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Romance Adventure

The Essence Of Time—George Davis 

  I was on a train traveling from Boston to Portland, Maine late on a Thursday afternoon. The car was packed with leaf-peepers heading to photograph and enjoy the beautiful, multi-colored leaves of red, orange, yellow, and green fall foliage. 

  As I sat in the dining car drinking my third cup of coffee and staring out the train’s window. I was lost in thought when a young lady, I guessed, in her late twenties sat down. “Do you mind if

I sit here, mister?” 

  “Not at all. It is nice to share a table with so young, and may I say, pretty girl?” 

  “Thank you,” she said, smiling. 

  “Are you going to Maine, miss?” 

  “Yes, Saco. I’m home from a break in my classes at BU. I haven’t been home in quite some time.” 

  “So you have parents in Saco?” 

  “A mother. My dad died five years ago.” 

  “Does your mom work?” 

  “No, she doesn’t have to. Dad left her well off. He was president of Hinton Shoe Factory in Biddeford.” 

  “That’s nice. I’m sure your mother will be glad to see you.” 

  “I’m not too sure. You see, I am going to tell her I am engaged to marry.” 

  “She should be happy for you.” 

  “I hoped she would be, but it’s who I am engaged to that she won’t like.” 

  “Oh, are you going to marry an ax murderer?” She smiled. 

  “No, I’m engaged to a police officer in Saco. So far, I’ve kept it from her, but today I shall have to break the news to her and pray she doesn’t go to pieces. You see. My mother is very emotional, one of the things that used to bother daddy. He was so straight-laced, sober, but very fair. Mother, not so much.” 

  “My name is Oswald Googins,” I said. “They call me Ozzie.” 

  “Barbara Owens.” 

  “Nice to meet you, Barbara.” 

  “Same here, Mr. Googins.” 

  “Ozzie.” 

  “Okay. Ozzie.” 

  The afternoon went quickly as my beautiful guest and I conversed. 

  “So, Barbara, do you intend to return to Saco after school?” 

  “I have three more months, and I’ll have my degree. Then I plan to get married and live in my hometown unless I can convince my husband to find a job many miles from my mother. Don’t think badly of me, Ozzie. My mother wants to be in command of my every move. She’s been like that since I can remember.” 

  “I hope you and your future husband the best of luck in the future, Barbara.” 

“Thank you.”    

  The conductor said we were an hour from Old Orchard Beach. I, with Barbara, was enjoying another cup of coffee and a bag of potato chips, an odd combination I know. But when I eat chips. I like a beverage as well, and today; it's java. 

  “Do you drink much coffee, Ozzie?” 

  “More than I probably should, four or five cups. That black, rich brew gives me the get-up and go I need every day.” 

  “I learned in my studies, coffee is a stimulant.” 

  “There you see. I knew it was a healthy habit.” 

  "But it is also a depressant that can lead to panic attacks, anxiety, and even loss of sleep.” 

  “I am aware of the side effects, and I do sometimes feel the effects of the caffeine.” 

  “You know you can substitute some herbal teas. For instance, Chamomile tea is a calming brew with no side effects.” 

  “I can’t drink tea. When I was a young lad, many years ago, my mother would give me tea to drink when I had an upset stomach. You can only guess what the results of drinking that golden liquid was. And, to this day. I cannot drink tea.” 

  “Hey, Ozzie look at those beautiful maples with their reds and yellows. There is nothing like God’s paint strokes on His creation.” 

  “You are right, Barbara. The scenery is magnificently displayed, showing God’s handiwork.”

  “Old Orchard in twenty minutes,” the conductor announced.

  “Well, Ozzie I’ll soon be getting off this train. I just want to say. It has been a wonderful trip. I have enjoyed our talks immensely. You are such a kind man, easy to talk to.”

  The trees along the railroad tracks with their bright colors were, along with meeting Barbara, the most desirable part of my trip.

  As Barbara exited the train, she turned and smiled, waving her small, lily-white hand. I waved in return. I shall miss that wonderful young lady. I can only hope and pray her life is full of love and happiness. 

  I watched as she stood waiting for her luggage. Coming up behind her, I saw a tall, handsome man in a police uniform tap her on the shoulder. She spun around and the two kissed. I could almost see the stars in their eyes light up. 

  I shall never forget this train ride when I met Barbara Owens in the dining car. It shall ever be considered my finest hour. When we were nearing the station where Barbara got off the train we both took a few minutes to take in God’s wonderful landscape: tall, colored tree leaves matching the green fields, and as if waving good-bye to us, the grass swayed in the afternoon breeze. It was a picture of grace and beauty. I could not tell you the ecstasy that, at that time, welled up in me like a hot flowing lava stream. My heart was on fire. Barbara’s beauty and God’s magnificent glory shining forth through His handiwork. It was the best day of my life as I watched Barbara exit the train. I said, “There goes my everything, all that I have ever wanted in life. 

  I got off the train in Portland and drove home to an empty house. But, I thought. I was glad I’m me with all my ups and downs. I still have a roof over my head, food in the Pantry, and Goldy my orange in a bowl swimmer. 

  “Good night, Goldy. Pleasant dreams. 

April 23, 2021 14:12

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