Rusty’s Long Lost Love, Part 2

If you have not already read Rusty’s Long Lost Love, Part 1, click here: Rusty’s Long Lost Love, Part 1

There it was.  She had moved away some time ago.  Rusty had not seen her or talked to her.  You could say that Rusty was immature at this particular time in his life.  He would not argue.  He could feel something, but not express it; know something but not know how he should act upon it.  Sometimes he could not act when all indications were that he should.  It was nothing to be proud of, but it was Rusty at that time in his life.

It was a beautiful day in the late spring.  Rusty stretched out in the backseat and let his dad, who always wanted to drive, have his way.  After all, Rusty still had not been told exactly where they were going, who if anyone they would see or even exactly when they would return.  Alternately sleeping, enjoying the scenery and engrossed in books and thoughts, Rusty who had not done much traveling at that point in his life, seemed blissfully unaware of even where they were at any given time.

It was so long ago and with events that would overshadow the entire trip, Rusty cannot even say on which day they took the fateful turn off of the main road.  For what seemed like an eternity they wound through woods and farmland up in the rolling hills, at last arriving at a small farmhouse.  On driving trips Rusty’s father sometimes liked to drop in unannounced on old friends for a brief  visit.  So it did not surprise Rusty that at our destination no one was at home that Sunday afternoon.  Rusty’s parents, somewhat tired from the long drive decided to rest in the car.  Rusty explored the property and waited to see who, if anyone, would ever come.  Wandering into the barn, Rusty found a goat that had just given birth.  He watched the wet stumbling kid before hearing an old station wagon pull up outside.

The sun was bright in Rusty’s eyes.  It was hard to make out who was in the car but as a big family poured forth, Rusty knew who would soon emerge.  It was her, beautiful and lively as ever.  She was smiling, and to Rusty’s great delight, pleased that Rusty was there waiting for her.  There was great excitement and confusion when Rusty announced the birth of the baby goat.  All rushed into the barn.  Soon things settled down and everyone went into the comfortable home to relax and chat.

What happened next seemed strange to Rusty.  After a bit of refreshment all four of the parents as well as the children seemed to understand that Rusty and she needed to be alone.  One child had to be told to stay behind as she took Rusty by the hand and led him out the door.  They walked slowly along the low green rolling foothills of the agrarian countryside.  At one point they stood in the speckled sunshine under a huge tree.  The view before them was so vast it seemed they could see the whole known world.  It was as if their whole future stretched out before them.  They stood close together, holding hands.

What they talked about is just a vague memory to Rusty, but there was an unspoken knowledge that it would be a long time before they could be together again.  After a few hours and a little more visiting with the family, Rusty regretfully trudged back to the car.  We headed slowly down that long winding road.  The details of the rest of that trip have completely faded.  Only the sweet memories of the talk on that hillside remain indelible in his brain.

Rusty returned home.  Life went on with a certain sadness in Rusty’s heart that he had no clue how to cure.   A few weeks later there arrived by post a most singular letter.  It was the beginning of summer.  We’d had no rain for some time.  Yet the ink on the entire envelope was a little fuzzy, like it had been quickly dipped in water.  It was addressed to Rusty but far more important; it was from her.  Rusty shortly realized that this was not a water stained envelope.  It had been sprayed thoroughly with a pungent but sweet perfume.  Rusty flipped it over and was shocked to see the very distinct impression of her precious lips pressed to the paper with a beautiful shade of red lipstick remaining.

Although it was likely one of the most important letters of Rusty’s life, it was, through a series of misfortunes, lost for all time.  Rusty had read it over and over but in the years that intervened can remember only the tone and sweet thoughts of a young lady who missed her love.  Rusty remembers being so overjoyed and yet shocked to receive such a missive that he can only describe the feeling that overtook him as “deer in the headlights.”  He had never received such a wondrous letter.  His aforementioned immaturity and lack of understanding of the nature of life, love, and especially women, left him in a happy state of shock, and foolishly unable to think of how to answer such a lovely declaration.

The days of consternation over how to handle the situation dragged on and turned into weeks and months with no answer from Rusty and no further contact from her.  It sounds ridiculous and yet to Rusty the shock of receiving the letter, unlike her earlier discussions of marriage, just seemed to overwhelm him when it came time to respond.  Rusty is not proud of this inept behavior.  It would not be the only time he so completely mishandled a situation with a woman for whom he had great affection.

Rusty needed some time off.  His parents had previously agreed to support him over the summer.  He was not engaged in any gainful occupation or educational activity.  It was rather a lazy summer punctuated by visits with friends and long lazy days by the pool or at the beach.  There was not a day that summer and for many months to come that Rusty did not think of her.  Rusty could not know at that time but after many years she would fade only a bit from his memory; never leaving completely.  Many years later he thought of trying to look her up but could only force himself to make feeble attempts.  To this day Rusty mentally flagellates himself in penance for his poor and immature handling of such an important situation.  It’s made all the worse because for her age she was mature and had foresight that Rusty was sorely lacking.  At that time, Rusty could neither see nor appreciate what was right before him.

That long lazy, hazy summer after Rusty’s last visit with her finally came to a close.  Rusty knew that he had to return to life without her.  He knew he had to go on; that even if he had contacted her as would have been the correct thing to do, they still could not have been together at that time in their lives.

Rusty knew it was time to get on with his life.  Perhaps later they would be together again.  But for now he must go forward without her, into the third grade.

Many of you may ask, who was this girl?  Some might think they know.  All would like to see a picture of us together or at least one of her, the one who beguiled Rusty so long ago.  Rusty directs you all to his disclaimer and disclosure statements which address situations just like this.

Adventures of Rusty Waters DISCLAIMER and DISCLOSURE

Who knows?  Someday, maybe, Rusty will change that policy just for this case.


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