Young Years of Paul and Waldo
Although, Paul and I lived in the same school district, we were unaware of each other, until we became friends after meeting in kindergarten on the first day of school. Throughout nineteen years, who would have thought our friendship would have lasted? We have shared many good times and some that were questionable.
In kindergarten, we were not perfect students, but had lots of fun, and in the process, gained a little knowledge also. First grade was a little different, though, we had to do more studying and less goofing off. This trend continued through high school, with each grade getting more difficult, but we just knuckled down and got through all twelve grades. We participated in sports and outdoor activities also.
My middle class family includes mom, dad, my younger sister, Joan and me. My dad owns an auto parts store, and my mom is an insurance office claims assistant. I am short like my mom, have blue eyes, sandy blond hair and in my mid twenties.
Paul’s family is considered upper middle class. His dad is an attorney and his mom is a part time daycare worker. Paul has an older brother, Mark. With dark brown hair and brown eyes, Paul is medium height, very nice looking and also in his mid twenties.
During the last four years of school, we did some pretty far-reaching escapades, but some how got the upper hand of the situations. One such occasion was when we borrowed Paul’s dad’s car and ran out of gas. We didn’t get home until hours past our curfew. We had taken our girlfriends for a ride, but Paul forgot to check the gas gauge until it was on empty. My date, Becky, and I walked two miles to the nearest convenience store for gas. After a long wait with the car, Paul and Marlene were glad when we came back.
“What took you so long?” Paul exclaimed.
“We’re slow walkers!” I replied.
We hadn’t given much thought to what we wanted to do until after graduation, but soon discovered a decision was necessary. Paul went to college in the east and I stayed closer to home in the west. We kept in touch with each other throughout the college years. And before we knew it, we had degrees and were ready for job placement. It was not easy finding employment, but finally I found the right job with Home Depot, in Cedar City, as assistant manager. It was close to home, but far enough for me to be on my own. After much searching, I found an affordable apartment and moved in. In the weeks that followed, I grew fonder of my job.
After college graduation, Paul stayed on the east coast to search for employment and we temporarily lost touch with each other. One weekend I was off, and went home for a visit. At the mall, I was very surprised to see Paul. It was a happy reunion for us and we decided to have lunch to catch up on our most recent goings-on.
After much conversation, Paul confessed, “I really need a job.” He asked “Do you know of any around Cedar City?”
I told him “Come see me at Home Depot and fill out an application. You can stay at my place,” I added.
On Monday, Paul arrived with his resume, and filled out an application for work.
I had good news for him; “There is an opening for a sales associate in the garden center.”
Paul said, “I don’t know much about flowers, but I’ll learn.”
I told him “We’ll be in touch.”
The manager and I went over all the resumes and applications, and then decided Paul would be suitable for the position.
I called Paul and told him the good news, “You now have a job. Can you come in tomorrow?"
“Yes, I can,” Paul replied quickly.
“That’s great,” I added.
After traveling home for clothes, Paul came in on Tuesday morning and was grateful for the opportunity of employment. He was in training for ten days, and then would be on his own. Paul always has been a fast learner, and this was no exception. Paul, being a likeable person, was accepted by the other employees right away and he was doing a fine job. After work, we went to get something to eat.
Later, at my apartment, Paul said, “I appreciate all you have done for me. Thanks.”
“I’m just glad we had an opening for you,” I said.
There were days when Paul began his day later than I did. Although, most of my hours were during the day, occasionally I worked evenings.
Paul became a knowledgeable garden center employee very quickly.
A couple of weeks after he went to work, he came in and announced “I have found an apartment.”
It was a bittersweet moment for me, but I asked, “You have?”
I wanted Paul to have his own place, but I had gotten used to his being with me.
Paul said “Yeah, just as soon as I can get some furniture. My Mom and Dad are helping me with the furniture.”
“That’s great, but I will miss you” I commented.
Paul said, “It’s not like we won’t see each other.” He added, “We’ll be working at the same place, and we can do things together if our days off coincide.”
“I just don’t want to loose touch again like before,” I pleaded.
Paul moved into his apartment and we continued to see each other at work almost everyday. Our lives were really good at that point, and the days seemed to fly by. We spent as much time together as possible.
Paul bought a new truck and came by to show it to me.
He said, “Look what I got.”
“Wow, that’s a good looking ride; is it yours?” I asked.
“It is, I just got it yesterday,” Paul excitedly exclaimed. “You want to take a ride?” he asked.
“Yes, that will be nice; let me lock my door, and I’ll be right back,” I replied. “What a nice truck you have,” I said, and climbed in.
Paul said, “I’m so proud of it; my first truck!”
We drove around town and what an amazing ride we had – smooth as if riding on a cloud.
At my apartment, Paul said, “Goodbye, see you tomorrow.”
I said, “Thanks for the nice ride and will see you in the morning at work.”
On the way to my door, I could hardly believe Paul’s good fortune. I hoped it would last forever.
The next day at work, I don’t think Paul touched the floor too often. He was still thinking about his truck. We didn’t get to talk much that day, since the garden center was very busy, with the spring season approaching.
At work the next day, Paul came into my office and said, “Colleen called me this morning to say Pamela has moved back home.”
“What?” I asked totally in shock.
“She didn’t give any notice; she just left,” Paul told me.
“Did she say anything?” I asked.
“No, all she said was, ‘I’m going home’, and left,” Paul continued. “I’m sorry, buddy, I’ll be here for you if you need me, but I have to get to work now” Paul said.
“Thanks,” I dejectedly said as I plummeted down in my desk chair, dumbfounded.
I could hardly believe what I just heard. Could it be possible Pamela was pregnant? I asked myself. I certainly hope not; we were very careful during our intimate moments. I wish I knew the answers to all the questions that are in my mind. But I had a job to do and needed to get back to it.
The miserable day finally ended and I went home. I sat on the couch and pondered what has happened to my life. It was going so good and all of a sudden, everything has fallen apart. I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. I called Mom to talk with her about the events of the past three days.
I asked, “Is it possible to swim in the lake?”
Paul said, “I don’t know; but I bet we can ask at the office to find out.”
“That’s a good idea,” I commented. “I’ll go up there and ask,” I asserted.
“No, you can’t walk, it’s too far,” Paul said. “I’ll drive you up there,” he insisted.
We all got into Paul’s truck and drove to the office. Paul and Colleen waited in the truck while I went inside.
“Is it permissible to swim in the lake?” I asked.
“Yes, you can, but there is no lifeguard,” the attendant replied. “Just be careful,” he continued.
“Thanks,” I said as I went out the door.
I hurried to the truck and excitedly said, “Guess what? We can swim in the lake, but there is no lifeguard, though,” I related. “We have to be very careful.”
Paul said, “But we don’t have bathing suits.”
“We can swim in our shorts,” I told him.
“You won’t catch me out there in my underwear,” Paul excitedly exclaimed.
“I wasn’t talking about underwear, I mean the shorts we have on now,” I convincingly said with a snicker.
“Oh,” Paul said surprisingly.
Back at the cabin, Paul still wasn’t convinced about swimming in his shorts.
Colleen said, “You can do that. You don’t have to have swim trunks.”
“What will you wear?” Paul asked Colleen.
“I can wear my shorts and a tee shirt,” she replied. “I think it will be fun,” Colleen said, “Don’t you Waldo?”
“Yes, I’d like to go swimming. I think we should go right now,” I remarked.
“Okay, let’s do it,” Paul said. “Shall we walk or drive?” he asked.
“Oh let’s walk. We don’t want to get into your truck all wet, afterwards,” I commented.
“Yeah, that’s right, I didn’t think about that,” Paul said. “Okay, let’s go.”
We grabbed towels and started toward the lake.
We walked slowly to conserve our energy for swimming. When we got to the lake, we all ran and jumped in.
“Brrr this water is cold,” I complained. “Whose idea was this anyway?” I asked childishly.
Paul and Colleen gave me an unforgiving look and said in unison, “Yours.”
“I don’t think this swim will last long,” Paul commented.
“I’m getting out now,” Colleen replied.
Soon Paul followed Colleen and I was right behind them.
“I surely didn’t think about the water being so cold, so much for our swim,” I apologetically commented.
“Well, we know now,” Colleen replied sharply.
“Okay, so it was a bad idea, I’m sorry,” as I begged their forgiveness.
When we returned to the cabin, Paul and Colleen went in to change clothes while I waited outside. Soon it was my turn to get out of the wet, cold clothes. It felt good to be warm again.
“Is anyone hungry?” Colleen asked.
Paul and I both said, “Yes, we are. What’s for dinner?” we kidded her.
“Whatever you prepare is what you get,” Colleen snapped back at us.
“Will it be hotdogs or sandwiches?” Paul asked.
“I’ll have a hotdog,” I said. “After that cold swim, something warm sounds good. I’ll start the fire,” I volunteered.
The fire was hot and felt good to our cold bodies as we huddled around it. Soon the hotdogs were warm and ready to eat.
“Come and get it,” Paul said as he took the hotdogs off the grill.
After we ate, we walked around the circle road to get more exercise. When we returned to the cabin, it was getting dark. We sat at the table and watched the fireflies, until it became too cool to sit outside. We went into the cabin and turned on the light.
“We’ve had a nice day, haven’t we?” I asked.
“Yes, we have,” Paul replied. “Well, I guess with the exception of the swim,” he sarcastically added.
“I won’t ever hear the end of that, will I?” I asked.
Paul said, "No, you probably won't for a long time."
“Hello,” the soft voice said that made my heart flutter with excitement.
“When can you meet me for a talk?” I asked Pamela.
“I can come to your place now, if it’s okay,” she excitedly said.
“No, not my place; a neutral place where we can talk,” I explicitly said.
“Then where do you want to meet?” she inquisitively asked.
“Can you meet me at the Side Street Café?” I asked.
“Okay, I’ll meet you there in thirty minutes,” Pamela excitedly replied.
“Okay, see you there,” I said.
Calm down, I told myself; it’s just a talking session and nothing may come from it. Although, I hope I won’t melt into a ball of putty for her to manipulate, I can’t help being excited to see Pamela again. I drove to the café, got out and went in. I looked all around and Pamela was nowhere in sight. My heart fell like a rock. Has she done it to me again? I asked myself. I ordered a glass of tea and started to sip when Pamela came in. She walked to the booth, and looked stunning as she always did.
I stood up and said, “Sit down. Do you want something to drink?”
“Yes, I’d like some tea, please,” she politely said.
With her tea served, we began to talk.
“Why did you leave in such a hurry?” I asked impatiently.
“We were getting so serious; I was scared and didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to get away fast,” Pamela explained.
“But you could have called and told me you wanted to cool down our relationship and you needed to go away for a while,” I stated.
“Yes, I could have, but I thought you might try to talk me out of leaving,” she pleaded.
“And I probably would have,” I commented. “How do you feel about me now?” I asked tentatively.
“I’ve always loved you, lover and I still do,” Pamela tenderly said. “Do you still love me, after I ran out on you?” she asked lovingly.
“Yes, I have to admit, I still love you sweetie,” I told her. “I was so despondent when you left, I could hardly function,” I said sadly.
“Oh, darling, I’m so sorry,” she sympathetically said. “I surely didn’t mean to cause you so much distress,” Pamela said softly. “Do you think there is a chance for me in your life?” she asked inquisitively.
“Yes, but it will be different this time. We’ll go slowly and not get involved so quickly,” I sternly replied. “Is that agreeable with you?” I asked.
Pamela reached across the table and took my hands in hers and said, “Yes, I agree with whatever you say, lover.”
My heart was fluttering, but I have to control myself or things will get out of hand again, I told myself.
“Okay”, I said as we got up to leave the café.
I walked Pamela to her car and opened the door.
“Be careful going home,” I told her.
“Okay, will you call me at Colleen’s?” she asked.
“Yes, I’ll call you tomorrow. You’ll still be here, won’t you?” I asked edgily.
“Yes, I’m not going anywhere,” she softly said.
“Okay, see you later, sweetie,” I told her as I walked to my truck.