When Allison met Robert
When Allison and Robert met they were ten years old. She and her mother had been living there for some time. He and his recently divorced mother moved in a floor below the young girl.
They first met leaving to catch the bus. As it turned out, they were attending the same elementary school. They walked out and nearly bumped into one another.
“Hello, my name is Donna and this is my daughter, Allison.”
She was a cute little girl with dark, curly hair and hazel eyes. She was of average height and weight and when she smiled there were prominent dimples. Her teeth were white and straight.
Allison smiled at Robert. He was a good looking boy with dark hair and blue eyes. He was slightly taller than her.
“I am Maria and this is my son Robert.”
There were smiles and pleasantries exchanged then they walked out and waited for the bus to arrive.
Robert was terrified to talk to Allison. She was so pretty.
The bus came and like a perfect little gentleman let her on first. He waved at his mother and the bus took off.
This was repeated every morning for a couple of weeks.
One day, Maria smiled at Donna.
“I was wondering if Allison would be interested in coming over for a play date?”
“Well, that would be a wonderful idea. What do you say Allison?”
She shrugged her shoulders.
“Sure, I guess so.”
Robert was terrified and couldn’t believe his mother had initiated such a thing.
Later that night, when they were home he looked at her and sighed.
“Mom, why did you invite Allison over for a play date?”
“Because we are new around here and you haven’t made any friends. It is not healthy to be alone all of the time.”
“But, we have nothing in common.”
“You are the same age. You live in the same building and go to the same school. That is a good start.”
“But, mom, it’s just that she is a girl. I don’t know how to play with a girl.”
His mother sighed.
“Let’s rephrase that. You are not sure how to entertain a young lady for an afternoon of social interaction.”
Robert burst out laughing.
“That was great mom.”
“It is happening. You will have a great time. You can show her all of your collections.”
“Sure, I guess so.”
The big day arrived and there was a knock on the door.
“Mom, I can’t believe this is happening.”
“It is and answer the door.”
Robert opened the door and Allison was standing there with her mother.
“I told my mother that it wasn’t necessary that she accompany me, but she insisted.”
“I love how they try and grow up so fast.”
“Well, they sure do try.”
“I am heading out right now to run errands. If there is a problem here is my cell phone number. Have fun kids and don’t rip the place apart.”
“Allison it is very nice to see you.”
“Why don’t you two go and have some fun?”
Robert giggled and his mother tapped his shoulder.
They left and went into his room. The place was full of collectables.
Robert collected baseball cards and had about ten thousand of them.
“Wow, you really like to collect stuff don’t you?”
“It is fun. Do you collect anything?”
“Not really, I wouldn’t know what to collect.”
“I have some really cool baseball cards.”
“Where did you get them from?”
“My grandfather gave me a whole bunch. I inherited them when he died.”
“I’m sorry to hear that your grandfather died.”
“Thanks, it was really sad.”
“My grandfather and grandmother live across the country. I don’t see them very much. They are my dad’s parents. I don’t think my mother likes them very much. My mom’s parents passed away a long time ago.”
“Oh, sorry to hear about that.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Do you think that Deborah Mason is pretty?”
Robert made a face and didn’t know what to say.
“I guess so. I really don’t look at girls. I know some of the boys in my class do, but they don’t have a clue what they are talking about. They just open their yaps to try and sound cool.”
“I really don’t like Deborah Mason.”
“I figured as much. Honestly, I am not really sure who she is and if you think she is ugly then I’ll go along with it.”
She laughed again.
“Robert, I think you and I are going to get along very well.”
“That is cool.”
They smiled at each other.
“Can I tell you something Allison?”
“Sure, of course you can.”
“I was kind of scared to do this play date thing. I mean no offence but you are a girl and I have never really hung around girls before. I don’t like dolls and girly stuff.”
“That’s okay because I wasn’t sure about this either. I mean I have never really hung around boys either. I have a cousin Felix who is really creepy and he is the only boy that I ever had to spend time with and it was awful.”
“So why don’t you like Deborah Mason?”
“I think she is a phoney. I mean she is always bragging about how much money her parents have and in reality they don’t. I heard that they were almost bankrupt.”
“That would suck to be bankrupt. When my mother and father split up, we had a really tough time about things. I mean dad made all of the money. My mom had lost her job and things were tough.”
“Did you ever think of living with your father?”
“No, because the woman my dad ran off with is like a witch.”
Allison laughed and then made a straight face.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh.”
She looked worried.
“Don’t worry about it. I guess it is funny to think of someone to be a witch, but she is really evil. I could never live there because there are like a million rules. There is no way I would ever memorize all of them.”
“Have you been there?”
“I go there now and again. My mother is so sad when I leave that I don’t want to go. But, she insists I have to go because after all he is my dad.”
“We haven’t heard from my dad in a long time. One night, he said he was going to buy lottery tickets and never came back.”
“That isn’t fair to you and your mom.”
“No, it isn’t. I really don’t care if he comes back. That is probably really awful to say, but he didn’t love us if he ran away. He didn’t want to be a dad or a husband anymore.”
“Your mom seems like a nice lady. You are nice too.”
“Thanks, that’s really nice of you to say that when you don’t know us that much.”
“Well, we’ve been doing the bus thing for like three weeks now. My mom and your mom seem to get along really well.”
“They do and I am happy. Ever since the divorce my mom hasn’t made a lot of friends.”
“Hey, maybe our moms should have a play date some time?”
“They could have tea together or go do their nails or go to a spa.”
“Yeah, but if they do all that I am not going with them. I guess you could go.”
“Maybe, but I wouldn’t want to leave you alone.”
“Thanks, that is really nice. Can I ask you a question?”
“Of course you can what is your question?”
“How come you don’t sit on the bus with me?”
Allison thought about it and shrugged. She looked a little embarrassed.
“I have thought about it, but was afraid the kids would make fun of us and say that we were in love and all that junk.”
“How can we be in love we are only ten years old?”
“I guess people can fall in love when they are nine.”
“Maybe, I won’t argue with you, but it seems really weird.”
“So show me more of your collections.”
They spent the afternoon rather pleasantly and when Allison’s mother came to pick her up they were a little sad.
“Good bye, Robert, I will see you on Monday morning taking the bus.”
“Allison, you can visit anytime. Just call ahead to make sure that we are home.”
“Yes, and the next play date will be at our place.”
Over the next few weeks friendships developed. They visited each other more frequently to watch movies and play video games. They sat on the bus together and when some of the kids started to tease them Allison just laughed.
“You are just jealous.”
Eventually, all of the teasing went away because it was evident that they were just really good friends.
It was ten years later. They had been friends for a long time and now it was time to part.
They sat on the roof. Nobody was allowed up there, but the manager liked them and he gave them special permission.
“I can’t believe that after ten years we are going our separate ways.”
“I know, but we are chasing different dreams. Robert, I will always be your friend.”
“Allison, I will always be your friend.”
“Do you remember the first time we met?”
“Yes, I do. I was so scared.”
“That melted away very quickly. Sometimes, I wonder what our lives would have been like if we hadn’t met?”
“Certainly not as much fun,” he said.
“I know and our moms have had so much fun together over the years.”
“Yes, and now that we are going away they will have each other to take care of one another.”
“I know. I would not want to leave my mother alone if she didn’t have your mother as a friend.”
“I feel the same way.”
They stared at the setting sun and seemed quite content.
Sixty years went by.
They both married and raised families. Then Allison’s husband died. Not long after, Robert’s wife passed away. They had lost touch, but often thought of one another.
Allison moved into the same building that she had grown up in. Her mother was gone and she didn’t move into the same apartment, which were now condos. There was no need for a two-bedroom spot. The place had been updated and it was much nicer.
One day, she was trying to catch the elevator and the door was closing. Suddenly, it opened.
She walked inside and the two people stared at each other.
“What are you doing here?”
“I live here now.”
“Robert, I have been here for almost a year and have never seen you.”
“I just moved in a couple of days ago.”
“Well, welcome back to the building.”
“Thanks. What are you doing here?”
“I came back after my husband passed away.”
“Sorry to hear that. My wife died about two years ago.”
“Do you still collect stuff?”
“I never stopped.”
“Well, we are going to have to get together to rekindle a very old and dear friendship.”
“Yes, we will have to. Right now I have a doctor’s appointment. What is your condo number?”
“I am in 712.”
“I am in 408. Come on over for supper tonight.”
Later that night, they rekindled their friendship and it was like they had never been apart.
For the next seven years they enjoyed each other’s companionship going for long walks and just enjoying their golden years.
One night, they were sitting on the roof.
“Do you remember when we were little and used to steal up here?”
“I do. The manager, Mr. Smith, used to slip us the key.”
“He was a good man.”
“Yes, he was a very nice man.”
“I miss my mother do you?”
“Yes, of course I do. They took care of each other until the very end.”
“I know. They were best friends.”
“Like us. You know, my mother and I almost didn’t end up in this place?”
“Really. The first time that we filled out an application it was rejected.”
“Wow, so our friendship almost didn’t happen?”
“I guess it was fate then?”
“Yeah, it was fate.”
They stared at the setting sun and seemed quite content.