Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Chance at Love, A Lifetime of Loss

Since Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, with stories of forever love, I thought it would be nice to tell of the day going horribly wrong and share with you a short story regarding the worst date for Valentine's Day.   Enjoy!

There are stories of love in the air and visions of Cupid flittering about with his bow drawn, ready to aim his heart tipped arrow at the first person he sees that is lonely.  Well in my estimation, Cupid is blind as a bat!

I used to be one who dreamed of having Cupid's arrow hit my heart, where I would fall in love on Valentine's Day; having the perfect date, with the perfect guy and of course, dare I say again, the perfect kiss?!  Sadly, fate played a much darker card turning my Valentine's romance into a Valentine's nightmare.

Chloe started her week off with a wonderful start.  Her workplace was shifting some individuals around to one of their new offices, opening up some of the managerial positions at the financial institution where she worked.  Her boss, Derrick, offered her the chance to move up from an administrative assistant to an entry level manager of the business division.  To top things off, the guy she had been conversing with online, Vincent, for weeks on end, wanted to take her out to a romantic dinner, at the end of the week on Valentine's Day.  Everything in her life appeared to be falling into place for the first time in her life.

Mid-week came and Chloe received a call from her mother, mid-day at work.  She lifted the receiver with trepidation, knowing her family would only call work in the event of an emergency. 

"Honey, I hate to bother you at work, but it's your father.  He passed out, fell and hit his head on the coffee table at home.  We are, currently, at the emergency room where he is being admitted and tests are being run to determine why he passed out and why he hasn't been eating much the past couple of weeks," her mother, Sandra, stated.

"I'll talk to Derrick and see if I can get a few days off work.  I should be able to make to your place by early evening.  Is there anything I can do in the meantime?"  I asked, feeling totally helpless and heartbroken all in one. 

"No honey, just get here when you can."

Derrick offered to give me as much time off as I needed, offering to loan me some of his vacation time, if necessary to allow me to care for my family.  He was a strong manager, but somehow had a soft side when it came to her.

Over the course of the next two days, the doctors ran numerous tests on Chloe's father until they finally had an answer. 

She felt her heart being ripped from her chest, as Dr. Smithson explained, "I'm very sorry to inform you that Mr. Logan has an advanced stage brain tumor that is inoperable.  We estimate his life expectancy to be a few weeks, at best.  How he has managed to live this far without and symptoms is beyond comprehension.  All we can do now is to keep him comfortable."

Chloe entered her father's hospital room, wondering what to say, when her father spoke instead, "You still going on your date for Valentine's?"

"Why would I do that while you are in here dad?"

"Because I don't want to ruin your day and would prefer you go have a little fun.  You know your mother and I only want your happiness and who knows, maybe this guy could be your Prince Charming."  The determined smile on his face showed that he would not be reckoned with, despite the situation.

I argued my case anyway, but mom suggested I give in to appease my father and give him some hope.  If it were only that simple.  I knew I was in no condition to enjoy going out on a date, especially not a first date with someone I hadn't met in person before.  However, despite my better judgement, I called Vincent, explained the chaos going on in my life and to my surprise he wanted to continue with our date, even requesting to pick me up at my apartment. 

I answered the door to a tall, very tan, dark haired, blue eyed goddess.  Vincent was definitely everything his picture had promised.  My heart had skipped a beat when he said, "Hello Chloe."

My common sense told me I should make apologies and call the date off, but I made a promise to my father and I couldn't pass up this fine specimen of manhood.  Apparently, my dog had the same hesitation, because the sight of Vincent caused him to bark and growl continually, until I asked Vincent to wait down the hallway for me to grab my things and lock up. 

Vincent was the courtly gentleman, holding my hand as he led me towards his SUV.  Once there, he opened the door and reached in to pull out a long-stemmed red rose that smelled amazing. 

We ended up eating at a local Italian restaurant, close to my apartment.  Our conversation started out fine; however, my mind kept drifting to thoughts of my parents, in particular, my father.  I could not shake the feeling that I needed to be with him, because his time was drawing short. 

Despite my best efforts, I could tell Vincent was growing frustrated.  He kept demanding I pay him my full attention, otherwise he would leave.  I tried to explain my worries and how I was feeling.  His only response, "You are born, you grow up, you die and then life moves on.  Deal with it!" 

I respectfully requested that we call the date off and maybe try another time.  I guess I should have mashed the trigger to a ticking time bomb instead.  He excused himself from the table to go "calm his nerves," only he didn't return.  Instead I ended up paying for the entire meal, having to call a cab home, only to have an email waiting for me calling me, "A cold hearted witch, who was a waste of his time."

The next day I grabbed some things and headed back to my parent's house.  While in route, I called Derrick on his cell, to update him on my father's health and the need to take a couple of weeks off. 

Derrick sensed I was hurting and asked, as a friend, to tell him what was bothering me.  I took the opportunity to vent, so we ended up talking the full two hours of my drive.  He managed to soothe my nerves, calling my date a callous individual who may enjoy taking advantage of others.  He felt Vincent would have left me with the bill either way and it was probably best that our date had gone so horribly wrong. 

My nerves had calmed by the time I reached my father's hospital room.  He instantly asked about the date, so I simply explained we were just not a match. 

Over the course of the next week, my father's health took a turn for the worse.  We could tell his life was slowly slipping away from us.

Derrick, at first, called every couple of days to see how I was handling things.  When he heard that my father might only have days remaining, his calls came daily, with words of wisdom, offers to sit with us or help us with anything we might need.

To my surprise, after my father had passed and my heart felt crushed, Derrick continued to call, even dropping by to offer his condolences during the viewing.  His friendship did not stop after I returned to work.  Over time it developed into something deeper; love. 

I guess everyone can tell that the worst Valentine's Day/date of my life, also turned into one of the best.  The following year, I did not have a date with a potential boyfriend for Valentine's.  Instead, I had a date with my first Valentine's Day with my wonderful husband, Derrick!  ;-)

Here's hoping your Valentine's is something special.  If you end up having a terrible date, don't despair.  Sometimes out of horrid situations, comes the hope of eternal love.

I know...I couldn't go through with making it the worst date ever.  I am a sucker for a happy ending.  Now to those who know me...can you pick out what parts are fiction and what parts are reality?

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