Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life Isn't Fair

I had to risk looking like an old fool and ask. We were parked in front of her apartment on a pleasant evening. I waited for what seemed like the right opportunity and posed the question. “Are you looking for something romantic?”

An odd look came across her face. She hesitated for a moment and replied with a question. “Is it that obvious?”

I had moved to Texas a few months earlier and she was a co-worker. She was intelligent, educated, cute, lively and, for some unexplained reason, single. I was surprised one morning when I received a chatty email that had nothing to do with work. The next day another one arrived with the unforgettable subject “Andes Mountains Unicycle Riding”. It was just a friendly “hello”. A few days later she popped into my office with a plate of freshly baked cookies. I thanked her but the thought that went through my mind was “This is strange!”. When she invited me to a movie I accepted out of curiosity and a desire for company.

It was a few nights later that I posed my question. At the time I was forty-nine and she was twenty-eight. Why in hell would a pretty young woman be interested in me? I was a gray balding man who had been divorced for about three years, was still in the healing stage and had no plans or obvious future. What was the attraction?

As we began to talk I learned she had lupus and other health issues. She had dated several young men but all of them ended the relationship when they learned about her health problems. I have a sister, a nurse, who said the young lady would probably not live beyond her mid-fifties.

I was honest with her and disappointed her as others had done.

She met a young man and had another short-term relationship before taking a job in a city about fifty miles away. She wanted children but through the grapevine I heard news that a surgeon removed that possibility. I saw her one last time a few years later. She had put on a few pounds and the glow in her smile had lessened and her liveliness had declined.

She wanted nothing more from life than marriage, children, hope and happiness. She wanted what we all want but life isn’t fair and had denied her these things.

Something said in last night’s meeting of the men’s group caused me to think of her for the first time in a few years. I wonder if she ever found someone with whom to share the remaining years of her life. I hope so.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Though trite it may be to say; life doesn't promise us fair - only real.

Over the years I have looked back and wondered about someone, something. I'm not sure I like doing that.

10/05/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Whitesnake said...

It is true that life can be unkind, surely it is what you make of your time. I am with Buff, I have looked back and sometimes often. The what if's creep around. I could have ended up in Minnesota or Canada if only!
Sometimes I don't think it is a good thing.

10/05/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I wonder if she's still with us. If som I hope she found happiness. It does take grace sometimes. I may need some of that soon.

10/05/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

The occassions were rare, but they did happen, and afterwards, rejecting someone haunts me, because I know the pain of rejection, and being the one that causes such pain lays me low whenever I think of it.

10/07/2006 02:45:00 PM  

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