The anticipation of the voice at the other end of the line was immediately crushed as I heard the words, “David’s dead”. They were flatly spoken and yet the emotion behind them was calling for help. I had just turned 18 and was dealing with the end of high school, baseball season, a new relationship and looking forward to the rest of my life, but the largest lesson was taught to me with those words, ringing through the telephone. Paul was dead and my life would never be the same.
Kristie and I had been classmates all through high school and knew each other in passing. We really didn’t have a lot in common, she was very intelligent, and I was limited in the academic performance that was expected of me. She had just been accepted to attend Cornell University in the fall and I would be heading to a technical college. We just traveled in different circles. But as life will often do we noticed each other one day. In fact one of the first things I said to her directly was to ask Kristie if she would go to the prom with me. I was as smooth as sand paper and as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs but she said yes and that was the beginning of the most important experience in my young life.
As we spent time together it began clear to me that I must have been a total idiot to have missed this charming, beautiful and kind person for almost four years. It was April and I was having the best conversation of my life. It was the kind of talk that makes you not want it to end. There were no lulls and each revelation revealed was understood. I have experienced others which were as good, but honestly none that were any better than talking to Kristie Falls in April of 1985. I have no recollection of the topic of the conversation just that I looked into her blue eyes and was lost. I was quickly realizing that I had never been in love before.
It wasn’t long before I was spending all of my time looking for opportunities to spend time with her and we quickly became inseparable. It was the second week of April and we were on the cusp of April vacation, the last blast of freedom before the final quick sprint to graduation and moving on with our lives. The first Saturday night of vacation was the first chance for us to get together and for us to go out with all of our friends. The culture of the time, there were parties at different places, someone’s house if their parents were gone or if not, then at a local beach, or secluded pit. Needless to say the first Saturday of vacation was a good enough reason for most people in Maine to let loose. And there were several different parties scheduled for that night. I would have never imagined that the events of that evening April 13th, 1985 would be permanently embedded in my memory almost thirty years later.
This story is based on real events, the names have been changed, but the events are real. I hope you enjoy part 1.