Sunday, March 23, 2008

'The Man' Tales - And Then D Arrived

The two-hour drive to the train station in Edmonton was fraught with apprehension and anticipation. I was letting this person into my life and my house and what did I know of him? We had spent less than 20 days together and we were now looking at what? Forever? How were we to know? What if it didn’t work out – where would he go? I’m sure he had gone through all of this before he had asked me if he could move here, but I had said yes without thinking about it. I had said yes as a gut reaction to missing him and always wishing for the end of his schooling. And now today was the day where we had to face each other and our future together.

I arrived at the station just as they announced the arrival of D’s train. Standing on the platform I searched the faces that descended and watched as couples threw themselves into each other’s arms and kissed. I felt like I was in a movie that was set in the 40’s and I was waiting for my man to get off the train. While the smoke billowed from the steam engine that huffed and puffed, I looked fetching in my hat and straight skirt and peephole shoes. In reality my slacks were slightly pilled around the pockets where I hid my hands when I was nervous, and I had been wearing my top for a couple of years and it was beginning to show. But I did look anxiously about like the frantic heroine – my eyes searching each stranger, a pucker forming between my eyebrows.

A train-car away a tall thin stranger stepped down onto the platform and flashed me a weary smile. Cocking my head I looked him over carefully, not sure if it was D or not. He had lost an incredible amount of weight and the skin around his eyes looked bruised and dark. His hair was longer, but it still smelled like pears when a blast of air from the engines blew it across my face. I knew for sure that it was him when he bent his head and kissed me softly and hesitantly. I just knew.

The drive back was a long story about the sights and thrills of traveling across Canada by train. When we pulled into the mall parking lot, D had just about finished his tale. When we walked into the store together, my mother looked up in surprise before asking him what he was doing back.

“I’ve decided to move here permanently and I just got off the train in Edmonton.” He looked down and smiled kindly at my mother who was almost a foot and a half shorter than him. She turned her head and shot me a glance that conveyed a million words that didn’t need to be said. I knew what she was thinking.

“So that is why my daughter is late for work then.”

“Yes. She picked me up.”

“How nice for you – but she should have okayed it with me.” I shook my head and walked away.

That night was the opening night of the dinner theater and I had arranged tickets for Cid, D and my mother. D was still in his traveling clothes and he spent some time in the small washroom in the store freshening up. We arrived a bit early and took our seats at the large round table. When Cid appeared at the door, I presented his ticket to the doorman and directed him to our table and sat him next to D. I managed a quick introduction just before the lights went down and we were swept up in the first act.

"Uh Cid. This is D. He just came in on the train and I picked him up this morning in Edmonton."

"This morning? In Edmonton?" He shook D's hand and I could see the questions written all across his face.

When the lights came up for intermission, Cid was staring at me. He looked from me to D and then back at me. My heart ached with the pain that was written across his face. I tried to speak with him at the dessert table but he turned away.

When the play ended, we decided to go to a nearby restaurant for tea. Cid’s face was etched in stone as he watched D get into my car for the short drive to the restaurant. When we arrived at the parking lot – Cid pulled in next to us and rolled down his window.

“I’m not coming in – I’m just going home.”

“Wait!” I said, but he shook his head. “At least let me explain,” I begged.

“I think it is too late for any of that now,” he said and pulled out into the traffic. I let the tears run down my face and didn’t bother hiding them from D.

“He’ll get over it eventually,” D said quietly as he put his arm around me.

I shook my head slowly before I said, “There’s something I have to tell you that happened while you were on the train.”


Sweet Irene said...

Oh crap, this is just no good at all! I think there needs to be some sort of a stand off and may the best man win. I am not sure who the best man is at this point. I sure am doubtful now!

I Beatrice said...

Oh wnat a tangled web....!

But I think you should have told Cid the truth at the time, which would have spared him this agony and embarrassment at least.

Why didn't you, I wonder?

Am just off with g/daughter to an Easter egg-rolling in Richmond Park. Yesterday's snow has melted TG - but I still don't know how well our football-sized brilliantly painted papier mache egg will withstand the damp of the long slope.

softinthehead said...

Uh oh ..again... I don't know where this is going either but we are all waiting with baited breath, don't make us wait too long PLLLEEASE !

travelling, but not in love said...

It's all very well being a heart breaker, but it's hard when you love those hearts you break....Good luck!

Living the Dream said...

Get typing Aims, we can't wait long

Daryl E said...

Okay then I can wait .. LOL .. but I do think when you turned Cid down you owed him - and yourself - an explanation of why exactly you said no..........I'm just sayin ..

Hope your Easter was lovely!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

This is about to get very ugly, methinks.

lisa marie said...

I'm kinda surprised Cid stayed for dinner and didn't leave right away. But ouch for you, the turmoil.

Lane said...

Poor Cid. I kind of dismissed him a couple of posts ago as 'too little, too late' but now I don't know. This sounds painful for both of you.
Don't keep us waiting too long Aims:-) I've got a feeling this is going to blow up big.

dawn said...

I do feel so bad for Cid. I know you had another commitment, but this was very sad for Cid (and you).

Biddie said...

Wow. This could almost be my story...I said no to someone 13 years that I loved...He waited too long to make his move..
Can't wait to hear what happens next :)

Cathy said...

Hello there

Arrived here from 'From here to Eternity'

Will be going back and starting at the beginning as this is very intriguing reading

Take care

Breezy said...

If you dare turn round now and say it was neither! Sorry but I'm trying to second, third and fourth guess what's going on and I just had that awful thought

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

I don't know Aims, I think Cid deserved an explanation before rather than after - why didn't you? You're usually so concerned with the truth.. Can't wait to read the next instalment. M xx

aims said...

Dear and Faithful Readers:

D's sudden decision to leave university and move west - and Cid's marriage proposal were events that were completely unexpected.

I had already invited Cid to the opening of the play long before this upsetting weekend and I couldn't just tell him not to come.

I have always been sorry for my actions during that time and even though all these years have gone by - it hasn't changed.

I meant it when I said I was caught between a rock and a hard place and I wish I could have done things differently - even now.

I later asked Cid if he understood why I had turned him down and in such a manner and he told me he did. But that is getting ahead of the story isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I've checked this site time after time for an update. Where are you? Please, please, please talk to us. :):)I'm having withdrawals. Not good.

CrazyCath said...

Oh that is sad. I'm glad you came back in the comments because on the face of it, it seems too cruel, but I imagine all will be revealed in the end.

It's easy to make decisions later with an older, wiser and informed-of- the-outcome head. I surmise that you and Cid were able to come out the other side at least as friends if you were able to "ask him later"...

Awaiting the next installment with baited breath. I now feel very confused. Which is how you must have felt back then...

Joy T. said...

I don't even know what to write. The pain that poor man must have felt sitting there. Oh ugh! Nice to read your comment on here explaining it a bit better. It must have been very hard for everyone involved.

Popkins said...

read this before, but I just like him getting off the train...and of course your description and his hair smelling like pears. And just the various emotions you must have been going through after Cid.