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Les (standard:other, 656 words)
Author: Pitter PatAdded: Oct 17 2003Views/Reads: 2062/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
For fifty years, Les never gave up his dream. Sadly, no one knows for sure if it came true.

His name was Les. One of the sweetest old men I've ever met. Every
evening at 7:30 p.m. he would take his walking cane and go to the bank 
of the river to tell his story to anyone who would listen. 

Fifty years ago there was a fair on the banks of this river. I worked
with the crew that sat up children's rides. One day, the sweetest girl 
I had ever seen sat down on a rock near the site and watched me work. 
At break time I went over to the rock and asked the young lady if I 
could buy her cold drink. I doubted if such a pretty lady would have 
anything to do with such a dirty thing as me, but she smiled and nodded 
yes. We walked to the lemonade stand and I took a small bag of change 
from my pocket and paid for two lemonades. We chatted as if we were old 
friends. When it was time to return to work I asked her if I could see 
her again that evening. She said yes, she would meet me by the lemonade 
stand at 7:30 p.m. 

Soon the routine became as automatic as eating, every evening I would
hurry home from work, shower and shave, and at 7:30 p.m. I would hurry 
to the riverbank to meet my darling Julia Ann. We would sit and talk 
until 10:00 p.m., when she would leave. Many times I asked her to 
allowed me to walk her home, but she always refused. I feared I was not 
good enough for her family. 

One chilly fall evening curiosity overcame me and I decided to follow
her.  I carefully hid behind trees and bushes as I followed her down 
the trail beside the river. About a mile down the path she disappeared. 
There were no paths leading elsewhere, only a small houseboat tied to 
an old boat dock. 

I sat on a rock just out of sight of the boat and began to ponder the
situation. Occasionally migrant workers would come to the area in 
houseboats, tie them in a secluded area, and work for area farmer 
through the spring, summer, and fall. After the first frost, the 
families would follow the river south to find more work. 

I sat on the rock all night and watched the little houseboat.
Occasionally a grungy rotund man could be seen on the boat's deck, 
then, after about an hour, I saw my Julia Ann through a window. 

My heart sank, I couldn't bear the thought my beautiful Julia Ann would
soon be gone. As the sun appeared above the horizon, I left the 
riverbank. My decision was made. I took the day off of work, went to 
the jewelry store on Main Street and put my last dollar down on a 
wedding band, then proudly carried it to the riverbank. To my horror, 
the boat was gone. After a while I walked to “our” spot by the lemonade 
stand. On the picnic table where we always met was a note. 

My Dearest Les, 

It breaks my heart to leave you, but I must go away for a while. Please,
don't give up on me, I will return to you. 

I will love you always, 

Julia Ann 

I have come here everyday for the past fifty years. I know someday she
will return and I will place this ring on her finger. 

A few of the town's people laughed at Les for waiting fifty years for
his love to return, others thought he was wonderfully romantic.  A week 
ago Les disappeared. He had gone to the riverbank at 7:30 p.m. and 
never returned. Some say he finally gave up and killed himself in the 
river.  Others say a grungy old houseboat had been seen tied to the old 
dock earlier that evening and had floated down the river a little after 
7:30 p.m. 

© July 2003 


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