first love: Danny

(Part III of IV)

Previously: While “promised” to each other, after high school, Georgene and Danny’s path begin to diverge. Suddenly Danny joins the Air Force and makes enough money for them to be wed immediately after boot camp.

Within two months Danny headed for boot camp and my mother and I headed for the local department store to buy a wedding gown. It was all happening too fast and I was feeling trapped. Everyone I knew was enthusiastic about this. Why wasn’t I?

At the eleventh hour, I called off the wedding. The next thing I knew I was waiting at the airport to greet Danny, as he returned from boot camp, to tell him what my friends and family already knew.

I still remember the way his face lit up when he saw me outside of the terminal as he was coming down the steps of the plane. He was thinner and looked spectacular in his uniform. He ducked his head and held his cap on his head while he ran across the tarmac to me, buffeted by the wind from the plane’s props. I almost lost my resolve.

It was then that I knew that I loved him with a childish kind of love. It was a love that couldn’t stand against the stresses of so much newness and distance from all that helped me feel safe.

I felt the traitor as I held myself back from his ardent welcome kiss. Waiting those minutes while he babbled with excitement about what he had done and what he couldn’t wait to share, and his questions about wedding plans.

It took a bit of time, but he finally realized that things were not as they should be. And then, after a few false starts, it was my turn to babble as I tried to explain my fears about leaving all I held dear, the “too soon-ness” of it all, and the tug to learn more about, well, “everything” before being married.

Georgene (Jan.’11) adds, “My remembrance of our meeting at the airport has the aura of the ‘boy loses girl’ climax of a well-written novel or beautifully filmed movie. My mind’s eye sees every detail.

Am I remembering this drama accurately? I can’t be sure of the facts but I am sure of my feelings.”

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