THE DEVINE SECRET

by Mary Ann Sharp

Bush, LA

June 22, 2002

 

To My Best Friend,

 

     Finding myself amidst a number of confessions and/or scandalous rumors as of late, I find that I too can no longer contain the matter that has been weighing heavily on my own guilty heart. The way I see it, there are no options. I must confess! I am in dire need of someone that I can trust with my inner most secret, or be tortured to the point of insanity.

     You my friend are that person. Although years of time have separated our paths since high school, I still consider you to be my best friend. I vividly remember all the secrets we shared about our boyfriends when we were teenagers. I think I can still smell the lingering fragrance of Bud’s cologne. What was that stuff . . . Old Spice, I think?  It was just the “Cat’s Meow” sitting under the neon lights at Rush’s Drive Inn in Eugene’s convertible with the top down on the car.  Jerry wouldn’t wash the lipstick off his face until he was sure that all the guys had seen it Monday morning at school. Then there was Gerald; he’d buy a root beer, and a vanilla ice cream on a cone and before you knew it, he’d made a root beer float. He had the cutest way of saying, “That’s the thing.” 

     I don’t know why we thought those things were so funny, but we did. We giggled and laughed well into the night on many occasions. How many times did you poor mother have to tell us to be quiet and go to sleep because we had church the next morning? Heaven only knows what your dad thought about us carrying on that way. I guess the truth is, we weren’t the only two people on this earth that ever were teenagers.

     Gosh that was a long time ago, but just thinking about the fun times we shared, conjures up memories that makes me long to go back and recapture our youth. We thought we were the most gorgeous girls on this side of heaven, you with your long legs, and me with my twenty-inch waistline. Of course beauty didn’t come without a price. I’d set my hair on those awful sponge rollers every night. Daddy always said that I primped so much before going to bed that I must be meeting someone in my dreams. Well, if I ever did, I surely wanted to look my best.

     Being so petite, I never looked my age. At the awesome age of sweet sixteen, it made me furious when people thought I was only twelve. Foolishly, I had always wanted to be older than I was. Somehow I neglected the “wiser” part of it, and you know what they say about being careful about what you wish for. How I wish I could have bottled up some of that youth, now I buy my ten years younger in a jar labeled, “Night Cream.”

     Although we were never voted “most popular,” we had our share of boyfriends. Alone at a drive-in movie theater, sitting close, holding hands, and maybe even a kiss ─ or two. Even so, at that phase in our life we can both honestly say that we were still innocent when we got home after a date. Then somewhere along the line, things began to change; life became more serious ─ too serious.

     Now that we are grown, I am thankful that we can still share a good laugh. I am most thankful that we are still able to share our thoughts and feelings with confidence in each other’s loyalty. Yet, you being the daughter of the very Baptist minister that baptized me in the awakening waters of a powerful river so many years ago, I almost feel reluctant in revealing my lack of discretion. Consciously, I know what I did was wrong; but I beg of you, please give me the benefit of any reservations you may be feeling at this moment until after you have read what I have to say.

     The hour was late, the timing discreet. Last night while my estranged husband lay sleeping on the living room sofa, I was having a somewhat delicate, SECRET rendezvous in the very bed that we once shared together, with a man that could only have been sent from heaven above. Oh I know that you probably think that he is just another handsome face. I have to admit that over the years I have been infatuated at the very sight of this man.

     I know you will find this hard to believe, especially coming from an old-fashioned, straight-laced woman who has always ridiculously regarded herself as a one-man woman. In our defense, I have to say that it was something that just happened. Believe me when I say that it was out of my control ─ beyond my wildest dreams. Needless to say, I woke up this morning in LOVE.

     However, my guilt takes me back to 8:30 last night . . . or even further back to 10:30 yesterday morning when I bought myself the pink pajamas, nothing fancy, just something new that had never touched my bare skin before. Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t even kid myself. The truth is, I can’t pinpoint a time. If I had to do that, I’d have to go back to the first time I ever laid eyes on the man . . . or mellowed out by the mire sound of his voice.

Anyway, around or about 8:15 last night, I had just settled down for the evening, and was watching the making of the new Disney film, “Lilo and Stitch” on the FOX channel when my husband came into the room and announced that his homemade ice cream was ready. Thank goodness was my first thought, the noisy machine had been grinding and churning for what seemed to be hours.

     I was tempted to partake, but not without contemplating the consequences. There is of course the battle of the bulge to worry about at that hour, but more importantly, there have been times when my dreams of a knight in shining armor riding gallantly upon his white horse have been invaded by a horse of a different color. I can only assume that the real villain, or villains as the case may be, in this scenario would be those notorious “Hershey Nuggets” that I love so well.

     I seem to always fall victim to temptations of this nature, so I served myself some ice cream, then went back to sit on the bed. I ate slowly, as though I could make each savoring bite of the icy confection last an eternity.

     In the serenity of the evening hours, I focused my attention to the program still in progress. The animated characters were adorable, and the watercolor scenes of Hawaii were enchanting. Visions of the tropical island had always riveted my imagination, but there was more than just the scenery that was captivating my soul to the very core of my being. There was something about the music that seemed to carry me away to another time ─ another dimension.

     Later, I slipped under the cozy covers feeling relaxed and content; ready for a good night’s sleep. Sometime during the night I heard that voice whisper softly against my ear, “Are you lonesome tonight?” Upon my awakening, I found myself in the arms of the man in question. He was like no one I’d ever known. Yet, I had known him most of my life. Silver studded, black leather stretched tautly over his masculine body. It was clear to me that he hadn’t been cast from that same old mold. He had been chiseled to perfection. He was a king if ever there was one.

     We looked deep into the throes of each other’s eyes, smoldering with passion. His eyes were like hunks of burning love. My eyes were like liquid pools of the finest milk chocolate. Although I was never good at reading sign language, I could read the slow movements of his hands fluently, Love me tender, love me true….

     Nothing else seemed to matter, and neither of us could remember if we were married or not. However, I knew that I was no longer the innocent young girl that I had been when I first saw him many years ago. I had blossomed into a woman. Like a nurtured Georgia peach, soft and supple, I awaited the sweet, sweet surrender.

     Journeying to our destiny, the element of time wove in and out like the fibers of raw silk. Lost somewhere between the years of 1962 and 2002, we clung steadfast to the moment. He held my petite frame in his strong arms as though I was a China Doll. His lips were soft and warm against my neck, making me feel more like Raggedy Ann with my long, bedroom locks cascading over the arms that cradled me.

     “Wait . . . wait a minute!” I tried to shout as I turned to elude his searing kiss. My words came out like mush. Something was wrong with this picture. I was wearing my old, blue sateen pajamas . . . with an oversized tee shirt! Although my bare, size six feet exposed perfectly graduated toes, I wanted to hide them, and where was my scope? I could see hurt in his eyes and I knew that it was now or never. He replied in that sultry tone of voice, “Don’t be cruel to a heart that’s true. I don’t want no other love . . .”

     Our embrace became aggressively intense as our searching lips found each other. The world stopped turning, my mind went blank, nothing or no one else existed, and I wanted to spend my eternity locked in his arms. I was naïve to the fact that I could be dealing with the devil in disguise. Miraculously, I envisioned burning embers of volcanic lava through a luminous veil, which hung between right and wrong in the corridors of my subconscious mind.

     All to quickly he yielded to my touch like a brown-eyed hound dog, and I couldn’t help falling in love. Nevertheless, my suspicious mind had been aroused. I had to know, and my question was, “devil or angel?” Giving me a little hug, he replied with all the sincerity that he could muster, “It hurts me . . . I just want to be your teddy bear.”

      Even before the words came out of my mouth, “I’m yours . . .” I knew that he was playing the game of life with my emotions, and he was doing it his way. Yet, I found myself yielding to his touch…. 

     I suppose you could say that the timing was impeccable because from out of nowhere, I heard my momma call out to me, “Do you know where the restroom is?” What was she doing here? I could see that she was in distress, and I had to help her. After all, it would only take a few minutes away from an eternity of memories.

     Standing in line behind my momma, I watched as this man slowly faded out of my dream. Delusional, I shamelessly called out to him, “Elvis . . . Elvis, you don’t have to say you love me, you’ve already made my life complete. I know you’ll remember, and I know I’ll always remember the night we kissed and fell in love.”

     After learning of my venturous plight, I hope you don’t think any less of me. Although I now find the weight less burdensome, I still bear some quilt. I feel I have strayed to the forbidden side of life. I can’t seem to get my mind off that ice cream. I don’t know what was in it; but tonight I’m going back for seconds!  

 

Always and Forever,

 

Your Friend

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