She was 50.
She was a beautiful sophisticated Southern Belle. Classic American girl from North Carolina. Platinum blonde hair, perfect features, 40’s pinup figure, piercing pale blue eyes.
She married her high school sweetheart. He was a young Captain in the U.S. Army. He died in a shitty muddy shell hole at Anzio Beach.
She most missed the ‘feel’ of him. The comfort of his presence. When he died, she lost her future.
She never dated again. She never had relations again. It was too late with every year that passed by.
She went back to school, took her time. In the late 1950’s, she was studying for her PhD. She became friends with another PhD student about six years her Junior. Unfortunately he was engaged to another young lady, a Masters student. The three of them were inseparable until he graduated.
She never moved in on him, but she never let go of him either. She was adjunct faculty at a negro college in South Carolina through much of the 60’s.
In 1968, he became chairman of his department at a University in Upstate New York. He contacted her, then hired her to be a professor.
He lived in a town fifty miles away, so he spent four nights a week in the college town and three nights a week at home.
He was tall, lean, quiet, sophisticated. He reminded her of her husband. Not as dashing, not as handsome, but cool, like a 1950’s detective from a film noir movie, the thin guy in the raincoat and hat, standing under a streetlight in the mist. He was quiet and mysterious.
She loved him. She had always loved him. For eight years, though, he was put completely out of her mind.
They would have dinner together sometimes in the town, sometimes at her little house, decorated with artifacts from her overseas travel and the aromas of European soap.
Sometimes, they would have coffee in the shop across the street from the college. They would chat and she would nod when he spoke. He would listen to her in rapt attention.
Often they would go for walks across campus and even all the way home, as it wasn’t that far. Now and then they would catch a movie. He didn’t speak too much but he was fascinating, a Renaissance Man. A WWII and Korean War Vet. He was a study in black and white.
One night, they had a drink together at her place, about a month after his wife died from a botched operation. He was stoic.
They looked at each other for a moment across the little coffee table between the ornate Moroccan chairs. Just a moment. A little moment, and he took her.
She gave herself to him utterly.
She gave him every part of herself as deeply as possible.
She gave him her soul and he devoured every piece of her.
Then she saw the future again, and it was good.