Saturday, May 4, 2013
then and now
Franny felt as if she'd waited for weeks, maybe months for this occasion, and now she was full of dread. What if this didn't work out?
Franny knew Nate so long ago. She'd met him in college and she'd assumed he was gay for the first year. Sure, a flock of girls always found him. Perhaps, it was her only defense against him. She would not be one of those girls that was flavor of the week.
But then he decided he really liked hanging out with her in the cafeteria on Saturday mornings when no one was around. They liked the same foreign films, and he was really good at French which she wasn't. Sometimes they'd talk about languages and what she was afraid of.
Then what she was afraid of, did happen. He'd meet someone and got serious.
It was bitter sweet when he he told her at the foreign language department where she worked that he was engaged. She smiled with him. Happy, they'd only been friends. But he'd wanted her address so they could keep in touch. At Christmas, he'd send her a mix tape, maybe even fruitcake.
He was the first person she e-mailed when she got a home computer. He knew about her family. She knew about his. Always good things he used to write. Those little milestones that were very mild back then.
Later came the depressing letters, how things weren't going so well with his marriage. He thought his wife was cheating on him. Franny kept sending back positive vibes. What new dishes had he learned to cook? Had he gone to any concerts?
Only the letters got more sad. Then his own tryst he was involved in. It was a shocker, but Franny never judged him, being involved with two lesbians. She was certain he'd regret it, but she never told him. And now here he was with Sawyer.
Maybe they were each other's last hope.
She'd never told him about her defective heart. Nor her woes of a bad marriage with an alcoholic cop. Honestly, she hadn't expected anyone to be in her life now, but they'd started really talking again. Just like they used too. Then a few dates. More phone calls.
"I still can't get the hang of texting. I just don't want too." Nate talked about how he liked her letters. "They were real letters. You're the only one I know who actually starts with Dear Nate."
He made her smile now.
"I always looked forward to your letters." She was glad he was here. They held hands like they were teenagers. She hoped they had more times like these. Being together. Yet, she didn't want to think what was ahead, either. Having a major heart surgery that would keep her on bed-rest for weeks.