42-اعتراف کنندهکتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 42
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متن انگلیسی فصل
When I attended my twenty-year high school reunion in 1994, I was happily married with a young child. And I planned to finally confess to Carolyn Kiesel and reveal what she meant to me as a young boy. I was now free from that burden, and I’d been open with Robin about how I’d craved Carolyn’s attentions and affections, how much tenderness I’d felt toward her, how crushed I’d been when I let my chance slip away, how it had always remained with me, a time-release lesson. Robin was supportive. She encouraged me to talk to Carolyn at our reunion; she was curious to meet her, too.
At the registration table I picked up my name badge, which featured the silhouette of a generic man because my picture had been omitted from the yearbook. I always thought that spoke volumes about who I was then. In some ways, I think it motivated me to leave a mark.
I knew that as active as she was in school, Carolyn wouldn’t miss the reunion, and I asked the classmates manning the registration table if Carolyn had arrived yet. They exchanged an awkward look, and then one of them whispered that unfortunately Carolyn was not there. She had died in 1977. A few years after high school. Car accident.
I stood motionless. Finally the classmate asked if I would please step to the side so she could assist others checking in. I murmured thanks for the information and walked away. I relayed the news to Robin, who instantly understood what a loss it was.
You hear of people dying in accidents all the time. But Carolyn? Not Carolyn. I’d barely known her but I’d always missed her, and now I’d mourn her. She died before she got to experience marriage, children, a career. And I’d never be able to express my appreciation for her sweetness. Her generosity of spirit. She’d been so important to me privately, and I wanted the chance to tell her publicly. For days it would dawn on me again and again, and every time I felt both the shock of the new and a deepening sadness: she was gone.
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