Saturday, October 14, 2006

End Of Summer Love Serial

As much as I "loved" Pete, he occassionally got on my nerves. He'd tell me he loved me, then on Saturday call off our date because he was too tired to go out. We didn't talk much on the phone during the week, so our relationship was limited to Saturday night movies and dinners.

It was innocent enough, and reading back over the pages of my '77 diary, I can see how new this was to both of us. Having feelings for each other, feelings we called love, but not mature enough, or able enough to do anything about them.

Pete liked to tease and give me a hard time. He could be negative and sarcastic. One Saturday he broke our date and later said, "I told Bob I went out with another girl."

I never knew if he really did or not. "How can he say he loves me, then go out with someone esle?" I wrote. Even then, truth in actions was a factor for me. ;)

By now, it's late June and our relationship seems to be solidifying. We decided to date only each other and talked about "our future" which 30 years ago included each other. Thank God His plans supercede teenage zealousness.

I finally had to tell Pete we were moving to Tallahassee. I cried. He sniffled. We made projections and promises.

Back in the day when stores closed at 7 p.m. on Saturday, employees could get together
so Publix 0086 threw a going away party for me. Every one came. Even the manager.

Pete picked me up in his '69 Mach 1 Mustang and drove me to the surpise-but-I-knew-it party. All kinds of people and presents. We sat with my friends and his, Kevin and Bob.

Pete was Pistol Pete, Kevin was The Gun and Bob was the Bull Dog although the way his hair was styled - parted in the middle with wings - he looked like the Bull Frog.

We laughed and joked, all with a twinge of sadness. I was leaving. A year after I first laid eyes on Pete, this was the end. It'd all change.

But at 16, I had a spirit of adventure. I knew I wanted college and a career. I bore the usual confliction of having my heart in one place, my mind in another.

By now, Pete is calling me in the middle of the week and we developed some what of a real relationship - all in time for me to go. In a way, the most perfect ending.

He was conflicted as well. Drawing me close at times with words like I love you and want to marry you followed by "we can't know what the future holds" or "Well, that's life. Things change."

He told me he was sorry he waited so long to ask me out when he really liked me the summer before.

The family spent our last night in Homestead at our friends, the Hamilton's. Pete dropped me off, kissing me goodbye with continual promises to visit and write.

On Sunday morning, the Hayes caravan started north up the Turnpike to Tallahasse. Life had changed. Forever.

At first, I was lonely for him, but loved our new city. Many families from our church had moved from Homestead/South Miami to Tallahassee so we had friends. Not my friends, but friends of the family. Church was full of familiar faces.

I wrote Pete and then ran to the mail box every day desperate for a letter from him. It was well over two weeks before he wrote me back. I was ticked. But his letter soothed my anger.

He even called, but was sarcastic and negative. Rude. Made me mad. By August, I'd gotten a job at McDonalds and started making new friends.

My friend Lorena came for a visit and Dad let me go back down to Miami with her. I saw Pete and while he obviously missed me and felt the same way toward me, my feelings had faded. The magic dissipating in only a few months time.

Our love did not stand the test of time. In late fall, I visted again and didn't even call him, but hung out with other friends and guys who liked me "back in the day" of which I would not give them the time. I heard he'd moved on as well.

That was the last time I ever saw Pete. I think he called once or twice, but we had nothing to say. I wonder at times, reading over my diaries, if I broke his heart and all the negative talk and sarcasim was his defense.

Or, if like me, the magic just faded and he moved on with his life. Our love sincere but shallow.

One thing I've learned over the years, guys feel things very deeply. They get a bad rap because they are more physical than women, and can have sex without becoming emotionally attached, but recovering from a truly broken heart is way more difficult for men than women.

It's true.

From Pete until now, a lot of life has been lived. Mistakes made. Forgiveness sought and given. God's amazing love and grace so prevelant and real in my life. I'm sorry I ever wasted one moment worrying or chasing other "loves."

I'm grateful for my true love, Tony. He is really the better half of me in this life.

As for Pete, I wish him well, wherever he is. His birthday is coming up next week. He'll be 48 and a long way from an innocent, green 18 year old instilling a lifetime of confidence into an innocent, green 16 year old.

You convinced me I was beautiful, Pete, and for that, I'll always be grateful. I pray you know Jesus.


Rebekah said...

very sweet

Tracey Bateman said...

great ending to a great story, Rachel! Thanks for sharing it.
Also, tell Tony I loved his post yesterday

Christine Lynxwiler said...

What a perfect ending, Rach! Thanks for sharing part of your heart with us. :)

Mom of 5 said...

I have loved reading your "serial" and reviving old memorries. Thanks for sharing your heart Rachel, Love Mom

Joel Hayes said...

Well to tell you the truth I really didn't like the series. I don't know why. Maybe the idea that I see Pete as being a jerk.
I guess it's because of my memory of what I perceived Pete to be. I only met him once or twice but I do remember thinking "why is this idiot.. I mean guy, interested in Rachel?" His interest for sure can not be good!! Guys Just don't hang out with girls. He was up to something and what ever it was it wasn't good. To an 11 or 12 year old boy who is worried about his older sisters well being I think I just didn't trust him and I still think he was a jerk.....with a nice car of course.

Lynette Sowell said...

What a great story, Rach. I said goodbye and moved at almost 16, to where I had no friends. My "Pete" liked me more than I liked him. I heard he took it hard when I left, but it didn't take me long to move on. I think I did before we left.

Sometimes not only can we be sincere, but we can be sincerely wrong. Thank God for grace! :)