The scene takes place in Von Stueben High School, Chicago. The year, 1947. We were strangers. He wore a reindeer sweater, this handsome senior, the most popular boy in his class. I ran up three flights of stairs to invite him to a party. He smiled down at me and said, Yes.” From then on we were best friends, always a couple and later when we married in 1951, he said to everyone, “I chased her until she caught me.”
Life as an Air Force bride was the best. Many temporary duties in foreign countries took my love from me. I learned to be self reliant, live alone until he returned and then came the babies. No longer alone, I managed as my friends in the 301st Air Refueling Squadron did.
Thirty seven years after we were married, my first love died suddenly. Many more years have gone by and now I’m a published author. One night, I dreamed a story of a couple like us. In the morning I began to write. Now What? is a book based loosely on life with my first love. Fiction, of course but if the following blurb entices you, know that the journey is close to my heart and I hope it touches you.
It was 2:30 a.m. when the phone rang. I fumbled for it, my heart starting a race toward bad news. Our doctor’s voice urged me to hurry. I crammed into clothes as if I expected this call.
It is only a fever that won’t go down, isn’t it?
Our doctor shook his head. “Carly, I’m so sorry.”
Settling in beside my Bob, I held his cooling hand and asked the two words spoken many times during our years together. “Now what?” This time there was no response. I was on my own for the first time. When my fingers touched his wedding ring, I slipped it off and held it in my fist. The gold band was warm. I clung to him. “Come back to me, dearest.”
Sometimes what you wish for is more than you can live with.
Now What? by Charmaine Gordon