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Sad Lisa – chapter Seventeen

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Date image - July 28-August 4, 1984

I left camp early that year, with a group of kids who were also coming home early. We all had tickets to the opening ceremonies for the Olympics, so we caught a boat right around dawn on Saturday morning. As the sun climbed into the sky over the water, I looked at the letter Sid had sent me while I was away. It had arrived the previous Wednesday.

Pull Quote from romantic mystery Sad Lisa: We had, at last, found what we could tell each other.

“Dear Lisa,” it read in his cramped handwriting. “Greetings and all that stuff. I hope this finds you well and wearing your sunscreen. I’m doing well, myself, indolently basking in the sun all day. Well, I can’t say I’m being completely indolent. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Unfortunately, our impasse has been haunting me. I have come to the conclusion that I must support your religious beliefs. They are too obviously the glue that holds you together. Were I to stand between you and The Church, it would destroy you and I cannot do that. I applaud the strength of your faith, even if, at the same time, I must applaud and support that which is our only barrier to our complete happiness. Take care and please try to avoid the junk food. Yours, as ever, Sid.”

I still couldn’t figure out what to do about him. He couldn’t stop being his randy self any more than I could stop being religious. In some ways, I didn’t want him to change who he was, especially if he only gave up sleeping around because of me.

I was not surprised that Sid was at the landing when the boat docked. I was surprised to see Nick there. As it turned out, Nick had gotten kicked out of his camp and Sid had agreed to take him for the rest of the summer. Fortunately, Sid hadn’t scalped the ticket to the ceremonies that he’d originally bought for Nick earlier that spring.

We had a wonderful time that night and watched the ceremonies again the next day because Sid had taped them on his VCR. By Monday, life was back to usual.

Except that I was depressed. Some of it was the guilt and Sid was pretty helpful with that part. He’d gone through the exact same thing and knew what I was feeling. Some of it was that I really wanted to be living in his bedroom. Every night he went out, I felt it a little more.

But then, when I’d been home about a week, Nick had gone to Mae’s to visit with Darby and I was resting in the rumpus room. Sid popped up in the doorway.

“How does New York sound for dinner?” he asked merrily.

“It’s too late, Sid,” I said.

“I had a feeling you’d say that.” He slid down next to me on the bean bag chair and handed me a long, narrow gift-wrapped box. “Here.”


“No protests. I’ve heard them all.”

“I know, but—”

“Lisa, I just want you to have this. Maybe help us both move on.”

“What?” I opened the package.

It was a necklace, with a nice s-chain, and a pendant shaped like a figure eight. The bottom circle featured a large, round cut diamond, surrounded by tiny aquamarines, and the top circle had an aquamarine surrounded by tiny diamonds.

“It’s beautiful. But what am I going to do with it?”

“Wear it, silly girl. I told you that diamond was too nice to sit in a drawer.”

“Sid, this isn’t…”

“The diamond George gave you? It is. I had it reset. I did buy the aquamarines, though. I believe that is your birthstone.”

“Yeah.” I looked at the flashing pale blue and white gems. “Thank you so much.”

“You’re very welcome.”

I looked at the necklace and thought about what he’d written about my faith being the barrier to our happiness. I felt the same way about his fooling around.

“You know, Sid, I am who I am, and you are who you are. And that seems to get in our way, sometimes.”

He looked at me warmly. “I suppose it does.”

“But I can’t change who you are, and really, I don’t even want to. So, like you, I have to applaud and support that which is most in our way.” I looked down at the necklace in my hands. “I have no idea how this is all going to fall out, but you were right when you said when we come together rather than if.” I looked at him and smiled. “It will happen, sometime, somehow. And I’m willing to wait until does of its own accord. I don’t want to push it, any more than you do, I think.”

“I definitely don’t want to push it.” He scooted closer to me and pulled me into his arms. “May I kiss you?”

In answer, I pressed my lips against his. As we held each other, the depression slowly left and I began to be filled with joy. And the song that had been haunting me for the past month and a half drifted away. We had, at last, found what we could tell each other.

Please talk to me. I'd love to hear from you.

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