There was this cute couple in Savannah, GA. She was a hairdresser at one of the best salons in town. He worked as a PR person for the same salon. He was 20 years older than her. He had gray white hair that slicked back stylishly. She had her hair colored in a beautiful chestnut brown. They had a beautiful, gigantic, old home with a pool in the back.
During the summer, they took long walks along the beach and feasted on oysters at the local shop nearby. She would pick up some hippy looking necklace from a vendor on the beach walk. They opened their backyard with the pool for some BBQ parties, the truth Southern style, lots of laugh, food and beer. She made gumbo like no others. He loved drinking chocolate milk. At night, he would drink a beer while she poured herself a glass of wine and they would curl up on their couch watching some old-school cheesy romantic movies. When I was with them, they poured me a glass of wine and we watched Sleepless in Seattle.
She said she was happy that they finally left Los Angeles to come back to Georgia, her home. Her dad didn’t like him at first. It was hard to blame Dad, he was only a few years younger than Dad. Of course Dad would feel weird. She was not comfortable with him either, for the age issue. They met when she was working as a hairdresser in LA. He was working for a PR firm. She was a young girl with dreams of big cities. He was born there, wearing floral shorts and waves surfing whenever the waves looked good. He saw her one day and was smitten. He came to her shop to woo her so often. She liked him. They started dating, but she was still reluctant. She wasn’t sure about a serious relationship with a guy that was 20 years older than her, then she would have to stop the dream she just started for a family.
Then she fell sick out of the blue. Very sick. She was admitted to a hospital and had to stay in there for close to two months. She was alone in LA. Sick, sad, tired and lonely. And the only person was there for her almost everyday for those two months was him. Then she thought about her life. If living her dream meant when she was down, sick and tired, she had nobody there for her, was it worth it?
She got well slowly. He was there for her. She was fully recovered. And she decided to take the relationship with him seriously. They were in LA for a little more then they both moved to Georgia and got married. And in GA, they had that old big house with a pool in the back. She told me, on their wedding rings, the carving said “Ring of Fire”, like the Johnny Cash’s song. Once it started, you couldn’t stop love.
I left Georgia remembering the taste of fresh oysters on the beach, the warm homemade gumbo, and the Ring of Fire love story. I thought of the beauty of a simple and happy life in the town of Forrest Gump.
Then years later, when I came across his Facebook post of him, the caption said “spending a great day with my love.” The woman in the picture was not her. And I knew. The fire has burned out.