February 18

Becky and Tom

The first time, I remember, was when I was 15 years old.

A certain girl and I had just gone steady a couple of days ago and, not wanting to make a big fuzz among the community, we had tried to keep it low for the time being.

My mom certainly noticed something was going on and was blunt enough to make me uncomfortable asking me what my business with her was.

At first, I tried to deny it but, hey, it was my mom asking so I decided to open up and spill the beans right then and there. My mom listening all the time with that face that most moms have when they are measuring up what you are saying, somewhere between bemused and condescending.

My brand new first official girlfriend was older than I and it seems that was a bit of a problem, given our circumstances and the belief system we grew up in. We were both children of the military and we both knew that we would eventually have to part ways.

My mom, being my mom after all, decided to introduce herself to my not-so-official mother-in-law. “Good afternoon. Did you know that your daughter is my son’s girlfriend? Because I just found out…”

Yikes! My mom always had a knack for saying things in the most matter-of-factly way…

I felt betrayed by her, for not keeping it to herself. I know she had the best intentions, but I still remember the feeling as if it had happened yesterday…

From there, adults started keeping a watchful eye on us, beginning a search and rescue operation if we went amiss for more than a couple of hours. We were underage after all. Me a little more than her, anyway.

After 8 months, the dreaded notice arrived. Her dad was being relocated to another base… First split, first heartbreak, first lesson… We saw each other a couple of times months later but it was never the same again.

I lost track of her a couple of years ago and, judging for what I have found by my own research among friends, it didn’t end well for her. A side of me is quite reluctant to find out more. I prefer to remember her the way I do. Perfect in every way.