I’ve got your picture that you gave to me
And it’s signed “with love,” just like it used to be
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got your picture, he’s got you
I’ve got the records that we used to share
And they still sound the same as when you were here
The only thing different, the only thing new,
I’ve got the records, he’s got you
I’ve got your memory, or has it got me?
I really don’t know, but I know it won’t let me be
I’ve got your class ring; that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got these little things, he’s got you.
(“Strange” Patsy Cline)
I called Judy’s roommate and asked if we could meet somewhere. I desperately needed answers and she was my last hope. She reluctantly gave in. She suggested the park with the big rock where Judy and I sat and kissed on our first date. The roommate was barely able to make eye contact. She knows something, I thought. Getting her to tell me the truth was like pulling teeth. She didn’t want to do this. To be the one who went behind Judy’s back. The one to tell me what Judy should have told me. She was filled with pain and sympathy.It was so difficult for her and I hated myself for putting her in this situation. Finally she blurted out: “You deserve to know. Judy is seeing someone.” I stared at her in utter disbelief. Judy unfaithful? It wasn’t possible! When? How? Where were the clues? Why didn’t I see it? My knees buckled and everything was spinning around me. My world had crashed. I leaned against a tree to keep from crumpling to the ground. Life was slowly being sucked out of me for the second time. The roommate face had gone white. “Who is it?” I asked. I instinctively knew it had to be P, She slowly nodded her head. At that very moment my mind shut down. They say the brain is a wonderful, complex organ. It can sense stimuli overload and immediately short circuits as a way of protecting one from insanity. I felt I would have gone mad, to a place of no return.
The roommate had no more information and claimed to be just as confused and in the dark as I was. “She seemed to change,” The roommate said. “I rarely see her anymore. She has stopped spending time with her friends.” She admitted that she had been jealous of the bond that Judy and I shared. How we were always holding hands. And what a shock that it was over. I had one last question: Did she think I had any chance to win Judy back? This, of course, she couldn’t answer. I was determined to try. Jumping in my truck, I drove like a wild man to the florist and then to Judy’s mother’s house. Judy had not yet returned from work, so I waited in the dining room. She had gotten a job as a Home Visiting Nurse and had a couple of clients. I remember the many hours she spent in my kitchen studying and preparing for exams. When she got certified, she was so happy and rushed to tell me. We celebrated by going out to dinner. When Judy finally walked in. She was smiling and graciously took the flowers. We went outside to talk and her demeanor began to change. She wanted me to leave. To accept that we could only be friends and nothing more. I asked her a million questions and got no answers that made sense. She had become a stranger. It was as if we had never met. I was stunned. So completely baffled as I tried to see what was in her eyes. Nothing. She said she was ill with hay fever and went back in the house leaving me more broken and confused.
How or when P came back into her life is still a mystery these 8 years. I received only bits and pieces of information. Judy’s roommate had a new boyfriend and was living with him. P then stayed with Judy. After Judy’s step dad died, P had helped her move into her mother’s house. I did think it was strange when I had called over there and heard a male’s voice on her mom’s answering machine. I have no idea if P was also living at Judy’s mother’s house. For some weeks Judy had been hiding all of this from me, and my heart broke even more.I had also learned that P was with Judy during that ice storm where I nearly froze to death with nothing but candle flames for heat. P was that sick, old man at her step dad’s wake who stood by her, never saying a word. I don’t even remember if I shook his hand.
I did try one last time to win her back with more flowers and words of love, but it all fell on deaf ears. Her heart had long gone cold. She wanted to be platonic buddies than not have me in her life at all, If I couldn’t accept it to leave her alone. What choice did I have? There was to be no more hugging and kissing. No more holding her hand. What about all those back rubs that she needed? She smugly told me that P was doing that for her and more. At my insistence, we went out one last time to a small diner, sat on stools at the counter where I ordered a burger and fries. I barely remember the conversation. The finality was sinking in. The atmosphere was one of sadness and tragedy. I took my time, needing this moment to last as I feared we would never be together again. Judy reached in her purse and pulled out some photos of the two of us and placed them next to my plate. I looked at them, fondly recalling all the wonderful times. There was my favorite photo that a friend had taken of me and Judy on the sofa with my arm around her and our faces pressed. I had looked so blissfully happy. So young and alive. It was just days after Judy’s accident. Our relationship was just beginning with the hope of a possible wonderful future. I couldn’t look at the photos anymore and pushed them away. Soon we were back at her mom’s house. When Judy got out of my truck, my stomach began cramping. I was shaking and sweating profusely.The shooting pain was making it a little hard to breathe. It must have been the hamburger. Judy acted concerned and felt my forehead. She thought it could be food poisoning. I continued to sit in the driveway for a little while and watched Judy go in the house. Then I slowly drove home, still doubled over. There was a voice mail waiting for me when I got there. It was Judy, asking if I was okay. I yanked the cord out of the wall and threw the phone across the room. I never saw or spoke to her again.
Please read this blog from the beginning.