Today’s prompt comes from Journaling Your Way Home via Writing Our Way Home, in which Kaspa has asked us to write a memory from the timeline of our life that we wrote Sunday. (Note: this is taken from an e-book which I purchased as part of this e-course. If you’d like to join in, you can purchase the course at the Journaling Your Way Home address above)
No Happy Ever Afters For Me
Shortly after my sister kicked me out of her place in Greensboro, NC in the late Summer of 1985, I returned to Virginia, stayed with my Aunt for a while and got a job at the ice cream store she worked in. There, I met two female missionaries from the Mormon Church. Before long, I started attending, had moved into my own apartment and was doing pretty well for myself. Suddenly, for no reason that I was told, the female missionaries were recalled and two male missionaries showed up. One of them was this tall, linebacker of a guy with dark-hair and sapphire blue eyes. He was very charismatic and I fell head-over-hills for him. His name was David from Modesto CA and like me, he was a convert to the Church. Over the course of six months, we got to know one another well. I even cooked dinner for him and his companion a few times. Sometimes, they would stop by the ice cream store, get my keys and hang out at my apartment while I worked (I know they were watching tv, which was against the rules).
David liked to play practical jokes on people and he played quite a few on me. One night, I came home from work to find sticky notes all over my walls and the inserts from magazines tossed haphazardly around the room (that was his companion’s thing). Another night, I came home and it looked like I had been robbed. Every piece of furniture was gone, except that it wasn’t. I had a very tiny room that I used as my bedroom and they had stuffed every stick of furniture, books, dishes, etc. into that little room. They couldn’t fit the sofa in there so they just propped it up at the door. Another night, I came home to find the inside of my house, down the staircase and the tree outside my apartment building toilet-papered. Sometimes he would call me late at night, just to tell me ‘sorry, wrong number’ repeatedly. I knew it was him. I would recognize his voice anywhere.
But the worst joke he pulled on me was at dinner one night. I had cooked him and his companion a three course meal. Salad; pot roast with potatoes, carrots and peas; and a homemade banana cream pie for desert. I had slaved over all of it all day, especially the pie – supposedly David’s favorite. It was my first time making pie crust and meringue and it had come out perfectly. We’d eaten the meal and I’d put the pie in the fridge and gone to the bathroom. When I came out, BAM! Banana cream pie in the face, followed by laughter, and David and his companion running away. You’d think that I would have hated David, but I didn’t. I only loved him more.
After about six months, word began to spread about David and his companion spending too much time at one woman’s apartment. No, it wasn’t mine. It was a mutual friend of ours. She ran interference for he and I, allowing him to call me on the phone at night and opening her apartment up for us to hang out, supervised. She had no idea he was spending so much time at my apartment and neither of us told her, nor did the companion. Anyway, the Church elders decided to split the two missionaries up and send them to other locations. An elderly couple took their place.
On the night David left, he called me and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes. He still had a year to serve as a missionary, but he said he would call his sister back in CA and make arrangements for me to go live with her until his service was up. I told our mutual friend, but she wouldn’t believe me. Then I received a letter from him a week later, expressing the same thing. She finally believed me. The sister thing fell through, but he told me to start making preparations to have a Temple wedding. That meant I had to get baptized in the Church, take the required classes and get a Temple recommendation. I did all of those things for him. Our mutual friend and her two sisters even went with me to the Temple. It was all happening so fast. I’d gotten the Temple recommendation on my first try, went through the Temple and was all set to marry that handsome, charismatic man from California. We talked three times a week by phone and wrote letters nearly every day. I knew he was the one.
David still had five months left of his mission, but he was no longer enjoying it. He stole the mission car, drove all the way to Covington VA from Richmond VA and held up at our mutual friend’s apartment. He called me from there, said he was leaving his mission and going back home. I asked about the wedding and he said we’d have to plan it by phone. I didn’t even get to see him before they sent him back to CA. When he arrived back in CA, he still called me frequently for the first couple of weeks. Then silence. He didn’t call and didn’t return mine. He eventually told our mutual friend that he had left the Church and no longer wanted to marry me. I got the news from her, not him. I was never given any further explanation and never heard from him again.
This was supposed to be my fairy tale wedding, my happy ever after. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want me. What had I done? I was heart broken and fell into the only comforting arms around – Andy’s. The guy I had dated while living with my sister. Four months later, I was pregnant, married to him and living in Burlington NC. Completely unhappy and definitely no fairy tale. A dark tale, perhaps. But that’s for another memory.