Jeff Martin was reading the personals in the Sunday paper. He got a lot of laughs and often wondered how honest they were.
"Hot! Sexy! Momma! Kids are grown and gone so I want someone to have fun with. Long legged blonde waits for you."
Jeff laughed out loud. "Bet she's short, fat, and has gray hair!"
Jeff was middle aged with lots of curly black hair, with some gray at the edges. His ex had said she liked to run her fingers through it. She said his eyes twinkled when he tried not to laugh. Like when he told a joke!
"Old fashioned woman looking for a true man. Over 55 and not 68. Traveling is fun. As long as you aren't scary ugly, looks aren't important. Friends first and then? Lady is 60, nearly; long hair is mostly blonde; thought she'd found true love but he flaked. I am 5'7 and 190, and you?"
Jeff read all of the ads but his eyes returned to just the one. "What the hey!"
He sat down and wrote a reply to the address given. "She probably thinks she's "all that!"
"I am 5'8, 61, 175,curly black hair-some gray, blue eyes, work for a major retail chain, like being outside, and drive a pickup. Am not into bars, or lying women."
He added a picture and sealed the letter. A stamp and address and he put it in his apartment mail slot before he could change his mind.
T.C. recieved nine letters in one post. She read them all and answered each one before going on to the next one. Finally she got to the last one. "Maybe this will finally be someone not writing to tell me he'll be glad to give me all the sex I want and is willing to relocate to do so!" she sighed.
She opened the flap and the picture fell out. Laughing, she sat it in front of her and wrote. "When I opened your letter the picture fell out. You are a nice looking gentleman. The only one whose letter didn't sound like a sex fiend! Let's get to know each other. I have no pictures yet. Hard to take one of yourself! Anyway, I don't abide liars and the picture shows you were truthfull so here goes.
I am a christian but not religious. I mean by that I don't spout scriptures every other breathe and act like your a low life if you don't. I attend a very small church regularly since my divorce and moving here. I like to have a garden-vegetables and I grow a few flowers. I traveled many miles a year when I worked so now I only travel when and where I want, and on my time table! I like to play a few games like Scrabble, Mexican Train, and Dominoes. I love computers but not chat rooms and such. I do not drink alcohol or smoke. You may if it is in moderation. No drugs at all unless of course it is for health reasons. My children are grown and all over the country. I have four, and 8 grand children, and they are grand! My companion is a dog, 14 pounds. He's more like my kid. My hobby is writing stories. Here's my cell number if you wish to call. Since your letter was pretty short I am assumming that you are like many men in that you hate to write letters. Call and let's talk."
It got to Jeff four days after being mailed and a week after he had mailed his letter to her. It had an Oklahoma PO box number which meant she wasn't too far away. He didn't realise that she had it sent through a mailing service in case someone who answered was a pevert.
"I hope she is as nice as she seems. I sure don't want anything to do with one like my ex or my ex clasmate!"
Jeff had gone to a class reunion and met a girl he'd had a crush on in high school. She was widowed with no kids and seemed interested in him. He'd called a lot and then decided to return and surprise her on her birthday.
After driving ten hours he had checked in to a motel not far from where she worked and rested. He'd freshened up and gone to take her to supper. Marcy'd come out of her building and he had gotten out of his truck, and then she hugged and kissed a man waiting on the steps. It had not been a freindly kiss! He'd followed them to a restaurant, in case it was a relative or something sharing her birthday. The man had given her a ring after the meal and she'd gushed over it.
"I may not be a rocket scientist but I know when I am being played!" and he'd returned to the motel to rest. He'd been gone by six.
Jeff called TC and they talked about many things. He found out she'd also been a truck driver, and she'd even worked for some of the same companies as he had. A couple at the same time! He wondered now if he'd seen her, but he'd rarely paid much attention to women as he'd been happily married, "or so I thought!"
His ex classmate had called a week after he'd gone to see her, he told TC. She wanted to know why he hadn't called and when he was coming out.
"I told her I hadn't called because I didn't like her type of woman and that I had come out and found out her game. Then I hung up and put a block against her number!"
"I can tell your not very forgiving. Ever needed someone to forgive you?"
"Sure! I never claimed to be perfect."
"Tell me about your ex and what happened. You said you were very in love for well over ten years."
"She was all I wanted in life till she left me when I needed her most!"
"Did she say why? Surely she didn't find someone she thought was better!"
"SHE SAID I pushed her out of my life. Said that since we'd been so close she couldn't stand to be put aside like she wasn't even in the same house as I was."
"That's strange! My ex did that same thing to me."
"Yes. I sewed and gardened but when he was around I liked to be with him. Then one day it seemed like his body was there but he wasn't. I tried several times to tell him how I felt but he didn't have time to listen. I felt like a ghost in my own home."
"What did you do about it?"
"What would you do? If your wife suddenly wanted to be elsewhere with co workers and strangers rather than be with you?"
"I'd probably leave and tell her to live a happy life!" Jeff laughed.
"About what I did. I really did love him and hoped for a long time that he'd come to me and we could work on our problems. I felt like I'd invested many years and someone had stolen my treasure from me."
"WoW! You must have really loved him. He had to be stupid to let you go."
"I don't think so. I'm not pefect either. God forgave me but my ex couldn't. I think it was pride, or ego that kept him from getting back together." "Really? Well, maybe it'll happen yet."
"NO. He can't change. You're still too hurt by your ex to even speak to her aren't you?"
"Well, yeah. But she left me! She wanted more money than I had."
"Did she? Or did she just want the bills you'd both made paid? See, women are peculiar about paying bills. It's a nesting thing I guess. We're afraid that if we don't pay them someone will take our home and we'll be homeless. Still, looking back, I would give up everything and live in a tent or under a bridge to be with a man I loved like I loved him."
"Still love him?"
"Yes.But I'm not in love with him anymore. That takes two people working to keep it going. It's like a checking account. If you don't put money in there is nothing to withdrawl. In a relationship, if you don't put in time, care, and love it has nothing to survive on when times are tuff."
"What away to look at marriage, but I like it!" he added quickly.
"Well, I'm a controlling type person. If you have a responsibility and you don't take care of it I will try to. That intimidates some men. Then to, after a while some get used to it and let it happen. Of course someday they realise that I'm running things and then feel it's my fault."
"He should've been glad you took up the slack when he let it down. My ex tried to get me to take her back but I let my ego tell me not to. I blamed her for a long time but now I'm starting to see that I didn't take care of the love and so it left. She always fed my ego so I guess part of it is her fault!" he laughed.
"It's always two. Always."
"Yeah, but I rushed into getting a divorce so I could say I divorced her! Couldn't let friends and family know I was wrong. Of course, after you tell your tale of whoa to them it really is hard to go back."
"That's true . Maybe you should try to contact her."
"I can't. I made a real fool of myself during the divorce."
"That's ego talk! We often open our mouth and insert our foot! I went on and started a new life. I learned a lot about my self and discovered that, tho i wasn't perfect, some people did like me. I changed some and grew some and I am still. I'd better go for now. I have several calls tomorrow and work to do. I do hope you call again. I'm too old fashioned to call a man but I would love to talk to you again."
"Tomorrow evening?" Jeff asked.
"Sorry. It's Wednesday and I go to visit with God and his people. It's 9 when I get back and then I get ready for bed. I get up for work between four and six."
"Okay. How about Thursday, say eight?"
"I'll talk to you then. Good night."
After they hung up she smiled.
"I know something you don't know!" and she laughed as she headed to take her shower.
TC got a call from Jeff a few days later. Again he wanted to meet her but she still said they needed to get to know each other better before we meet.
Jeff told about his military days. He told her about his job and said he lived in an apartment. He said he liked to work on the treadmill and do gardening. He told of his likes and dislikes. And she told him about her. She never once lied to him. She finally agreed to meet him at the petrol in Oklahoma City, or better still, she'd drive to Blackwell.
Jeff drove to Oklahoma City as he told her it was only three and a half hours away. She had to rush out but she'd already fueled her car and packed it. She booked a room for the night as she was not going to drive back to Texas tired. She arrived and checked in. She had time for a shower and to freshen up before they were to meet and then he called her cell.
"Hi! I'm at the Petrol."
I'm sorry. Could you possibly come over to the first TA?"
"Sure. Be there in a few."
TC walked out the back door of the motel and was soon at the truck stop. Jeff pulled up in a few minutes and she watched as he looked around for her. Then he spotted her.
"Ugh, what are you doing here?"
"I could say the same to you. I thought you lived in Kansas still."
"I do! I'm meeting someone here." He looked around.
"Oh? What does she look like?"
"She's blonde, about 180, green eyes, my age, and nice."
TC smiled. "Sounds like me."
"I said she was nice."
"Most people say I am nice Jeff. It was you who had a problem loving me after your accident."
"Bull! I always loved you and you left me."
"Oh? Somehow I didn't feel loved any more. I felt like a ghost in our home. How'd you meet this lady?"
"Actually, I answered an ad in a paper. I read the personals because they're funny. Then I found an old class mate and she turned out to be a decietful--"
"Whoa! I don't like to hear that language."
"Since I learned to love the Lord and myself. So, what else does this paragon of virtue enjoy?"
Jeff explained all about the woman and then pulled out her last letter.
Smiling, TC dialed his cell.
"Hello Jeff. I've been waiting for you."
Jeff stared. "You?" he croaked.
"Yes. I told you when we first met that we had a companionship as well as love. At that time you agreed we were meant to be together."
"Yeah. Guess I blew that!"
"No, we blew it. Both of us did things and forgot to work on our marriage. Shall we stay here or go to my motel to talk?"
"Motel?" Jeff answered stupidly.
"I don't live here. I drove up from Texas so I couldn't go back tonight too. I knew who you were. I answered two ads. I got the mail forwarding service so if I got any weirdos I couldn't be traced."
Jeff sighed. "Right now I feel like a weirdo."
"Don't! I told you once I would love you till death do us part. I love you Jeff. I just don't love some of the things you did and said. Don't get me wrong! I was very wrong to leave. I said things too."
Jeff smiled. "Let's go talk a bit more. And God be with us both."
Smiling she answered, "He always is. We just don't always notice."
They drove to the motel and talked. Jeff got a room. He didn't want to leave. His dreams were pleasant and he was smiling when he woke. Hope filled his heart again as he hurried to the cafe to meet the woman he knew he still loved.