Will Ted Ever Love Again?
He was sitting at his desk one night. Myra was already in bed and Arlene stepped in Ted’s office to say goodnight.”
“You haven’t opened that box yet?” Arlene said. “What are you afraid of?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s from the Lisa I knew in junior high,” Ted said. “I gave her a ring. I know the ring is in the box, but I’m afraid there is something else in the box which will sadden me.”
“Do you still have feelings for her?” Arlene said pulling up a chair and sitting across the desk from Ted.
“Of course I do,” Ted said. “It’s like you and Steve Humphey; the guy before dad. You don’t turn off love. Although it was young love, it was still love. I never kissed her or held her hand.”
“What could possibly be in that box that you are afraid of?” Arlene said.
“I’m worried that a note will be attached to the ring that will say that Lisa has died,” Ted said. “It will say this was dear to her and her family wanted to return it to me.”
“What are the chances of that really being the case?” Arlene said.
“It’s really illogical I know,” Ted said. “But what other possibility could there be? One is just as farfetched as another. This is sent because something bad has happened. Nothing is returned when something good has happened.”
“I think you should go for a walk and take the ring with you,” Arlene said. “You should be alone when you open it and be in the most beautiful setting you know of.”
“The first time I saw Lisa was the pond in the park. There’s a Willow tree next to the shelter house. I was sitting on a bench in the shelter house when I first saw her. Funny, it was this time of year. That’s where I’ll go. I go tomorrow after school.”
“Now, that’s settled I’m going to bed,” Arlene said. She went to her room on the first floor to the rear of the house.
Ted rocked back in his chair. The closet door in his office was open. On the top shelf was a box full of old school pictures. He removed the box from the shelf and sat it on the floor next to his desk. He rummaged through the box and found a school album. He flipped through it until he found Lisa’s class.
Looking at her he smiled. She was even more beautiful than he remembered. “Where did she go?” He wondered. “What does she look like now? What path through life had she taken?”
He stared at the ring box and wondered what mystery it held. He had not the emotional strength to open it. His mother was right. The park by the pond was the place to do it.
Ted became confused wondering why this precious memory meant so much to him. There was nothing to regret, because what had happened with Lisa’s sudden move was beyond his control. Ted’s emotions had been shattered when his wife left him. Many who had gone through similar situations seemed to have been hardened and less emotional. The opposite was true with Ted, he was emotional at the slightest provocation.
His attention had never been drawn by anyone since his wife left and they divorced. He dated briefly a sixth grade teacher, Barb, a year ago. After a month he called it off. There was nothing there. She was bright and attractive, a real catch, but there just seemed to be nothing in a romantic interest. His feelings were tender toward her, but it wasn‘t love.
On his last date he simply said, “This is just not working for me and I don’t know why.”
“I’m puzzled,” Barb said. “I thought things were going good.”
“I’m sorry,” Ted said. “I don’t think things will ever be good… for me. I don‘t think I can ever love again.”
Ted felt more emotionally attached to the box than he ever did to Barb. It was the first emotion he had felt in quite awhile. “Next week I’m seeing a psychologist,” he thought.