began a few weeks ago. It is my plan to post a story, remembrance and/or poem once a week for 25 weeks leading to the big date.
Shortly after that beautiful, awful (for me) Thanksgiving visit, I managed to arrange a visit to see Donna at her parents' house. I imagine this was probably sometime over her Christmas break from college, maybe January of 1984.
The weather was seasonally cold, but we decided to take a visit to nearby Columbus-Belmont Park, to take a hike and have some quiet conversation time.
Although Donna still had a boyfriend-in-waiting, I think she must have begun to suspect that I was feeling sweet towards her again.
When we arrived at the beautiful park (it overlooks the Mississippi River down near the southwestern corner of Kentucky), it was fairly isolated, we had the park to ourselves practically.
We had enjoyed pleasant conversations at her house and on the drive to the park. Still, I had not raised the suggestion that I just might quite possibly still be in love with her.
We got out of the car and, being a cold day, I suggested perhaps it would help if we held hands (smooth, huh?). She was okay with that.
As I recall, the conversation came to an abrupt halt. I believe she may have been thinking, "What?? What's this? Holding my hand?" If she hadn't suspected that my interest had been rekindled, she knew now.
I believe I was just thinking, "She's holding my hand! She's holding my hand! She didn't say no! There's a chance - at least a slight chance! - that she may not hate me for how I treated her!!"
We walked around the park like that, holding hands, enjoying the frigid scenery, hearts pounding, sweat building, in spite of the cold weather.
Eventually, carefully, the conversation started up again. Still just light topics, casual conversation to distract our mouths while we each tried to figure out what in the world was going on.
After a while, we got cold enough that we had to return to the car, back to her house. Still, the hand-holding - and all that implied, whatever it implied - passed without comment.
Returning to the house, I'm sure we made some small talk with her parents about the park and the weather. We then excused ourselves to Donna's room for some private conversation.
After seeing their beloved daughter spend weeks with a broken heart following our break up, I imagine Mr and Mrs Helton were wondering what was going on, too.
We had a seat in her room, tension rising. I had no idea what Donna was thinking. She had forgiven me, I'm sure, for breaking up with her. We were friends now, but still, could she possibly be willing to take a chance on dating me again? After the pain I had caused her?
Not knowing how to broach the topic, I just quietly asked, "Donna, may I kiss you?"
There. The question was out there. She would know now without a doubt that I was hoping to have a second chance. But what would she say...?
After the briefest of pauses, but what seemed like an eternity, a sweet, tentative smile came to her face and she said, "yes."
She said "Yes!!"