Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It Only Takes a Moment to Change a Life

by Jena Galifany

There are many moments that occur in each person's life that change everything that comes after. It may be the first time another person helped you when you were a child. Or it may have been that first time someone hurt you by not helping when you needed them.

The first time a person of interest smiled at you. How you felt when you smiled back. Were you giddy? Did you feel the heat rising in your face? Or did it give you the confidence to be bold?

I met Steve when my sister and her husband returned from Germany after his tour in the Army. While they were away, they'd lost track of a good friend. Since I'd done skip-tracing, and had proved my worth by locating my sister's husband's father who had been missing for twelve years, they asked if I could track their friend. No problem. I told my sister where to look and she found him that day. (Note: this was before the Internet.)

So Steve began hanging out at my apartment because that is where my sister and her husband were living until their things were shipped home from Germany, which took a couple of months. This 6'3" good-looking man was hanging around in my living room or in my garage. He was wonderful to look at but since I'd had a bad marriage, I wasn't looking to buy, but shopping was nice.

I'd come home for lunch and he'd be there on his days off. I rarely wore skirts but I decided to see if he had any interest in me. We spoke a few times but only in passing. I figured he was the same age as my sister, who is nine years younger than me. It would be nice to have someone to talk to and he was there all the time, so, why not. I found out he was my age and that made him even more attractive. Plus he had beautiful hair which I adore. (It's all about the hair, you know!)
Steve 1989

On a day that I knew he'd be there, I wore a little white skirt that came about half way up on my thighs. I had white heels to go with it. I don't recall the blouse I wore. I came home and the guys were out by the garage, tinkering under the hood of the car. I said hello as I walked by and went on into the apartment. Okay, he said hello but not much reaction.

I had my lunch and when it was time to head back to work, I gathered my things and strolled to my car. I walked by, said "see ya later", and folded into my car. It was a short car and I'm kind of tall, even taller with the heels. It really was folding to get in the car.

Okay, he didn't say anything. I was disappointed, hoping there would be some attraction. My ego could have used the boost. I had great legs back then. That was why I didn't wear dresses or skirts much. It always drew the wrong kind of attention. But it didn't look like he was going to take the bait. Oh well. I started the car and turned it around to head back to work.

That's when I got my life altering moment. As I drove away, I looked in the mirror. From around the hood of the car they were tinkering with, I saw Steve leaning out and watching me with a smile on his face. He watched until I turned a block away. The rest of the day at work seemed to take forever but I knew that he'd be there when I got home.

It started out two people wanting someone to talk with. We each wanted someone to hang out with and be a friend with. From that moment on, it only got better and better. We married a year later. Jen was born a year and a half after we married. Now it's been almost twenty-three years and Steve is a fine wine, better with every passing year. That one look changed my life. I'll never forget it. (God bless that little white skirt! lol)

I hope I've not bored you with my story. What are your defining moments? Your first date? Your first kiss? Your first book contract? The birth of your first child, or second, or third? Gather those moments and keep them close in memory.

A smile changed the life of Cole Jackson. Shyanne Bennett smiled at him. It was a smile he would never forget.

     A shadow grew on the kickboard, and drew Cole's attention from his meditation.
    "What's up, Chief?"  Dex grinned at Cole, displaying a row of perfect teeth.  His platinum hair reflected the sunlight like a halo around his head.   His cronies, three idiots that Dex couldn't take a breath without their applauding his success, surrounded him.  Each held their hands solemnly behind their backs.
    Cole ignored them, his gaze caught by that blonde girl, Shyanne Bennett, that he'd been watching for the last four months. It was the highlight of his trips to town. She sat across the street in a wagon with one of her friends while her father tended to some business or other.  Shyanne made it easy to forget that there was a horse's arse standing beside him trying to make his day worse than it already started.  He'd focus on the good, and ignore the bad.  He'd become good at that throughout the years.
    "I'm talking to you, In-jun."
    Cole concentrated on Shyanne.  Dex turned, followed his line of sight and laughed.
    "You've got no chance with that one.  She's way out of your reach."
    Cole tossed the apple core into the street. His eyes remained on the girl.  He wished the idiot would go away while he enjoyed the view.  She was pretty when she laughed, her blonde hair bobbing around her shoulders and down her back in soft curls.  He wondered what color her eyes were. 
    At that moment, she noticed him.  She stopped talking, her gaze locked with his, and a smile curved her mouth.  Cole would remember that smile for the rest of his life. It was one of the few moments in his life when he felt acceptance.  No one could take memories away from him so he held on to the special ones like a miser held on to his gold.

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Margo Hoornstra said...

What a wonderful first story, Jena. Thanks for sharing. I remember skip trace from back in the day.

Jannine Gallant said...

What a terrific memory, Jena. Since I had to get up this morning at 4am to drive my husband to the airport, I'd be hard pressed to conjure up a romantic memory. LOL

JenaGalifany said...

Yes, I literally tracked down the man I love! Have a stellar day, Ladies.

Christine DePetrillo said...

Great story! My husband says I did this to him. He was toying with giving me his number after we sat next to each other for 3 hours at a church Easter service. I was handing out bulletins at the back door, but peeked back in to the main part of the church to look for him. He saw me do that and ended up giving me his number. Fifteen years later...and we're still looking at each other. :) Thanks for making me think of that again.