By Ray Martinez
“Can you recall your love affair from 50 years ago? Your first love? Your real first love affair?”
Aaaahhhh …. I will never forget mine…
It has been exactly 52 years, and I think of her every single day. Not a day goes by without wishing her back.
It all started when I was eighteen. Every weekend, my friends and I would go out together. We were together everywhere, the beach, dances, ball games, all together as one. One of my closest friends, Casey – the oldest one in the group, had a great job as the manager of a national paint conglomerate. The rest of us were in school and later went to Vietnam. Casey stayed. He had the looks, premature salt and pepper hair which gave him an air of distinction. Although we were like brothers, no one knew that deep inside I had a little bit of envy towards him. Every time we would go out, seven or eight of us crammed in my car, I was the one that drove everyone. But Casey? No. Casey always went on his own with her. None of our friends really paid attention, but I did. I was the only one that felt that anxiety pain every time I saw him arrive with her. At the end of the evening, I could not get out of my mind the fact that he was going home with her. That he would spend the week with her by his side. I dreamed of her while hurting at the same time.
One day, Casey called me and said that he had to speak to me. He sounded serious. Could he have noticed me lusting after the beauty he had? I immediately went to his home.
Oh no! There she was at Casey’s. With my heart beating faster as it always did when I saw her, I knocked at the door. He opened it. There was a park across the street from his home. We walked to it and sat on a bench. He looked at me and said, “Ray, I have seen the way you look at my baby. I know that you really want her to be yours. I admire the fact that you have respected our friendship, and never mentioned anything. You are a true friend. This is why I am here talking to you. I want you to be the first to know. With my promotion at work and the handsome raise that I got, I decided to move on. Sadly, I have made the decision to let my love go. I was with her for over two years, but now I want to see her with some one that would appreciate her, some one that would love her.”
I couldn’t believe my ears! Could my dream finally come through?
Finally, I had her. She was mine. From that moment on we were inseparable. After a period of getting to know each other better by us going out and frequent all the places where I would lust after her while she was with my friend, we bonded. It was now time to expand our relationship, to take it to the next level. I wanted to know everything about her, her past, her present, and now plan her future with me. What a better way to for us to bond than by taking a vacation, a road trip.
We went to the Florida Keys and then from Florida up the East Coast to New Hampshire, then to Vermont and back to Florida. It was an unforgettable trip. Top down, the wind hitting us head on, the cities and places that neither one of us had never traveled to. It was Heaven on Earth. Could life be any better?
We stayed together for a little over 32 years, but as life goes, sadly the time came when she could not hold on any longer. With tears in my eyes, and my heart torn into a million pieces, she was gone. I knew that I would never find another one that would give those happy moments that we shared. Sadly, I lost all pictures of her back in 1993 due to Hurricane Andrew.
Twenty-two years have passed, and I can’t forget those memories. But now I have to move on. I don’t want to feel this loneliness in my later years. The reality is that I have to find another one. Never to replace her, but to fill that void in my heart, even if it is just a small part of that void.
I will find my new love, but I will never forget my first one … the one that stole my heart … the one that I had enjoyed the best years of my life with. Nothing could ever replace her nor come close, but I won’t stop looking until I find another. It will be hard, but I must – for my sanity. Even then, she will always be my first.
Oh, I forgot to tell you, she was my beautiful, gorgeous 1965 British Racing Green MGB.