Young love is often plagued with the infliction of good intentions from parents. For in truth, young love is filled with idealism and pure romance.
The Sad Moment Of Truth
Chapter 3: Love Poems Under Penny’s Pillow
By Richard Mabey Jr.
Fate is often cruel. Often times our destiny has little to do with the dreams that we have carefully carved out for ourselves. Sometimes, the dark forces of others put such a high and furious flame upon our dreams that it is beyond our control to extinguish. Sadly, injustices also befall upon good people.
It was a fateful late morning that Penny and I looked at the old Totowa Cinema on Route 46. We had parked there to talk about some very painful things. Namely, Penny’s father had told her that she should see other boys. He had told her that he didn’t think that I was the right boy for her.
As we looked at our old landmark, the Totowa Cinema, Penny and I gently kissed. It was a sad kiss. Tears flowed down from both of our eyes. I held Penny’s hands. I felt the vein that rose highly and proudly across the back of her right hand. In my mind and in my heart, I still remember the detailed landscape of the backs of Penny’s hands. It is funny how the tiniest details of a man’s first true love, stay with him.
“Richard, we better get going to the library. You’ve got that article about conditions of Indian reservations to write for your college newspaper. And, I’ve got a big history test on Monday,” Penny quietly said to me as we looked deep into each other’s eyes.
“Penny, I don’t feel like writing today. I just want to spend the day looking into your eyes. I want to memorize every detail of your face,” I choked on my words.
“I know. Me too. But you’ve got work to do. So do I,” Penny replied.
“I wish we could turn back time and it would be summer time. And, we’d be going on our first date….” I said.
“And we’d be standing in line right in front of that old movie theater,” Penny said.
“‘How to Frame a Figg,’ was the movie. I wanted to see it so badly. Don Knotts and all….” I said.
“I have to tell you, Richard, I thought it was a dumb movie to take a beautiful, pretty girl to see on her first date,” Penny boldly told me.
“It’s one of the things that I love so much about you….” I said.
“What’s that?” Penny asked.
“Your modesty,” I replied.
“Oh hell Richard! I’m never ever going to find another boy like you. Sometimes I hate my father,” Penny cried.
“No, Penny, no! Don’t ever say that. He might think I’m a jerk, but he’s your father. He loves you. He wants to protect you……..” I earnestly told Penny.
“Richard, I don’t know how to tell you this…” Penny gently said.
“What Penny? What is it?” I urgently asked Penny.
“All your poems that you’ve mailed me. Mommy found them. She read them all and then showed them to Daddy. He read them all! All of them…” Penny told me.
“Oh no,” I panicked.
“Yea. Even the ones…well …you know, you wrote them,” Penny said.
“Oh, no! No wonder he hates me,” I quietly said.
“Yea. I know. I used to keep them under my pillow. I used to read them before going to sleep,” Penny said.
“Oh no!” was all I could say.
“Yea and Daddy was furious when he read them,” Penny stated.
“Penny, you know….. you know I get carried away sometimes with my poems,” I defended myself.
“I know that. And, Richard, I have to tell ya’, I liked them. Even that one that you wrote about my breasts. You make feel like a woman, not a little girl,” Penny said in a strong voice.
“I should have never written those poems. Or, if I did write them, I should have never mailed them to you,” I pondered.
“Richard, I’m not complaining. Believe me, I’m not complaining. But, Daddy, he went bonkers when he read them. He started yelling and screaming like a nut,” Penny told me.
“Oh Penny, I’m so sorry. I’m so very sorry,” I said.
“He didn’t want me to go with you today. But I told him that I loved you. That you’re the only boy that I ever want to be with,” Penny said.
“What did he say?” I asked.
“I don’t want to say, Richard. It’ll hurt your feelings,” Penny said.
“Penny, I love you with all my heart. I wish we could just go and get married today,” I cried.
“Richard, you got that article to write today. Remember?” Penny said in a strong voice.
“I know. I feel sick. I just feel so sick,” I told Penny.
“I know, love. I know,” Penny quietly said.
“I guess we better go,” I said.
“Yea, you got that article to write for your college paper. I got a history test on Monday,” Penny said.
“Penny, I wish we could just go and get married today,” I said.
“Richard, I wish we could too,” Penny replied.
I turned the ignition on my old Ford Falcon. We left the parking lot of the old Totowa Cinema. We began our journey westward on Route 46, heading toward Route 287 in Parsippany. I remember Penny cried the whole time.