair hung down to his shoulders and his baby blue eyes sparkled when he was happy. He hung out with a small group of friends and he didn’t consider himself one of the cool kids.
As the years passed by, she watched him as he sauntered down the halls and tried to find the courage to say hello. That day finally arrived in their senior year.
It was late in the afternoon as Marlene hurried over the Bay Bridge on her way home. The bridge was a shortcut, and she didn’t enjoy being on it in the dark. She saw Allen walking toward her, and was surprised when he stopped.
“Hello Allen,” she giggled.
Suddenly, he blurted out. “How about watching a movie on Saturday night? There’s a dusk-to-dawn thrill- a-thon at the Burke theater. All my friends are coming. Do you want to come?”
“S… sounds good to me,” she stuttered. Wondering how she would get out of the house without her parents finding out. Her dad would ground her for life if she got caught.
“We can meet on this bridge at midnight and walk to the movie theater together.” They both said at the same time.
Saturday night came. Marlene waited for him on the bridge, and it surprised her when he didn’t show up. She was heartbroken, and decided to give him a piece of her mind at school on Monday.
She looked for him at school. He wasn’t there.
“I’ll ask Sally. She lives two houses down from him. Maybe she knows why he didn’t come.” Marlene mumbled to herself. She hustled down the hallway and saw Sally standing at her locker.
“Where’s Allen?” she shouted!
“His father got a job offer in a different town,” Sally replied with a shrug of her shoulders.
“He moved away and didn’t leave me a forwarding address. Marlene scoffed. Why didn’t he tell me he was moving? At least he could have given me his updated address or phone number?”
Sally slammed the locker door shut. “Sorry, I don’t know why.” She replied.
The days turned into months, and the years quickly passed. Allen married Sally Conners, and they raised their only daughter, Christine. Sally passed away several years ago.
Alen stood six feet tall. His long curly hair with gray splashes still hung down to his shoulders. He still had his boyish handsome looks and what he called old man strength. He recently retired from his job as a fireman. At this point in his life, he didn’t want to be in a romantic relationship. He spent his bachelor-like life playing cards with his friends, line dancing on Thursday nights, and hanging out with his only grandson, Lawrence. When friends asked him if he was going on dates. He jokingly told them, “I would rather have a milkshake.”
It was late afternoon. Allen strolled down the grocery store aisle wearing a bright flowery Hawaiian shirt, khaki short pants, and New Balance running shoes. He wouldn’t get caught dead wearing sandals. It was the most appropriate outfit for the one-hundred-degree weather. He hummed a tune from an old country and western song Buicks to the moon and danced a western two-step as he pushed the shopping cart down the aisle.
“You look cute in that Hawaiian shirt,” she said.
He looked over his shoulder and saw an older woman about his age standing so close to him they almost touched shoulders. Her beautiful hazel eyes, gorgeous smile, and the aroma of her perfume caught his attention.
“I probably purchased the shirt from Amazon. I buy a lot of stuff from them,” he laughed.
“No,” she smiled. “I think you look cute in that Hawaiian shirt with your long, curly gray hair and baby blue eyes. You remind me of someone special from my past.” She reached over and brushed back a lock of his unruly hair.
“There, that looks better,” she said.
“Thanks,” he replied as he danced away.
As he danced down the aisle. A dozen questions raced through his brain. “She looks familiar? Who is she? Was she putting the moves on me, or just being friendly? She acted like she knew me?”
He stopped and looked over his shoulder at her. She was still standing in the aisle, staring at him as if she wanted to say something more. There was something about the beautiful women standing in the aisle that made him want to turn around and go back, but he thought that would be silly.
He slowly walked across the blacktop parking lot, sat in his car, and drove away. He stopped his car at a stop sign and said it out loud. “I should go back.”
He paused and shook his head from side to side. “Maybe she’s married or has a boyfriend.” He mumbled, “Some things are better left alone.” He spun the car around and drove away.
His mind quickly changed to the weather. “It’s hot outside and I need a cold drink,” he whispered to himself.
He stopped at a convenience store, ran inside, and filled his drink mug.
He put the drink on the counter and rummaged in his pockets. “I have the exact change,” he said to the cute middle-aged cashier standing behind the counter.
He placed a pile of loose change on the counter. “Old people always have the exact change,” he laughed.
The cashier smiled, “you look like you are having a wonderful day.”
“Yes, I am, he said. I got lucky today. I saw a beautiful woman in a store and she reminded me of someone special from my past,” he replied.
“Wow, your eyes are sparkling. Who was she?” the cashier asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied.
He looked at the cashier, took a deep breath, and paused. Suddenly, his eyes lit up as if a light bulb had just turned on in his head and he shouted at no one in particular. “Marleen, her name is Marlene. We were at school together.” He paused again. “She didn’t have a wedding ring on her finger,” he exclaimed. “I hope she’s still in the store. I have questions I want to ask her.”
The lady behind the counter burst out laughing. “Good for you. Give me a high five,” she said. She stepped out from behind the counter and held out her hand. They clapped their hands together and smiled at each other as he turned and ran out the door, leaving his drink on the counter.
“I hope you get lucky tonight,” the cashier shouted, still laughing.
Getting lucky was the furthest thing from his mind. He just wanted to see her again. And he had so many questions he wanted to ask her.
Allen was sorry he couldn’t meet her on the Bay Bridge that night. His father was transferred to a new job, and he needed to start work the next morning. He spent the night packing bags and loading the family truck. He didn’t know Marlene’s address or phone number. Lucky for him, Sally Conner was Marlene’s best friend. And Sally lived down the street from him. He put a note in an envelope addressed to Sally in the Conners’ mailbox.
The note said. “Marlene, this is my up dated address. Please write to me. We can exchange phone numbers. I like you and would like to be friends.”
Marlene never got the note, so she didn’t reply. Sally wrote frequently. Allen and Sally exchanged phone numbers, and one thing led to another. Two years later they got married, and the rest is history.
“Why didn’t she contact me?” He said out loud, pounding on the steering wheel.
He ran into the store, searching up and down the aisles. She was not there. He stopped at the checkout counter, tried to describe what she looked like, and asked if anyone had seen her. No one remembered her. She’s disappeared like a ghost.
Tears ran down his cheeks. He couldn’t believe he had lost her again. He shuffled toward the door and walked out into the bright sunlit afternoon. He saw a woman standing in the parking lot. The afternoon sun surrounded her in a halo of bright sunlight. For a moment, he thought she looked like an angel. Her blond hair was now gray, and she still had her Barbie doll figure. She looked at him with the same beautiful smile he remembered from high school.
“Hello Allen,” Marleen said, walking toward him. “I came back. I hoped you would still be here.”
He reached out, took her hand, and felt electricity surging through his body. He could tell she felt the same way.