© Chuck Duboff
It was always the smile. It was always the eyes. They were so magical, mesmerized me at so many levels. Each time I dared to look at her, to dare a smile, she would return it in kind; her eyes would sparkle and her smile would melt my heart. I didn’t really know her all that well, other than to give a nod, than to give a hopeful greeting. “Hey, how are you?” When she would return that with a warm “hi”, my heart beat would speed up. Naively my thoughts went to dreams of the two of us together, happily enjoying life. It’s amazing what a beautiful woman can do to a man.
We saw each other sporadically throughout that summer; we’d sit and talk about life, without any real hope that anything was going to happen between us. Deep within, it felt like there was a real connection, a spark that brought us closer together…or was that just wishful thinking on my part. The talks were wonderful, as it gave me another chance to see those beautiful eyes and magical smile.
We drifted off apart and went on with our lives. Occasionally I’d see her name pop up on Facebook; this would elicit both a sense of happiness, while at the same time producing a certain degree of sadness, knowing she was with someone other than myself. The reality settled in and I accepted that she had her own life and any interaction between us would be that of just friends.
As fate would have it, I was made aware that poor health had overtaken my friend. Her journey had become so difficult; her partner had abandoned her when her medical condition had deteriorated. Upon finding out this terrible news, my heart broke for the one who had brought so much sunshine to life.
Quite unexpectedly, she reached out to me. She needed to talk, someone she could trust, she could open up to. Our ability to communicate was taken back to earlier days and we chatted and texted for hours; I wanted to do whatever I could to help, to encourage, to support her…to give her some hope.
I saw her and was truly in shock with what I saw; fate had been so very cruel to one so very beautiful. The brace and cane helped her to walk; her hand was disabled and speech/memory seriously affected. How could this be? How could this happen to one so young, one so beautiful? I was shaken, but tried so very hard to not let on. I sensed her worry about my reaction; she sensed the tears I was trying to hold back.
We texted for hours that night…