By Mel McConaghy
Why was she attracted to me after the first look on that first day of my seventh grade year?
I could not understand why, and I had never been put in that position before.
She was attractive, but not what one might call a ‘classic beauty’. She had deep liquid brown eyes that, after my first look deep into them, made me forget what I was going to say as they totally absorbed me. My first look took in her full warm mouth, which stirred feelings in my body that I was unaccustomed to. Her nose looked as if it had been broken at one time, but it added character, offsetting the doll-like beauty of the rest of her face, giving her a touch of mystery.
Her body was transforming from the girlish body of childhood, to the sensuous soft curves of womanhood. She walked up to me, looked into my eyes, and introduced herself. I stood there lost in her eyes. I thought I was going to faint. My mouth went dry and my brain turned to mush. She was standing close to me in the crowded hallway, and with a smile said, “Hi, my name is Denise.”
For the first time in my young life, I was in love.
Denise had come from one of the rural schools, where the classes only went up to grade six. She lived with her single mother and younger brother, in a small clean home on the outskirts of Prince George. Her mother and father, who were both Métis, had separated a few years before, and her mother chose to stay that way. She was a strict mother, but not unrealistic. She knew her children needed guidance, but she knew that they were also individual personalities that needed nurturing and a chance to grow.
Society and schools were the same in those days as they are today. Every class, or society, always has their own people who hang around together, and anyone who does not meet their standards or qualifications, can’t belong. I’d belonged to a clique, and like most cliques of the time, we were snobs and maybe a bit racist. So, when I introduced Denise, she was rejected. This put me in a dilemma. So, I gave up the girl who had made me happy, for people that I barely recall and vaguely remember. She slipped quietly out of my mind over the years. I eventually fell in love again, and married.
I saw Denise the other day and got my first look at her in sixty years, but did not talk to her, whether from shame or fear that she would not remember me. But I recognized her, and though she has aged, she still looks good. As I get older, this leaves me pondering why? Why is it that we let other peoples’ likes, dislikes and prejudices rule our lives? What if I’d done things differently? I guess that’s the big question that we all live with, isn’t it, ‘WHAT IF?’
My Life Through a Broken Windshield by Mel McConaghy
Mel McConaghy is a retired trucker and author from Prince George, British Columbia. Mel’s tales are his views of life “through a broken windshield”. They are entertaining and humorous in a folksy style.
Visit Mel’s website at www.melmcconaghy.com