Her hands trembled as she entered the number into her phone. Before pressing the green button to initiate the call, Brynn had second thoughts. What would she say? How would she begin? And then her logical brain took over: it was a courtesy thank you call to a generous donor. She’d made tons of these calls over the years. No biggie. Deep breath and activate.
It rang a few times before voicemail kicked in. Brynn almost chuckled in relief not even considering the possibility that voice mail would intervene. At the end of the brief professional message callers were invited to leave a message. Brynn inhaled sharply and the first words came out a bit screechy. Hi Spencer; it’s Brynn. Remember me? (Nervous giggles were unavoidable) I’m just calling to thank you for the very kind gift to a great cause. Your generosity will make a huge difference in our efforts and you will receive a tax receipt to the address on your cheque. Thanks again. Click.
No muss. No fuss. Just business. Brynn tried to brush off the fact that her palms were damp and her heart was racing. Does anyone ever get over their first love? Brynn’s thoughts trailed back in time ….
It was February 10 1986. The big Valentines Day dance at Lincoln Highschool. Brynn and her friends, a tight posse of popular girls, had spent the better part of a week transforming the gym into a red and pink wonderland. There were more Kleenex flowers pressed into hear shapes than you could count! They even included a Valentine bulletin board where you could pin up a message to someone (anonymously if you didn’t have all the nerve) and a flower stand where you could buy stem for someone special with proceeds going to the science club (the flowers were donated by the science teachers wife who owned the shop). The pink and red theme was carried throughout the venue including the “lovers lane” red carpet for photo ops with the av club. The DJ booth had a “heart line “ request table where you could request and dedicate a song on red heart cut outs. The girls didn’t miss a detail and the excitement of the event was making the busy school halls vibrate with anticipation.
Doors open at 7. By 6:30 Brynn was flitting around her bedroom putting the finishing touches on her outfit. Her long blond hair was done earlier in the day at the local salon; her crew decided it was their best way to match – big hair embellished with baby’s breath and pale pink flowers. Her mom shouted up the stairs: Brynn! Spencer just called. He’s on his way! Hurry!! One final glance in the mirror. Brynn was pleased with the reflection. Her retro ivory dress (think Marilyn Monroe) with a strapless fitted bodice hugged her lithe frame to her waist where a thing pink belt emphasized her trim figure and then flared out in full crinoline lined skirt to her mid calf. Matching pumps and tiny clutch purse completed the look. She was ready.
Brynn bounced down the stairs where her mom waited with the ever present camera. Brynn! Her mom cried. You look absolutely charming! A beautiful valentines princess!! Let me get a photo!! Just as the camera clicked and the film advanced, the doorbell chimed. Spencer stood in the frosty night air and visibly awed at the sight of Brynn. You’ve never looked more gorgeous, he breathed as he stepped into the hallway. Almost forgetting in his wonderment, he handed Brynn one long stemmed red rose before moving in for a hug and a peck on the cheek. Wait! Brynn’s mom interjected: I need a photo of you both together!!
Spencer had borrowed the family car for the evening. So he opened the door for Brynn to slide into the giant vinyl seat of the Caprice. She slid to the middle close to Spencer as he climbed behind the wheel. The drive to the school was quick and before getting out they sat in the parked car in the parking lot and Spencer remarked again at her beauty. Brynn felt and looked like a million dollars! They walked carefully through the slushy lot to the school doors. Spencer, ever the gentleman, held the door for Brynn and they stepped into the school.
You could hear the music and the DJs voice down the hall and there were many other students arriving in all their splendour. When they entered the gym, Brynn immediately scanned the room for her friends. She spotted them by the bulletin board giggling and pointing. When they noticed her they waved her over. Spencer couldn’t help but comment on the matching hairdos and they all laughed.
Spencer was decked out handsomely in a white tuxedo. He was the most good looking guy there! His dark thick hair shaped into the fashionable mullet (popular at that time) curled over the collar of his tux. He looked lovingly at Brynn and asked her to dance when the DJ conveniently played a slow song. He held her tightly, arms around her neck, and looked into her eyes. I love you, he whispered. Brynn was stunned. They’d never said that to each other before. She looked into his handsome face and surprised herself by saying: I love you too.
Brynn was snapped back to reality when her phone started to vibrate. It was Spencer returning her call from moments before. Before she foolishly let her mind wander to a time when life was perfect. Shake it off she chided herself. Seriously!! Snap out of it. She pressed the answer button. And said: Brynn speaking.
Hey. Brynn. It’s Spencer. I’m so sorry I missed your call. Do you have time for a quick chat??
Brynn heard herself say “sure!” But her mind was racing. Heart suddenly pounding. Spencer had already spoken and was finishing by saying something about coffee when Brynn focused. She agreed to meet the next day for a late afternoon coffee. They hung up and Brynn tried to piece the conversation together. She realized that she missed most of the call. But did know for sure that she was going to meet him the next day. What was she doing????