“Deborah returned to Richmond,” said Stalker. “And I went into action.”
First, I announced to my mother Mary and my sisters that I was moving my bed from the living room of our apartment. I was taking one of the bedrooms for myself. They would have to double-up more. They obeyed. After all, I helped Mary with the rent.
And the phone company was coming out to put a phone into my bedroom, with its own number. I would pay for it myself.
Remember, these were the days when the phone was permanently attached to the wall. Yes, it was a long time ago! And you paid for each minute of a long distance call. You paid a lot. But remember, I was working at the post office while taking classes at City College, going to school for free — with money left over –on a state Regents scholarship.
“Yes, Baby, once upon a time Stalker had extra cash in his pocket. And now I knew what to do with it.”
On Friday, every two weeks, I went directly from work to the airport to spend two days with Deborah in Richmond. Otherwise, we spent each evening on the phone for hours. All hours. What did we talk about? It didn’t matter. We were together, that was all. When you are in love, that is how it is. And I was in love for the first time.
I was in love for the only time. Until now, with you, Baby. It took 40 years to find love again.
“Deborah,” I said, “I can’t afford the phone bills anymore! I am coming to you.”
I moved to Richmond. Off the Bronx streets where I had taken those beatings as a boy. Every day after class, the bullies were waiting for me — I was the smallest of the class — until one day I grew strong enough and pushed them back. Moved away from the men who, as boys, watched the nuns beat me. “The sister hates us all, but has a special spot of hatred in her heart just for you,” my buddy Simon said. I moved to the South. I switched my major from acting to pre-med.
I moved to Richmond. Anything to be with Sugar. A year of heaven.
Then I did something stupid.
. . . to be continued