Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Yearbook: Mike

NOTE: This concludes The Yearbook series. The following excerpt is from my WIP (newest novel) Gina's Journey. The novel incorporates this series. Let me know in comments if you're intrigued enough to want to read the completed work? 

The year was 1982. We danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album and watched “E.T.” on the silver screen. John Belushi died and Prince William was born. We exercised  to Jane Fonda video tapes and never missed watching “Dynasty” on TV. Gas cost 91 cents a gallon and a stamp two dimes. We were spooked by the Tylenol scare and held our breath as the recession began.
It was a year of promise and pain, of sweetness and sorrow.

But it was OUR year. 

We were the Class of 1982, and we were ready to take on the world.     

Mike (Yearbook post/1982)

To the best and sweetest girl any guy could have. You’re super in every way and you mean everything to me, and don’t ever forget that! You know I don’t like to write because I can’t express myself as well as if I would tell you but I’ll try anyways. I love you very much and want our relationship to last! You’re just a super girl, you care about me very much and I appreciate it because it makes me feel great inside, and I feel very lucky to have a girl as great as you. If I had to sum everything up about you in one word it would have to be fabulous! It probably sounds dumb but that’s the way it is. I just want to let you know that I do love you and will do anything for you that you want me to.
Love, Mike


I remember his black hair and curls. His five o’clock shadow in the middle of the day. The way his smile took up most of his olive face and the way his dark eyes danced when I walked into the room. I remember the first time he told me he loved me and the first time we made love. Why is it that you never forget your first love? Maybe it’s because it’s the first person you gave your heart to, completely. The first time you were afraid to breathe for fear the moment would pass and you would miss some of the seconds. Life is seldom what we think it will be. Especially when you’re seventeen and the biggest concern you have is whether someone has the same prom dress.  

I ran into Michael once at the pizza shop in town. It was the day after Christmas, and I was home visiting my parents. I saw him as soon as I opened the glass door and the jingle bell jingled. He stood at the counter, holding a baby bundled in blue.  The sight washed over me like a damn wave that you never see coming until it’s too late and you’re face down eating sand.  And just as you try to spit out the sand and stand up you get knocked over again by the damn hot pizza smell that transports you back in time. Back to the night that you ate pizza in the corner booth that still has your names carved in the wood. The night you got drunk on the six-pack you took from your dad’s stash in the garage. The night you made out in the woods and fell asleep naked intertwined like pretzels under a crescent moon that peeked through the trees. 

He turned and saw me and then came the smile. His white teeth seemed even whiter, his smile broader. There was small talk and more small talk. About his marriage and baby and move across town. About his job, my job. About how I was doing exactly what I always wanted to do – and he wasn’t.

What happened? What happened to all the plans we had? All the nights we spent laying under the stars sharing our dreams.  The kind of house we’d live in, how many kids we’d have. What their names would be.  What happened to us?

Life. That’s what happened. One day comes after another and another and pretty soon you realize that yesterday was pretty damn long ago and that everything you had hoped for is never going to happen.  You can’t control it any more than you can control that big wave from getting stronger before it nails you. All you can do is prepare and hope that when it hits, you’ll survive.  

And that the secrets you’ve kept all of these years don’t drown you.  

Other posts in this blog series


  1. The secret is to still enjoy the pizza.

  2. Can you say captivating? Good series!

    :) Christi P