The Longest Wait by Robert Kurson, Part 10, Reunited after 50 years

When she last had seen Randy in 1945, people were allowed to run across the tarmac to greet their loved ones and she wanted to be first in line to sprint to the p lane, cane or no cane.  Security guards nixed the idea.  “You don’t  know how important this is !” she told them.  She stood on her toes as Randy’s plane taxied to the terminal and opened its door. The first passenger disembarked.  Minutes later, the plane had emptied.  No Randy.  Jacquelyn would not move.  Time passed.

Finally a black snout and floppy ears emerged from the cabin, then the rest of a Labrador retriever.  Rocco shook his head and sniffed the warm Montgomery air.

Then came Randy.  He began to walk across the tarmac, Jacquelyn lost her breath because Randy was still beautiful; he still walked erect and with dignity; he still was everything she remembered.  When he entered the terminal, Jacquelyn ran up and hugged and kissed him; neither moved for a half-hour while they cried and kissed and stroked each other.  People stared and Rocco just lay on the floor, glancing up every now and again, waiting for as long as his friend needed him to wait.

Randy presented Jacquelyn with two gifts – a gold love know and a music box that played “As Time Goes By,” which had been there song.  He was scheduled to stay for two weeks  but asked that their first 3 days be spent alone before meeting family and friends.  Jacquelyn agreed and kept putting her hands on Randy’s hair and shoulders and legs and telling him , “Randy, I just can’t believe you are here.”  He told Jacquelyn, “I am here and I’m going to stay here for a long while.”

For 3 days, Jacquelyn and Randy held each other and talked and tried to explain two 50-year lifetimes in the span of a long weekend.  Though she had warned people not to call until Sunday, on e of Jacquelyn’s friends, beside herself with curiosity, called Saturday and asked, “Well, I can’t stand it anymore – what are y’all doing?”  Jacquelyn replied, “We are making out on the sofa!  What are you doing?”

Later that week, Randy asked if Jacquelyn had selected a ring.  She told him that she had.  They went to the jewelry store and the jeweler brought out the ring and guided Randy’s fingers over it.  “It’s beautiful sir”, he said.  “It’s a London blue topaz, the most stunning blue you have ever seen.”

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