Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dolores and Terry

This is Dolores and Terry. This was taken on their first date. Terry was nervous because she was beautiful and tall and he was skinny and short. Dolores thought he was sweet and cute in his own way. That night, she learned that he had a good job and wasn't married and danced well. He learned that was was trying to quite smoking, worked at the Walgreens up the street and loved jazz music. They stayed out all night together dancing and drinking. It was the best first date either of them had ever had.


Dora had the same girlfriends for 50 years and they all met for coffee every Friday morning at the Peaks Cafe on 54th. The day was rainy and foggy. Marge was running late, like always and the other women had started without her. It was one of those mornings over a biscuit and coffee that she told the girls what had happened to Terry.

Of course, they all knew what the lier and cheater had done to her. After 30 years of marriage, he took up with the first skinny thing that walked by and continued to sneak behind Dora's back for almost a year. He bought that girl, who was half his age, diamonds and furs. Dora ate at home alone. They went all over town, in front of God and everyone, without a care if anyone they knew saw them.

But then Dora had a cancer scare. He went with her to the hospital and for all the tests. He held her hand in the waiting room. Dora was ok in the end, but it was then that he remembered how much he loved her and had missed her. What a fool he had been! This was his wife, the woman he had loved all these years. So he stopped seeing that girl.

But that girl wouldn't stop seeing him. She called and wrote and sent packages but nothing got through to Terry. That is, until one day she showed up at their home. She was screaming and throwing things at the house. Rocks. Jewelry. Clothes. The girl tried to cut her wrists on Dora's lawn. Terry came out and stopped her.

And with that, Terry moved out. Dora thought that she could look past his indiscretions. She knew he would find his way back home, eventually. But this humiliation she could not sweep under the rug. It was all too much.

In the divorce, he gave Dora everything. Perhaps he thought she deserved it after all he had put her through. Or maybe he was trying to get in her good graces again. But regardless of why, the day she turned 50, she quite her job at the hospital and retired.

But they all knew that story. Dora pulled a small envelope out and placed in on the table. "Terry died yesterday." The women stopped chatting amongst themselves and stared at her. His tiny apartment had caught fire while he had slept. She had had a knock on her door very early this morning. The police had given her a small box of smoky smelling objects, many singed. But this this envelope was untouched. She pulled the photograph out. Their first date. The women were stunned. A single tear rolled down Dora's lovely cheek.

She smiled a sad little smile and touched the picture lightly. It was here that Dora said goodbye to Terry, in the coffee shop on 54th.


If you love postsecret.com or overheardinnewyork.com, hustle on down to foundmagazine.com. That's where I got the photo of the couple. There was no other information about them except that it was found in an abandoned burnt out building in Detroit in 1982. PostSecret by Frank Warren
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