Exchange

I love tootsie roll candy always have and always will, even though the older I get the less of the less I can eat. When I met him,  at the age that I was I could eat a whole bag within my 5 hour shift at my very first job in the mall at the age of 18. He owned a store in the mall he wasn’t much older than me, but I could tell the he had lived a life that held other lifetimes, and each on of his lifetimes were much more different than mine. He was a street dude, trying to become a legit business man. I had to walk by his store to get to the store that sold my beloved tootsie rolls. I know that he caught on to my routine and I noticed that he started standing at the entrance when I would walk by he would smile at me and I would smile back. When I would work the back register I could see him standing at the entrance of his store, well a little further out and whenever we made eye contact he would smile and like always I would smile back. I figured eventually he would talk to me when he was ready and I was right, one day he said, “hey, what’s your name”, and I replied, “Kelli”. And I kept walking, I thought that’s all he wanted to know and for God’s sake I had a name tag on so he really didn’t have to ask, just read. I had made new friends at my new job by then, they happened to be from that area, so he started sending word through them that he was interested. That made me nervous, because I wasn’t sure if he was my type. I started hearing some colorful things about him, and if I was one to listen to gossip I would definitely put him in the “bad guy” category, but he held “good guy” qualities. I figured why not find out for myself, and I went to his store, because I had become very tired of the middle man.

People have so many opinions about a person without actual interaction with the person. This dude didn’t know me from the pain on the wall in his store, but just talking to him and the way he was looking at me, I could have sworn we had known each other in some kind of way in another lifetime very well and now it had now connected again and I was hooked and so was he. I was a country young lady that didn’t want anything from him, but him. and he was a business man and had been for awhile (no matter the work field) always expecting people to want something from him.  So, we had an issue, I didn’t need him thinking he had to take care of me, I had a job and it didn’t pay much…. but I had a job so he didn’t have to take care of me, and then him thinking he probably has to give me things and money, because that is what the females he deals with expects from him. That alone can cause confusion, separation, and ultimately silence, because we were trying to figure each other out, but instead of asking the other person we just kept it inside and the silence covered the rest.

Till this day he will always be one of the most compassionate, (I saw how he dealt with people) intelligent, and intriguing men that I have ever met. I wonder sometimes how he is doing, hopefully he isn’t still taking care of everyone especially the ones that don’t mean him any good. But until he and I meet again I will sing the words that Vera Lynn sung and recorded so beautifully, “until we meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day”. Hopefully he will have a bag of tootsie rolls on hand.

                                                                            -K.Brooks

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