Dear Thomas

Dear Thomas

You probably don’t remember me. I was an aide at the Fort Worth State School many years ago and you worked there too. Arriving in November 1980, at 21 years old, a somewhat naive me chose Texas as THE place I wanted to hunker. A few, short months later, it was home, I decided I’d rather be, and Indiana is where I stay.

I have few recollections from my time in TX. One being, the Heimlech Maneuver

the other, you.

Why You ?

Because after our introduction, our small talk, our finding a familiar face to sit with in the cafeteria and our random this / that of getting to know each other, you asked if I’d like to go out sometime. A club, a restaurant, a movie, my choice. And I didn’t have to answer at that precise moment, just let you know, you’d take it from there.

In hindsight, I wonder why I even mentioned you to my great-aunt and a good part of me wishes I hadn’t. But it was her house I was living in and her, I was forging a relationship with too. And I realize times were different back then, eyes were closed andandand …

Pathetic excuses, are what I call them now.

Just why our skin color mattered ?? to this day, I find impossible to comprehend. But Auntie thought it wasn’t a good idea, with an added what would the family think ?? and I allowed her uncompromising ways to determine my answer.

Your face, when I replied no, remains in my brain, Thomas. Everything changed with that one, isolating syllable. We stopped looking for each other in the lunch room, halted our blooming friendship, you went your way, I went mine. The older me thinks of you often, though, because I shifted our roads that day and only the stars know what might have been.

I hope life has been good to you as it has for me, Thomas. I’m a writer now, married for close to 40 years, three children, two ( & a half !) grand-kids … I’ve truly been blessed. But if I could turn that clock back, if only for a brief, elusive second, Thomas ??






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