You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.
Naturally, I’d ask if I can have a slice, and if they agree, I’d pull up a chair and start eating, too.
Then I’d remember to ask if they’d like some tea, and I’m sure they’d say yes, so I’d go to the kitchen, put the kettle on, and then finish eating my slice.
After we’ve eaten our slices, and after I’ve poured and served the tea, it’s highly likely that I’d be staring at the guy, my first real crush, and the woman, my late maternal grandmother.
I don’t need to ask how they got in, because the bad habit of not locking the door when I ‘run out for just a few’ is now glaringly apparent. Still, what totally cool guests! Maybe not locking up just because I’ll only be gone a few minutes isn’t such a bad habit after all.
I’d start with Grandma. And, I didn’t overlook the obvious surprise or excitement, because neither unexpected guest is someone I’d hug.
Grandma was the only Grandma I had as a child, and she left this world too early – way before I grew up and had the wherewithal to realize the reality of things.
“So, Grandma, tell me why – out of the seven children you raised – was my mother your favorite?” because after she died, and as I got older, I didn’t agree with her perception at all.
“You grew up in 20th Century wealth, in a bad-ass Victorian home somewhere in Quebec, moved to another bad-ass Victorian somewhere in St. Ignace, and still a third bad-ass Victorian somewhere in Alpena before that fateful day you took a train down to Detroit for a medical exam and met him … your future husband … mom’s favorite dad and my only Grandpa. What was it about him that attracted you? Just curious, because he was the complete opposite of you, your world, and I’m sure your sense of … uppity whatever you were accustomed to living, thinking, and believing at that time.”
Not that I didn’t love Grandpa, but he died even before Grandma, and when I was too little to put a lot of the complex puzzle pieces of a dysfunctional family together to be able to ask the right people the right questions in order to gain the right answers so that it all made sense.
They were both cold, unaffectionate souls with seven grown children when I came along, and it never made sense why they favored their fifth child over the others. I watched in awe as they doted on her, sympathized with her, actually touched her with affection (like a hug, cheek peck, hand squeeze) that they never did for the others or the dozens of grand kids – including me.
“Whatever, Grandma. I still love you, miss you, and thank you so much for thinking of me to drop in and eat some cake.” – I’d likely kiss and hug her against her will, but whatever.
As for the hot guy seated beside her …
He’s still 21, tall, dark, and exceptionally gorgeous. The way I remember him from our high school/college days before I heard he moved to Canada or somewhere.
“You never left my mind,” I’d tell him and not be afraid since this is obviously a figment of my overactive imagination … or a dream. “We made eye contact a few times, that led me to hope there might be some type of magic working its way into our lives, but I guess that wasn’t right.
“Something happened to make you change. I sensed it. You met that ultra Christian girl and started becoming someone new … someone so unlike the guy I knew and fell so deeply in love with back in the 5th grade and never stopped loving through high school, college, career, marriage, and beyond.
“Were you happy? Did there ever come a time in your adult life when you realized the mistake you made – or let others make for you – and went back to being the real you? Her parents were awful pushy about marriage, weren’t they? And, you were only 19 at the time, too.
“I loved you. I still love you, and I miss you as much now as I did while you were close enough to see and touch. I love you enough to have written a novel about our experience.
“You resisted me for a reason, and it made me feel undeserving. I resent that, but I’ve moved on, too. You chose something else and walked away. I know I’m the only one filled with regrets, though. I’d like you to know that if we meet in another lifetime that it’s through my own will and sheer determination.
“This time, I’d like it if you gave me a chance. Let me discover where it might lead, and let me not waste another lifetime missing someone who never cared and shouldn’t have mattered this much.”