15 Mayıs 2023

An Amazing Love Story


The day I met Julia, I was alone. On a cloudy, dull, cool, damp early spring day in Manhattan, I was mindlessly walking up one of the busiest streets in the world among the hookers, pimps, honking taxis, busy shoppers and theatre people hurrying every which way, but I was alone. As I trod up Broadway towards Central Park, I was numb to all the sounds that surrounded me. It had been four years since Frank had died, but his presence still haunted me daily. I was doing, of all things, the laundry, when I got the call. “Mrs. Ketchum.” “Yes.” “Is Frank Ketchum your husband?” “Y-y-yes, is there something wrong?” “Mrs. Ketchum, this is Sgt Cochrane of the N.Y.P.D. I’m awfully sorry to have to tell you that your husband has been in a serious accident and has been taken to the Lennox Hill Hospital on East 77 th Street.” By the time I arrived at the hospital, he was already dead. A senseless accident of a driver in a hurry running a red light destroyed two lives in the same second, leaving one dead and one walking dead. We had been married for three years after a whirlwind courtship of only six months after meeting each other at a mutual friend’s party. It had been a rather tedious affair and after just meeting and chatting casually with him, he could see I was looking for an excuse to sneak out. So he suggested we go around the corner to a little bar and have a drink by ourselves. I remember being a little hesitant in accepting the invitation but there was something about him that put me at ease and feeling quite comfortable. So I agreed, and it turned out to be the best decision of my thirty two years. I know it sounds corny but he really was the love of my life, a perfect compliment to my existence. We couldn’t have been more different if we had planned it. As a corporate lawyer, I represented some very high power clients. Consequently, life was not always a bed of roses. Depending on what I happened to be working on at the time, I could be a bear to be around. Often tense and on edge, I would spend days Kartal Escort in my own little world trying to work out complex legal problems, at the same time endure constant pressure from the partners of the firm with whom I was associated. As a veterinarian doctor, he was as gentle and considerate to the people he interacted with as he was with the animals he treated. Possessing an extremely high I.Q., he had the ability to listen at length to my ramblings, see through complex problems, then more times than not, offer a solution which cut to the heart of the matter. His biggest attribute, though, was his sense of humour, which he often used masterfully to diffuse tense situations. In a heart beat it was all taken away and my life completely destroyed. So on that particular day, as I trudged down Broadway under a cloud of despair, unaware of the throngs of people around me, there came a voice. “Excuse me… please… excuse me!” I turned to see a woman with a quizzical look on her face staring at me. “I’m sorry,” she continued, “but could you direct me to the Disney store, I believe it’s around here somewhere?” “Yes,” I uttered, “it’s just down the street a few blocks, I think.” Then I turned around and as I pointed in the direction that I had been walking, added, “just down that way, I’m sure of it.” With that she smiled and said, “Oh thanks so much,” and took off down the street. At the time, I didn’t give it a second thought, but had I been asked, I most likely wouldn’t have been able to describe her. Later that afternoon, the strangest thing happened. I had to drop off some documents not far from where we had first encountered each other, when again, I heard, “Oh, hello again.” This time I was a little more cognisant of my surroundings and looked up to see the same woman walking beside me carrying a couple of packages. “Thanks for the directions,” she said, “I’m ever so grateful. I found the place with no trouble, thanks to you.” “Oh,” I replied, “I’m glad.” Kartal Escort Bayan She kind of hesitated and it seemed as if she was not sure of what to do or say, when without any preamble she just blurted out, “Look, I know this is awfully forward of me, but would you mind if I bought you a coffee as a way of thank you?” “Oh, you don’t have to do that,” I said, “I’m sure you must be busy and I really do have to go.” “No, really,” she continued, “I’m new in this city. I have nowhere to go right now and would love to buy you a coffee… or a drink if you prefer.” With that, I looked at her and for the first time really saw her. I guessed she was at best a few years older than I was, probably in her early forties. At a couple of inches taller, she was dressed in a forest green full length raincoat, with the collar turned up. She had strikingly sharp features with long, very well coiffed, auburn hair with a little dark green tam tilted to one side on her head. To this day, I have no idea what possessed me to accept a stranger’s invitation, but without any thought or sound reasoning, I said, “Well, I guess there wouldn’t be any harm in a quick drink. There is a little lounge just around the corner on 55 th street. It’s just up this way a few blocks,” as I pointed up the street. We walked in silence to the bar, were greeted by a waiter and shown to a little table in the corner of the room in close proximity to the window looking out onto the street. As she took off her coat and threw it over one of the chairs, I noticed how she moved. All her actions were deliberate with a well defined grace and confidence. This was a lady who knew who she was, in control of most situations presented to her. She sat down in the chair adjacent to me with a little nervous giggle, but with a warm smile, and she said, “Oh my goodness, we don’t even know each other’s names. I’m Julia.” “Hi, I’m Lacey,” I answered, while extending my hand. We ordered drinks and discovering that we Escort Kartal had much in common, and we sat there for over two hours spilling out our lives to each other. As we talked, I felt months of oppression, sadness and guilt dissolve from my entire being. I learned that Julia owned a string of small coffee shops in the state of Pennsylvania and had come to New York to visit her sister and attend her niece’s birthday party, hence wanting to find the Disney Store. She had also taken a small apartment on the upper west side for the sole purpose of staying in town to explore the possibility of branching out and opening another store in Manhattan. Over the course of the next couple of months and well into the fall, we saw each other frequently. We went to shows, the opera, festivals, out to dinner quite a lot and often would just share each other’s company at my place, spending quiet evenings talking. As I was starting to get back into my work, I also realized that being with Julia was not only a tonic but it seemed to satisfy some missing part of my life. I found myself wanting to be with her at certain times of the day, or if we had arranged something, really looking forward to seeing her. One evening, out of nowhere, she asked me, “You know Lacey, we’ve talked a lot of your marriage, of Frank and his tragic death. But you’ve never once asked me about my love life, why at this point of my life I’ve never married or even seemed to date anyone. Don’t you think that strange?” Catching me completely off guard, I replied, “Well Julia, I guess I figured it was none of my business, or maybe the subject just never came up. I… I… don’t know,” I stammered. With a hollow laugh and a nervous twitch of my mouth, I said, “Maybe you’re gay and just didn’t want to tell me… ha ha.” Then with a straight face, and a serious look in her eyes, she said, “Would it make any difference to our relationship if I was?” “N-n-no, of course not,” I shot back. But in truth, I wasn’t very confident with that answer. “Tell me Lacey, have you ever been with a woman… in that way, I mean?” “Me. Oh heavens no, why would you even ask that?” I said, not at all being very comfortable with where this conversation was heading. She must have picked up some negative vibes from me, because at that, she got up and went into the kitchen.

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