Many years ago, back in the mid-1980s, I used to talk to a young wife about her distress and heartache. She was my age, early 30s, married to an Army captain and they had three young children. She was also involved in a passionate relationship with another woman. She needed someone outside her situation to talk to, to unburden with, and to be a friend. I ended up that person. We never met, and probably spoke together five or six times over a period of months.
She loved her children dearly, and also loved her husband. But the woman she was with fired her heart and soul and desire in a way her husband couldn’t match. She was deeply in love with her, and very torn. She wanted to be with her lover, but did not want to leave her children. It was tearing her apart, since the gravitational pull to her lover was so strong.
Since those were the days before texting and email, on every call we would make arrangements for the next call.
One day, I called at the appointed time, and instead of my friend a woman who introduced herself as her mother answered the phone. I was stunned.
The woman told me that her daughter had decided, in hopes of saving her marriage, to make a clean break. She and her family had moved to Italy. She asked her mother to keep the call, to let me know what happened, and to thank me for the time we had spent on the phone trying to sort things through. Her mother added that she wanted to thank me for helping her daughter, and the support the daughter felt from our calls.
I told the mother that I wished my friend all the best, and that I hoped–sincerely–that everything would work out for her. And then we hung up.
I have wondered from time to time over the last 30+ years what became of my friend. I went through several different scenarios in my head, but never could get a sense of the final outcome. My guess is she stayed with her husband, and tried to put her lover out of her mind as much as possible. Her children should be grown up now, and she’s probably a grandmother several times over.
When I saw Sal Bardo’s video “Great Escape” I immediately thought of her. Did her story have a happy ending, or only played over and over again in her imagination?