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The Beginning of The End - Part One

Story ID:2227
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Writers Conference:$500 2007 Family Memories Writing Project
Location:Fort Lee New Jersey USA
Person:My Wives
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The Beginning of The End - Part One

This story has four parts to it. I'll post one a day for the next four days.

This story spans my life and marriage to two
wonderful women. It's a story of love found, love
lost, and love found again.

This was a painful story for me to write. Tears
often stained my cheeks - both happy and sad tears.


The Beginning of The End

Part One – The Beginning
“Hey, Mike!”
I turned. “Jeff! What are you doing here?” I yelled over the loud music.
“I come here a lot.” Jeff was a work friend. We were at a night club. “This place
is hot!”
“You know it!” I replied.
We talked about work for a bit. “Mike,” he said. “I see a friend of mine. I think I’ll
ask her for a dance.”
I watched him. He wandered through the crowd and approached an attractive,
young blond. They exchanged words. She stood. He led her to the crowded dance floor.
His friend had a friend. She sat alone at her table. I loved to dance and hoped
she’d rather dance than sit by herself. I strolled over. The crowd pushed me in various
directions, as they gyrated to the music. They didn’t distract me. I had a goal.
I tapped her shoulder. She looked up at me. “Yes?”
Brown eyes - beautiful brown eyes stared up at me. “Would you like to dance?”
I asked hopefully.
She smiled, “OK!”
A fight broke out between two young studs. We changed direction to avoid the
commotion and struggled to the dance floor, which was sticky with spilled drinks. We
danced. She looked up and smiled. Her brown eyes mesmerized me.
“You have beautiful eyes.” I yelled over the noise – not exactly a romantic
She smiled. “Thank you.”
The song ended. “Stay up?” I asked, not wanting to let her go.
She smiled again, her brown eyes shining. “OK!”
The third song ended, “Stay up? I asked again.
“No, maybe later.”
“OK.” I replied. I led her back to her table, disappointment the moment was over,
and thanked her for the dance. I wanted to ask if I could join her and her friend, but I was
too shy, so I thanked her for the dance and went back to my spot by the bar.
I sipped my drink, stared in her direction, and waited. I saw another guy ask her to
dance and tensed. They spoke. He walked away. I gave her time, not wanting to seem
pushy but wanting to be with her again - to dance the dance.
The band played one of my favorites. I stood by her shoulder again. “Want to
“Sure!” she smiled.
The song ended. I looked into those brown eyes, “Stay up?”
Several songs later, I thanked her again, and left her at her table.
An hour later, we walked back to her table for the fourth time. I thanked her. She
nodded to her friend. “This is Lisa.”
“Nice to meet you, Lisa.” I said. We shook hands.
“You can sit with us if you like.” Georgia said.
“I’d love to.” I replied.
Lisa poked Georgia in the side, “Georgia? What are you doing?” She didn’t think
I would hear over the music.
“Lisa, it’s OK.” Georgia looked at me. I sat down.
We talked or danced all evening.
The last waltz played. My arms circled her – holding her close to me. I felt
something under my shoe. Probably a piece of litter, I thought to myself. I stepped on it
again. I released her, bent down, and picked up a large smoky topaz. It was several carats
and reflected the shimmering lights over the dance floor.
Georgia looked at her finger. “That’s the stone from my ring! Thank you for
finding it. It’s my favorite ring. The stone is so beautiful, but the setting isn’t very
strong. One day I want to have it reset, so it won’t fall out.”
Midnight came and went. Lisa looked at Georgia, “We better leave. I have to
work tomorrow.”
“Mike, we do have to leave. It was nice meeting you.”
“Do you need a ride home?” I asked, hoping to extend the evening and my time
with her.
“We’re fine. We’ll grab a cab.” Lisa said quickly. She didn’t seem to like me
much and wanted to get out of there.
“That would be wonderful,” Georgia replied, nudging Lisa. “It’s OK, Lisa.
It’ll save us cab fare.”
They lived in the same apartment building. I pulled up to the front door, got
out, and opened the car door for them. It was an awkward moment. I wanted to ask
Georgia for her phone number, but I was too shy with Lisa standing there waiting for
Georgia to join her. “Georgia, thank you for a wonderful night.”
She smiled at me, the street lights mirrored her beautiful brown eyes. “I had
fun too.” After an embarrassing moment of silence, we hugged and said good bye.
I walked around the back of my car, silently cursing my lack of nerve. I just lost
a wonderful woman. As I opened my door, I looked up. There was Georgia - alone. Lisa
was gone.
It took me only a second to rush back around the car and into her arms. We kissed
– long and tender. I didn’t hesitate this time, “Georgia, is it OK if I call you some time.”
“Sure! I’d like that.”
She handed me her business card. “Call me at work.” We kissed again. She
disappeared into her building. My heart pounded in my chest. Was she the one I’d been
looking for?
Days went by. I’d take her card out, start to dial, and hang up. Calling a woman
was new to me. I’d never had a girlfriend before. I was afraid I would make a fool of
A week passed. I knew I would lose her if I didn’t call soon. My finger shook
as I dialed. I heard the ring on the other end of the line. “Canada Life! How may I help
“May I speak to Georgia Liszak please?”
“One moment please.” The bored receptionist replied.
The phone rang again. “Canada Life! This is Georgia.”
“Georgia, this is Mike. We met the other night. You remember me don’t you?”
“Of course! I wondered if you would ever call!”
“You did?” I was surprised. She was waiting for me? Me?
“I thought you were like other guys who ask for a number and never call.”
“Well, umm, I was wondering. Would you like to go to dinner some night?
Maybe we could go dancing afterward. I mean, if you would like to. You don’t have to.
I just…”
“Yes!” she interrupted
“Thought we had such a nice… Did you say yes?”
“Yes. I’d love to.”
I had a date. After a few minutes of pleasant talk, we hung up. I leaped from
chair, “YES!! I got a date!”
Two weeks later, we were together every weekend and evening.
A year later, we were at a Gordon Lightfoot concert. At intermission, I said, “I’m
going to buy a house. I’ve lived with my parents long enough.”
“Really?” She was surprised. “That would be great!”
It took a month, but we finally found something we liked. It sat on the side of a
hill with a view of the cove below. A bald eagle and an osprey fished in the waters, as we
viewed the property. We agreed, this was the one.
The day the mortgage closed, I bought a bottle of champagne and called Georgia.
“Let’s go to the new house and celebrate.” We grabbed a couple of lawn chairs – I didn’t
have furniture – and rushed off.
We popped the cork and sprayed the house with bubbly – my first house. Inside,
we sipped champagne, hugged and kissed. It was a night to be happy. I was on my own.
Georgia didn’t know it, but I’d taken her topaz ring and had a goldsmith create a
beautiful setting for it. He made a ring that lifted the stone off the finger and allowed the
light to shine through. It was a work of art.
Georgia sat in an old reclining lawn chair, with the back rest lifted. The seat was
made of cloth. Years of weather had rotted the fabric. I knelt in front of her, reached into
my pocket, and pulled out the ring. There was a ripping sound. Georgia sank to the floor
as I asked, “Georgia, will you marry me?”