Lost Eloise Pt 3
She looked at the old man. For some reason she no longer thought he smelled or was judging her. She could see that he wasn’t even here sitting on a cold aluminum bench in a bust top shelter. NO he was in a hospital somewhere seeing his Eloise with a handful of medals. Hey wait a minute he said he wasn’t hurt so why in the hospital?
Hey you said you weren’t hurt. Why in the hospital then?” she asked him.
Her voice brought him back to the present. He looked around as if he was lost and then finally figuring it out he looked at the girl.
You said you weren’t really hurt yet you were in the hospital.”
Oh well you know military and I guess the shrapnel I had in my leg was of a little concern to them. Still have some of it want to see the scars?
The old man started to raise his pant legs
She put her hand on his shoulder, “um no that’s ok so what did you do when you saw Eloise.”
He sat back up. “Well I asked her to marry me.”
“YOU did? You just sat there and instead of saying hi, you said marry me?”
Yea, well you know she was so pretty standing there and I thought heck why not.”
“So she said yes of course?”
“Oh heck no! She laughed at me and said no way she was going to marry a merchant marine who can’t raise prize winning rabbits. She laughed at me. Oh her laughter was like listening to the giggling of the angels. I told her I was broken hearted and had no reason to go on. OH, she laughed again but eventually she agreed to go out for drinks with me when I got out of that damn hospital. She gave me her number and let me tell you, the first thing I did a week later was to borrow a nickel and give her a call. We ended up going to the chiefs club on the base and we danced the night away. She was so pretty.”
“When did she say yes to getting married?”
It was killing her not knowing. She sneaked a peak at her watch her bus would be here in the next 10minutes. She didn’t want to leave without hearing the rest of the story.
“She finally said yes when we were at the Ala Moana Mall. I finally got her to try some li hing mui, those little dried apricots and she was making such a face I asked her again. This time she laughed, gave me a kiss and said yes. That was the happiest day of my life.”
She looked at him smiling. The thought of proposing and getting married in Hawaii was so romantic. Maybe someday, if she could meet the right guy, one who had his own finances, maybe she would get married to. Maybe in Hawaii. The old man starting talking again bringing her out of her reverie.
“I know, I know, girls get all mushy thinking we got married in Hawaii but we didn’t we got married in Ohio. In this little town called Apple Village. Her parents were there and that’s what Eloise wanted. You know what Eloise wanted she got. We stayed there in Apple Village. I helped her father run his gas station, auto repair and little store all in one there on the highway. Eloise was the perfect wife. Always had dinner for me. I sure do miss her cooking she could make a chipped beef casserole that made me drool. And her apple pie…..heaven in a crust. “
She smiled. “Heaven in a crust” made her want apple pie now. The mist had finally turned into real rain. The drops had been pounding a steady beat on the roof of the bus stop. Slow steady until now. Now the heavens opened up and it was rain with fury, making it impossible to talk. She reached into her back pack and grabbed a bottle of water. She offered it to the old man who took it and drank and then put in between his legs. Well she was just going to share but seemed like he was keeping it. She looked back into her bag. No more. She thought about grabbing her bottle back but there was something about this old man that brought out the better person in her. She was young she could wait, she told herself. Besides she wanted to know what happened to Eloise. It was worth a bottle of generic water.