She remained wildly attracted to him, but had to break it off. Sex alone was no longer sufficient. An in-depth conversation would be nice on occasion, or maybe go to a proper movie theatre, (not just the drive-in); anything to indicate he liked her as a person and not only for her physical attributes.
He laughed when she told him this. ”You love it just as much as I do”, he grinned. Well, true enough, but, it was getting tedious when all they did was drive around, stop for coffee or to look at sports cars and then park somewhere.
This was her first complete, “adult” sexual relationship and he had made that initial experience euphoric and unforgettable. All young women should be so fortunate! She had been seriously in love with her previous boyfriend, but he broke her heart and so, this was supposed to be a rebound, no strings attached, purely physical, “feel good” fling.
It was fun, initially. Memories of cruising around in his father’s light blue Chevy Nova on a sunny, Sunday afternoon, the strains of Neil Diamond’s ”I Am, I Said” coming from the radio. His touch ignited a fire in her and they were so very compatible, that way.
One day, they stopped at a Dodge dealer’s lot to admire a bright red, Charger Super Bee. It was spring, 1971, when muscle cars roamed the streets. His best friend had just acquired a purple one. ”I’ve saved enough for a down payment” he crowed. ”That baby is mine!” Little did she know what lay in store…..
The courage to end it mustered itself when he picked her up one night, sporting a bad mood. They headed straight for the drive-in and parked way in the back, as usual. He hadn’t uttered more than two or three sentences up to that point and just started groping her in a most unwieldy manner. She angrily pushed him off.
“Is that all I’m good for, to you? Why can’t we ever have a conversation, or go out on a real date? I don’t want to do this anymore!” Her eyes flashed angrily.
He looked annoyed, to say the least. ”Oh come on, you know you like it. We never pretended this was anything more than sex”
She shook her head. ”I’m done with it. Take me home!”
He was furious now and pulled out of the stall, tires squealing. No words were spoken on the way and when they arrived, she got out and dramatically slammed the door, without looking back.
They never spoke again.
A couple of weeks later, there he was, zooming down the road in his shiny new car, followed closely behind by his friend, in the purple one. She battled mixed feelings, but relief won. This little interlude had played itself out and it was time to move on.
Exactly one month after the breakup, under the influence of too much alcohol, he ran off the road and flipped that shiny new car, over and over again, severely injuring three passengers. Word leaked out that he had survived the crash, but was in critical condition.
Shocked and saddened, she waited tensely for further news at the local hangout. This was the first time anyone close to her had been seriously hurt. Impatient, she called the hospital herself, pretending to be a relative.
“We’re so sorry, but he passed away this morning”
The world ground to a screeching halt and her heart dropped into the pit of her stomach. She stood, riveted to the floor for what seemed like hours. Was this real? She had watched him drive by the other day and thought how great he looked behind the wheel of that car. Now, he and the car were both gone!
Grief overwhelmed her.
Then, she started thinking.
What if they had still been going out together? She could have been in the car that night and also killed! Or, he probably wouldn’t have had that much to drink. He only did that when he was with his buddies.
What if he hadn’t purchased the car? That big block V8 was mighty tempting to a speed demon, but his father’s little Nova had no such accoutrements.
He may have been more careful with it.
Do you ever ask yourself that question?
He was only 21……