During the entire time Jim traveled northeastern North Carolina he was constantly plagued by a dream. His childhood
sweetheart; Geri, would appear standing in her prom dress with her hand outstretched toward him. Sometimes she would seem
to be sitting beside him as the drove the backcountry roads of northeastern NC.
Jim moved to Murfreesboro immediately after taking the sales territory waking up one morning with Mary Beth beside him.
She stayed and life was good until her bickering about marriage and children turned their relationship sour.
Meeting Alice didn’t help either; Jim was swept off his feet by her beauty. She also was ready for a relationship after a failed
marriage left her with two children, Ronnie and Christy.
From the beginning they were almost inseparable being in each-other’s arms whenever possible. The physical attraction for
each other was phenomenal
As the years went by Alice changed jobs so they could be together more plus there was more time for her children.
Their weekend on the outer banks was the highlight of their relationship as Jim said; “I love you” when he dropped her off after
their romantic trip.
When Jim picked up Greenville and Tarboro he decided to relocate buying a house in Greenville; a home they both picked out
and Alice had been in charge of furnishing it.
Their trip to Hawaii was like a honeymoon spending time on Waikiki Beach and being serenaded by Don Ho singing The
Hawaiian Wedding Song and Pearly Shells. Romantic days and nights were also spent on Maui and the Big Island.
Jim’s recurring dream refused to leave him alone even in Hawaii. He would awaken only to find Geri standing there in her prom
Tragedy struck when Alice’s son Ronnie was in a terrible accident riding to school with a friend. Ronnie’s friend; Jacob
Coltrain died in the accident. Ronnie survived by a slender thread and quick thinking of Gail Gurganus and patrolman; Walter
Parrish. Ronnie’s face was terribly disfigured and the months of rehab and plastic surgery took its toll on Alice.
Jim had been warned by a longtime mutual friend; Effie Sparrow, that Alice was going to need time. That night brought a call
from his darling Alice asking for time to be alone.
Jim was highly distraught but determined to give his Alice the time she needed.
Geri appeared more often then especially when Jim would fall asleep in the recliner after downing several doubles of Rare Antique.
After six months Jim began visiting bars in Greenville finding himself in bed with a woman he didn’t remember. From there two
more were added as time went by hearing nothing from his darling Alice.
Then came the call from his brother; Donnie relating that Geri’s husband had died of a heart attack. Given Geri’s address and
phone number, Jim called her about six months after Danny’s death asking her to share a meal with him.
They met at the Peach Tree in Kinston, she had changed little and Jim could feel fires rekindling from the past. Geri was cordial
but it was easy to see she still grieved Danny’s passing. When they parted she asked if he still had the tattoo. Seeing it she
smiled asking him to contact her later. It was still too early to think about the future.
Returning home Jim downed three or four doubles before falling asleep in the recliner. As so many times before he was aroused
from his slumber. Rubbing his eyes he knew she would be standing there, she always was…………………..
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