This is a personal account of something that happened to me. This was about 20 years ago. You never know where your life goes and eventually ends up. You can certainly have some rough times and this was one that brought tears to my eyes to write.
In my college years, after getting a number of qualifications behind, and still way to scared to get a job, I started working part-time in the college. It was my comfort zone. I studied there so working there was just an extension of that. I did support type stuff, lecturers assistant etc. Was menial work but helped give me some extra cash.
At the beginning of my second to last year, during the orientation for the new students I got sight of her. She was stunning. She was short, just on 5 foot, athletic, blonde shoulder length hair. She was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen. Pretty much every guy would stare at her when she was around, which helped cause no one would see how dumb-founded I looked.
I was typical me, to scared to even say hello and would blush if I was caught looking at any girl. So it took my breathe away one morning when I doing some prep work, and I must have been caught up in my own thoughts, as I didn’t notice that Jane was behind me and she said “heya”. I looked around, to see who she was talking too, couldn’t see any one. I looked at her and she said it again. I managed to mumble out “good morning”. She was talking to me!
This became a common occurrence her bumping into me every morning. Seemed she loved getting started early and I was always on campus early. This lasted for months and for me as awkward as it was I did get to see her awesome wardrobe each day. She took pride in her appearance and always dressed well, not sluttly or anything. Just nice.
I thought to myself, “Im an idiot”. She comes early everyday and says hello. She doesn’t have to, its actually out of the way for her to be in this area anyway. *shock realisation* Is a girl interested in me?? can’t be.
It was Friday, the end of the semester before the summer break, and I knew it was her. “heya, c’mon lets get a milkshake”. “Um ok, lemme finish up.” She sat down and waited while I got my prep done. I finished up, all the while we were chatting. That was really weird, it happened subconsciously almost. I was talking to a girl and I wasn’t tongue-tied or just staring dumbly.
We went to the canteen and sat down. She grabbed the drinks. “strawberry right?” “yeah, How’d you know”
“I’ve been asking around, I like you”. Huh, someone likes me for me??? I swear my heart skipped several beats. I’d never had friends through school and same carried on through college. So for someone to like me and take steps to find out stuff about me was scaring me a bit.
She told me she was going away for the summer break but wanted to keep in touch and gave me her email and cell number. We kept in touch over summer but there were a few weeks where there would be nothing. I would continue to email but nothing. Then email would come back inclduing an apology and not to worry. I fell in love with her and she with me. At college I had to maintain my professional veneer. The occasional shared drink in the canteen under the guise of assisting a student with studies.
Some mornings when she got to college, and if no one was around; we had the privacy to kiss and cuddle. That was about as physical as it got. I would have liked to go further but we mutually agreed it was for the best. First girlfriend for me so I was pretty niave about relationships. In any event, if we would have been caught I would have lost my job. Not sure what they would do to her.
I can be a bit slow sometimes too, and at first it was little things but took ages before it clicked. She started to dress more conservatively, avoided crowds and tried not to drawer attention to herself. She didn’t look quite as vibrant. Something changed over summer and when I asked what was wrong and all she said was come round on the weekend.
Something was definitely up. I was anxious and worried and just wanted the weekend too get here already. Saturday was here, and I was on the go early to get to her apartment. She opened the door and she was a wreck.
She sat me down. The following words shattered my soul.
“I love you so much, but I might not be able to see you much longer. I have cancer. I have at most maybe three months left.”
I just sat there and the torrent of tears started. It took a good 10mins before we could talk again.
“I want to spend what time I have left with you”.
The following day, I put in for annual leave citing family reasons.
I wanted to spend every last day with Jane that she had left. We didn’t focus on her being sick, we did as much fun stuff as possible. Then one day when I went to visit she wasn’t home. No answer by cell, text or email. Just nothing. I felt in my heart that the end was close.
She was the very first person I truely loved.
I would have given my life to save hers.
My sweet sweet Jane. I miss so much. *crying*
A few weeks later I overheard some students talking about the “girl that died from cancer”. I was heart-broken.
Two months after she passed a letter came for me. I never read it. I had put it away for safe keeping until I could cope. Its been almost 20 years and the other day I found that letter.
In it was a letter from her mum and a sealed envelope.
Her words “Thankyou for being there, she was never more happy than when she was with you. She wanted you to remember her as she was, not in hospital dying”.
The sealed envelopment was entitled “to my dearest”.
One sentence, her last words for me
“Don’t ever change who you are, don’t be scared and don’t be alone. Love Jane.”
I choose to remember to good times. Now I’m happily married with two wonderful kids. I know Jane is looking down at me, smiling and glad that I found happiness.