He avoided her for several days and she knew it. The pain on her face made him cringe, and he wasn’t sure who was hurting more. He thought about quitting the volunteer work at the museum, even though he loved it. She did ask him about going to the coffee shop each evening, but he would always make up an excuse, or even a lie, anything other than telling her the truth. They would never be able to go for drinks, anywhere. He was devastated that he had caused her pain. Megan’s pain turned into anger, and at the end of the week, she planned to let him know, that without question, he was an idiot.
It was at closing time when she found him off by himself, brooding as normal, (which made her even more angry). He was once again looking over the collection of Impressionist paintings. She walked up to him and said with all the venom she could muster, “How dare you!” “How dare you mess with my emotions like this!” He turned around with a look of shock on his face. She continued with, “Who do think you are?” He needed to stop this madness, and stammered “I…” and that’s all he could say because she interrupted with, “I don’t ever want to speak to you again!”, then she turned and walked away.
“Megan!” The sound of his voice stopped her in her tracks. “I love you Megan, I was going to tell you everything tonight over a cup of coffee.” He walked up to her, and looked her straight in the eye. “Please forgive me. I just don’t want to fail – again” . He continued, “But I can’t stand the pain of losing you”.
She softened immediately, and just stared at him. This is exactly what she was hoping and praying for. “Ok” she said. “Let’s get some coffee”. A smile returned to her face for the first time in days.
When they sat down in the coffee shop that night, it was one of the best times of his life. He told her everything, but especially about his marriage failing 20 years ago, and the heart aches he caused from drinking. He was ashamed of the drinking, and he was afraid of being a failure – again. She had tears in her eyes as she listened, it all made sense now. He was not looking for sympathy though. He just wanted to be a success this time.
Surprisingly she told him about her failures as well. She never married because no one was ever good enough for her. She had boyfriends, but would never allow anyone to get close enough for her to love. It took her years of therapy to understand this. Now she was open, and willing to take the chance.
They talked for hours without even realizing it, and closed down the coffee shop. On the way out the door she invited him to another concert – sort of. “I play the violin and we are having a recital!”. “You what?” “That’s amazing!” She explained that she had started taking lessons about two years ago. He had always wanted to learn the cello, and he told her so as they walked to her car. He was beaming.
When they embraced at her car, they both thought about spending the night with each other, but said nothing. He held her close, and rubbed her back. Then he thought he should wait on spending the night, but he did say, “Can you imagine us playing a duet together?”
Samuel Parker was in love again and it absolutely scared him to death. How did this happen? Wasn’t he too old for this? He thought for sure that love ended at 50, and then you went for a rocking chair. Here he was, almost 60, and yet every time he saw her, his heart started pounding, and he stumbled for words to say. Her name was Megan Kominski, and she was the most beautiful 50 year old woman he had ever seen.
The highlight of his day was seeing her at the art museum downtown, where they both volunteered. He left work at the post office at 3:00, and was at the museum at 3:45, in order to see her and talk, just before they both started at 4:00. They both led tours around the museum, highlighting the works of different artists.
When it wasn’t busy they could talk for hours about art. They both loved the Impressionists! Although they did debate about their favorites, she loved Monet the best, and his favorite was Mary Cassatt, they always kept their debates good natured. They both made excellent points on why their favorite painter was better, or why a particular painting was more outstanding. She was more open to abstract art. He couldn’t stand it to be truthful, but he didn’t want to appear to be too negative, so he just said, “Not my cup of tea!”
The museum closed at 7:00, and one night she asked him if he wanted to go for a cup of coffee. He jumped at the chance, but felt stupid for not thinking of the idea himself. On that first night, he was the one that was nervous, and realized he seemed that way. She had a way of disarming him though, simply with her smile, and he began to relax. That night they talked about Obama Care, although he had no idea why, maybe it was the news of the day. He was amazed at how much they were alike. “It’s only the rich people that are against it, because they’re being too tight with their wallets”. She smiled and agreed. He silently patted on himself on the back for that one. He scored another point!
He was being genuine though, they both were. For some reason, he really began to care what she thought of him. He did not want to disappoint her in any way. Perhaps that’s where the fear came in. Was he good enough for this beautiful woman? After going to the coffee shop 3-4 times he worried that maybe she would reject him and that would hurt, beyond belief. He knew then, he was in love.
He always walked her to her car, after they left the coffee shop. Maybe he was just being a guy, but he was concerned about her safety. More than that, it gave him an opportunity to look at her beautiful brown hair with gray streaks, gleaming in the street lights. She was stunning. The first night they just said “Goodnight”, and smiled. The next time it was a small, polite hug. By the third night he embraced her. He thought, was she ready for this? Her smile told him yes, so he kissed her. No, really they kissed each other. Still in the back of his mind, he worried.
They both loved classical music, and he decided to conquer any worries he had, by asking her to a concert at the theater two blocks from the museum, on Saturday. Now it was her turn to jump at the chance, and she did! They loved the music of Franz Joseph Hayden, and he especially loved the strings. She on the other hand, especially loved the piano concerto.
Walking back to the car she said, “Do you want to go someplace for a drink?” His heart stopped. Now the fear had him by the throat, and he did not know what to do. He made up some lie about not feeling well, and drove her home without saying a word. Now she was panicked, that she had done something wrong. Why was he being so nervous?
When he walked her to the door, he gave her only a polite peck on the cheek, and said goodnight. His heart was frozen with fear, and he quickly walked away. He loved her for sure, but he could not force himself to tell her he had been an alcoholic. It was over now for sure.
Fortunately it is not over! Part II of this two part story is coming up next time. Peace!