Mary and Alan both had a wonderful time at their first “date“, meeting at the old Sicamous, which is a cargo stern wheeler that used to ply the lakes before roads were built.
Successful, a little clumsy at first, each trying to be casual and relaxed but each excited and nervous as Neil Armstrong before exiting the capsule.
Alan wasn’t aware his nervousness was only being outdone, and outfelt by Mary’s. Each of them unaware of the other’s tense breathing.
Alan didn’t know how to greet Mary at the outset, they were just standing there so he settled on a big smile, and then they were off strolling the boardwalk along the lake, talking music, sharing little stories and tidbits (they couldn’t remember what they talked about later) and it all blurred to Alan when Mary slid her arm into the crook of Alan’s as they glided along.
That little change, changed everything. Soon their breathing and steps synchronized, talking lapses became comfortable and a linked contentedness fell over them like a blanket. Relaxed smiles on their faces in the diminishing daylight.
Hours later, after walking, chatting on a bench, soaking up the last of the sunset, they separated. But now they had somehow crossed over a barrier and although they hadn’t kissed yet, Alan was too nervous, it was now an eventuality to each.
Mary walked away, and Alan was left standing there – Mary turned after a few steps, threw him a huge smile and a wiggly finger wave and each wandered away with their own happy thoughts.
Walking along the next day looking at the classic cars that were assembled for admiration, Alan was lost in thought. He was thinking about Mary, and he was remembering how his parents just celebrated 40 years from their first date on August 6th.
The story was infamous, of course, along with the many stories his parents shared.
Alan’s favorite was how his Dad chased a Greyhound bus down a highway one week before the wedding in his gutless Honda, eventually passing the bus on a corner to pull the bus over, astonishing the driver, just so he could steal his soon to be wife from the passengers, .
But the first date story was cute too, the first “date” being a planned non-date on a dock as both were going water skiing on the river with the skiing club. Awaiting her turn and always a thinker, his Mom wandered away constantly on the dock to see if his Dad was going to look for her or talk to the other girls on the dock.
Alan’s Dad didn’t fail the test, he sought her out relentlessly, but had his own test for her, and he cornered her on the edge of the dock and leaned her out over the water. She pleaded for reprieve, so in an instant he pulled her in to see her relax and then pushed her out – watching her splash in!
Alan’s Mom passed the test when she came up laughing, and had to chase her floating clogs. After he helped her out of the water and onto the dock, Alan’s parents became inseparable, marrying only six months later, to them it seemed no gamble.
Alan wanted what they had, and thought of Mary, as he mentally saluted his parents.
Mary, meanwhile, was sitting in the summer shade, nursing lime and ice water and thinking of you know who, daydreaming a little.
Something in her heart had changed, but she was afraid to label it, afraid she could jinx it.
The song “I Will” by The Beatles was playing – the lyrics were pronounced to her and added more remembrances of her date with Alan.
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart
And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will
Thanks for reading, I added this next chapter at the prompting of a special amazing friend. Comments and suggestions are welcome as I explore the story of Alan and Mary.