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Chilocco School Short Stories
Happenings


Having dropped into a recliner after a busy day with the grandchildren, Jacqueline immediately dropped off to sleep. The ringing of the phone on her table beside the chair woke her.

"Hello!" "Hello!" "Is this the Johnson residence?"

There was no connection for Jacqueline. She could not recognize the woman's voice. The women continued. "This is Teresa, calling from Hawaii."

With this Jacqueline was immediately alert and the fog of sleep slipped away from her.

"Teresa!" "I am so shocked!" "You know I thought I had lost you totally." Jacqueline was so pleasantly surprised to hear from a dear old friend.

"Let me put Kevin on the line?" "He wants to visit with you and I'm due for a meeting." "I must run for now."

Jacqueline waited for her old friend to come to the phone and as she waited she was caught up in memories.

"Hey!" Jacqueline heard his relaxed voice sounding just like nearly fifty years had never existed. "Did we wake you?" He asked.

"Yes, but I guess you have saved my life again." "I forgot to take my medicine." "I feel asleep in the recliner."

As they visited the years fell away and when she hung up the phone she was remembering when they were children in boarding school at Chilocco. She had been dating a boy whose mother was her mother's friend. They both had attended Chilocco too. At first they were enjoying the socials, the parties, lawn socials but gradually they were pulled in different directions. She wasn't exactly what he wanted and she was becoming more dissatisfied with him. Finally, they made a clean break, she thought. Because they were a steady couple, and everyone knew that she found herself setting at home through the parties without an escort. "Oh well." She accepted the consequences with no complaining.

One evening after supper, Kevin caught up with her as she left the dining hall. "Jessie said he was taking you to the Trades party?"

"Why!" "That rat." "So that is why I have been sitting home from socials." "I wonder how many people he has told that?"

Kevin grinned. "So you aren't going with him?"

"No." "That is history." Jacqueline was adamant.

Kevin was a person of few words. "Well then, will you go with me?"

Jacqueline was pleased to be asked. These were not boyfriend, girlfriend things. It was just simply a rule. They could not go without an escort. For her to go was a nice thing for both of them.

"I would be so pleased." Jacqueline was too grateful to be coy or play hard to get.

This was the only occasion they went together to anything. He went his way and she, with the hold her old boyfriend held over her broken, was able to enjoy the rest of the year going to one or another function always with a different escort.

It wasn't until the year around 1973 did she see him again and in another strange circumstance. They were living in Dallas and she wanted to attend a convention at the Astrodome. Because, as always this was not in the budget Jacqueline called an acquaintance whose husband was well into the money scene in Dallas. When the woman drove her Roll Royce into the drive way, walked into the house and lifted picture after picture off the wall it was with this money they attended the convention. Without elaborating it was not an easy thing though. One after another event brought them to a place where they were not sure they could get there. She was determined and they in their youth just worked through car trouble, ruined reservations and others in a better place. Car trouble again. Finally, after all these things were settled they came to their seats at the astrodome.

The huge place was full. There were seats set up all the way to the speaker stand on what would have been the playing field, plus the stands were full. Jacqueline knew the session would be long so she headed for the concession stand for drinks for the children. She couldn't believe her eyes when she saw her old friend Kevin there.

In the few days' following they became reacquainted. She met his wife and children.

As sure as clockwork ever after in the cold miserable month of January she would receive a box of chocolates with Macadamia nuts and a calendar of beautiful Hawaii. It seemed the calendar always came when she was particularly low about some one thing or another. Sometimes, she would sit down and cry quiet tears as she opened the package.

Jacqueline walked to the medicine cabinet, took her medicine and again said a silent prayer for the friend who was always "just there" at the strangest times.


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