“Fresh!” the word was said with such disdain that one might have thought a cardinal sin had been committed. In reality, it was merely an utterance of verbal indiscretion. A compliment of a visceral nature. But Bobbi was a nice girl who wore flannel pajamas by night and bobby sox by day. Who never had a hair out of place nor wore the cheap red lipstick that so many of her classmates favored.
She was a college woman and attended it to learn, to better herself, and someday the world. Not to find a man that would ensure a future of a lovely home in the suburbs, four fresh-faced children and a lifetime membership at the Glenwoods Country Club. Not to be the little woman behind a great man. “Everyone, man or woman have the potential of greatness,” she wrote in her thesis.
Bobbi had dreams that she would be somebody and she wasn’t about to let a man ruin that or waylay her plans.
Louie was persistent. He loved Bobbi from the moment he saw her in the playground in the first grade. Her copper-colored hair and dungarees amidst a sea of tow-headed darlings in well-starched pinafore made her stand out like an American Beauty in a field of daisies.
“I’m a person first and a girl second,” she told Louie as she nimbly climbed the jungle gym, better than any boy Louie knew. She fascinated him and his heart was Bobbi’s from that moment on. Though Bobbi never wanted Louie’s presence in her life, much less his heart – she was a free spirit, a person with her own mind.
“I told you to go away,” Bobbi snapped, but her voice was lyrical to Louie’s ears.
Louie flashed his perfect grin and shrugged. “Someday Bobbi, you and me, someday.”
Bobbi shook the ancient memory and focused on the upcoming Board meeting. True to her goals, Bobbi had become somebody – the first female Chairman of the Board of Telco Communications. In fact, one of the most powerful in the country – a pioneer for women’s rights and achievements. Still, her thoughts were only of Louie.
“My number came up,” he said out of the blue. His brilliant smile arced but his weren’t smiling as they usually did.
Bobbi felt a pain, deep and disquieting with those words. All the years of resisting Louie fell away. Tears spilled from her amber eyes and she took his hand and asked, “When?”
They were inseparable for the next two weeks. Openly in love and steeped in unquenchable passion. The night before he left, they exchanged vows and pledged themselves to one another – forever.
Letters passed between for more than a year. Each one from Louie shorter and more alarming. He lived in a jungle, fearful, ate little, slept less. And dreamed of home – of her, for she was his home. He lived only for that. But the world or life or God had other plans for Louie and the telegram came.
A folded flag was delivered with gratitude of the United States government.
“Are you ready for the meeting?” Bobbi’s assistant poked her head in.
Bobbi nodded and rose to her feet and her eyes fell on the photo of she and Louie on their last night together. “Fresh,” she whispered and went to face the responsibilities of being somebody.