Lost Love Darleen...is now available at Smashwords and Kindle Direct.
As a young man he fell in love with a classmate on the last day before she was moving away, forever. He goes on to live his life as best as he can. Forty years in the future after a long marriage, his wife is taken away from him by cancer. Just as he thought his life was over, he finds his lost love.
It was 1968, I had just graduated from high school. To be exact, it was July 4th, 1968 and there was a block party taking place and I was dancing with the most exciting and beautiful girl I had ever gone to school with. Her name was Darleen. It was still light out and the band was playing a lot of slow songs at the request of several of the dancers, me being one of them. I was holding Darleen close, she was blowing in my ear. I was 18, she was only 17, besides she had just told me she was leaving the state in the morning. Her father had been transferred. I was crushed. I fell in love with her that night. I think she felt the same as we held each other as we moved to the music.
"I'll miss you," I whispered in her ear.
"I'll miss you too." Her warm breath made me shiver. I felt her shiver, too.
I think we were both afraid to tell each other we loved them. I was. I was afraid if I said it, she would leave. She was anyway, but I wanted to hold her in my arm for as long as I could.
"Don?" she started.
"What?" I asked.
"Never mind," she said shyly.
I pulled my head back to look into her eyes. She smiled at me. I quickly pressed my lips to hers. She didn't pull away, she started to kiss me back. We kissed for a long time. At least until one of her girlfriends tapped her on the shoulder.
"We shouldn't," she said, swatting at her friend.
"You're right, at least not here."
Her head snapped around so her eyes were gazing into mine.
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"It means I shouldn't have kissed you here. Somewhere else, in private. Who was that who smacked you?"
"She's just a friend who came with me to look after me."
"Ah. It's nice to have friends like that." I rolled my eyes as I said it. Her friend was behind me so she couldn't see my face.
"It is," Darleen said trying not to laugh.
"Let's go get a soda," I said, taking her hand and pulling her away from the crowd of dancers. She willingly came with me.
We grabbed a soda out of one of the coolers that dotted the street and went and sat at one of the many picnic tables that also dotted the street. We could both see Darleen's friends watching us from the edge of the crowd by the band. I laughed.
"What are you laughing at now?" she asked.
"They are watching over you like mother hens as if I would try anything on the first night we realized that we..." I stopped. I had almost said we loved each other.
"You wouldn't?" she asked, surprised at my comment.
"No. I would like to kiss you some more, maybe feel your breasts," I admitted, feeling a little embarrassed.
"I would like that too, but not tonight."
"But you're leaving tomorrow...never mind. I would never force myself on you."
I leaned over and to kiss her cheek. She turned her head so our lips were pressed together. I moaned, she sighed. I pulled my lips away and just looked into her eyes.
"I think I'm falling in love with you. Thank you for just dancing with me."
"Don...I have something to tell you...I love you too. I have since freshman year. I was hoping that you would ask me out, but we didn't have any classes together and the only place we were at the same place at the same time was homeroom and then I was way up in the back and you were down front." She stopped drawing in a breath that sounded like a sob.
"I wish I had known," I said wanting to kiss her, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw her friend heading our way.
Darleen looked up at her friend and shook her head. Her friend backed away, her eyes still on us. Darleen looked back at me and squeezed her eyes shut. A single tear rolled out of the corner of her eye and down her cheek. I took her hand in mine and brought it to my lips. I pressed them gently to the soft skin on the back of her hand. Then I turned her hand over and kissed the palm. As I let her hand go, she grabbed my face and pressed her lips to mine hard. I could see her friend with her hands on her hips. I guess if I didn't start the kiss, it was okay for us to kiss.
We sat there kissing for a long time. I had my arms around Darleen, hers around me. I kept mine where her friend could see them. When we finally broke our kiss, it was getting dark. The sky was still lit, but the street lights had come on and we were in shadow. I took Darleen's hand in mine and stood up.
"Come on, let's dance my lady," I said. Even to my ears, it sounded pretty lame.
Darleen giggled, but stood up and followed me back to the dance area. We danced together the rest of the night. A lot of guys tried to cut in, but Darleen would tell them no when I stepped back to let them in. She would say no, then rush into my arms. The band stopped playing at eleven o'clock. Darleen and I stood there just holding each other.
"Dar, we have to go," her friend said.
"I know, now go away for a few minutes."
Her friend retreated until we couldn't see her. Then Darleen pressed her lips to mine. I kissed her back with all the passion I felt for her. After a few minutes, Darleen broke the kiss and hugged me fiercely.
"I love you, Don. There will always be a place in my heart for you."
"I love you too, Darleen, so much it's hard for me to speak anymore."
"Oh god," she whispered, then handed me an envelope. "Don't read this until tomorrow night, please."
She pulled my lips to hers one more time. The kiss was short-lived, then she was gone. I stood there like an idiot. I watched as she slowly walked away until I couldn't see her anymore. Then there was my next door neighbor standing in front of me. She just looked up at me with sad eyes.