1945, What I wanted

by Estelle Bruno

There was a park where I lived as a kid, and we all met there to watch the boys play handball and stick ball hockey. One day, this boy I really liked, asked if he could ride me home on his bicycle.  Sure I said, and he lifted me up onto the handlebars.  It became a habit after that day.  He even carved our initials together on one of the park benches.  After a few weeks of this, he rode me home on his bike, walked me up to my front door and kissed me.  I was in heaven.  In my innocence and young mind, I thought that kiss would mean that someday we would get married, when we finished school.
He surprised me with his school pin, from Saint Francis of Assisi.  Later, he gave me a ring with both our initials on it.  On Saturdays, we went to the movies, sat in the last row so no one would see us kissing. I had a girlfriend, a true friend, Helen. I heard after a while, that my true friend's mother was inviting my boyfriend to her house for dinner.  I knew he loved food, but, that much?

After a time, he stopped coming to the park. I was confused and I missed
our bicyle rides.  I did finally see him one day and he looked shy and uncomfortable.  He mentioned that his mother thought he should only be with Irish catholic girls.  Well, I was catholic wasn't I?  But - not Irish. A year later, I heard he got married, to my true friend, you know, the one with the cooking mother.