|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
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
Kevin grinned. "So you aren't going with
"No." "That is history." Jacqueline was
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
"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
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
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.