It was August 1956, and an Army soldier who had recently fought in Korea now faced deployment to a war in Vietnam. His best friend Charles (more commonly known as “Bully”), a guy he’d known since infancy, had been married for a couple of years to a very pretty girl that he was obviously crazy about.
Bully had told him that his wife Marie had a younger sister who was just as pretty – and single.
In the meantime, Marie had been telling her sister Helen about Bully’s best friend Columbus (more commonly known as “Nookie”).
“You need to meet him!” Marie gushed. “He’s nice looking, he’s in the Army, and Bully thinks y’all would really hit it off.”
“What grown man has a nickname like ‘Nookie’?” Helen scoffed. “And I don’t know if I want somebody in the Army. I want whoever I’m with to be here, with me.”
Helen was more than a little skeptical, even put off – yet she was intrigued. She agreed to meet this “Nookie.”
Plans were quickly set. They would all go out for a late dinner that Friday night after attending the wake of one of Bully and Nookie’s classmates.
Later that night, Helen pondered an incident that had taken place a few months before. She’d been on her way to work, and her Mother stopped her.
“I had a dream about you last night, Girl,” her Mother said. “I saw your husband.”
Helen literally had trembled. Her Mother was a God-fearing, church-going woman and very spiritual. Mother Zora was known for having dreams and a keen insight into people’s character and motives. When she had a dream about something, all you had to do was wait for it to happen, because whatever she dreamed was certainly coming true.
“The dream actually wasn’t so much about you as it was about the man you’re going to marry. He’s on the short side . . . dark, and extremely intelligent. He wears very nice clothes, and . . . . . “
Helen listened with rapt attention as her Mother described the man she saw in her dream. Mother Zora described the man’s physical and intellectual characteristics, and then moved to the most important part: His character.
“He’s straight as an arrow, this man. He’ll be a good provider, and you won’t have to worry about him at all. He’s gonna want your children to do well in school; want them to be somebody in life. Family comes first with him. He does right by his Mother, and he’s going to do right by you.”
Helen had met a gentleman since that fateful morning, a tall, extremely handsome guy named Ralph who was being very persistent in his pursuit of her. For some reason, she was never completely at ease in his presence, and Ralph’s pushiness bothered her instead of drawing her. It also didn’t help that he didn’t meet her Mother’s physical description at all, and he wasn’t close to his family.
Helen sighed. Marie had tried to tell her what Nookie looked like based on Bully’s description, but she still couldn’t get a good grasp of him from Marie’s words. She’d just have to go to the wake and see this guy Nookie for herself.
Marie and Bully were already at the wake, seated at the front of the church when Helen arrived. Her heart pounding, Helen made her way over to them. She spoke to Bully, then sat next to Marie on the pew.
“Well, where is he?” Helen asked.
“He’s running a little late; he had to stop by his Mother’s before coming here,” Marie whispered.
HMPF! Helen thought. This Nookie person was already starting off on the wrong foot.
They sat for over an hour, until the end of the viewing period. Still no Nookie. Bully had periodically turned in his seat to scan the room for his friend. Helen refused to turn around; she was not desperate! Even so, she had to admit to herself that she was a bit disappointed that Nookie hadn’t shown up. Whether she met him or not, the good thing was that she’d made up her mind to tell Ralph that she wasn’t interested. She’d tried to give him a chance, but her uneasiness around him and annoyance with him were two huge red flags she knew she couldn’t ignore. Helen felt a weight lift off her mind. Just the thought of telling Ralph to move on greatly improved her mood.
Bully, Marie, and Helen stood for the benediction, then turned to leave. Looking toward the rear of the church, Helen’s eyes locked with that of an expensively dressed man – a man who perfectly embodied the description of the man described in her Mother’s dream.
In that moment, it seemed that they were the only two people in the room. In that moment, she felt no reservations about his person or his character. She had no sense of uneasiness; instead, it was as if she had known him all her life. She had never met him, yet knew deep in her heart that her destiny was tied to his. Whoever he was, she loved him on sight. She felt in her heart that he was “The One.”
“There he is!” Bully exclaimed. “Hey Nookie – over here!”
Nookie barely heard Bully, because his eyes were still locked on Helen, who would find out later that when their eyes locked, Nookie had experienced the same thoughts and emotions about her that she’d had for him – he believed she was “The One.”
Three months later, Helen and Nookie married in a modest ceremony at Mother Zora’s home. The date: November 15, 1956.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
Join in the Fray: Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?
Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.
I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!