Posted in A Moment in My Life

“The Tennessee Waltz”

A Moment in My Life – Friday, May 20, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

Just when I thought the past was buried and gone, never to be seen or thought of again, then Patsy Cline mournfully belts out her story of heartbreak. My fingers froze over my keyboard. My eyes stared inwardly into my mind’s eye as Patsy’s sweet voice deposited her sad story in my ears. 🎶 “I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz. When an old friend I happened to see. I Introduced her to my loved one, and while they were dancing, my friend stole my sweetheart from me. I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz. Now I know just how much I have lost,”🎶 and a choke tightened in my throat as memories unleashed an old familiar story from the dusty archive of my mind that I couldn’t ignore.  

It wasn’t “The Tennessee Waltz,” but it was a dance with songs like “Lady,” “Being With You,” “Woman,” “Slow Hand,” and “Keep On Loving You” that glistened under the disco ball. I happened to see my friend just like in the song, and I introduced her to my guy. Unlike the song, they did not dance. For some reason, she needed a ride home, and I did what a good friend would do. I begged my boyfriend for a favor. He didn’t say, but his face grimaced with displeasure. Yet, he agreed to give her a ride. Despite my gut feeling, I was delighted and grateful to have such a sweet boyfriend who would give my girlfriend a ride without complaint. He seated her in the backseat of his Celica hatchback and me in the front passenger seat. His unusual quiet filled the cabin with a dismal chill of silence that rendered me unsociable. 

To my surprise, my boyfriend drove me home first. I was too stunned and shy to ask why. Maybe it’s just me, but I expected him to drop her off first before taking me home. The clicks from my heels tapping on the ground replaced unspoken words on our brief walk to my door. We stood a foot apart and stared into each other’s eyes on the porch, searching for answers to different questions that never got asked. He leaned in and softly kissed my forehead and said, “Goodbye.” I watched him turn and walk away as if in slow motion, and the scene faded into the fog as they do in the movies. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I never heard from or saw him again. I have to give him credit that he did say, “Goodbye.”  

I saw my girlfriend in school from time to time. She didn’t have to say anything to confirm my suspicion. I knew. She smelled of his shampoo. We remained friends into early adulthood, but we never spoke about the elephant in the room. Eventually, we three went our separate ways. I say this because she married some guy I don’t know. And, you probably figured it out, she is not one of my BFFs. 

It’s sad. I can forgive pretty much anything, but I need words. I need to understand. Neither he nor she gave me the respect of answers, and that’s sad. It tells me a lot about their character. He was my first ghosting before I knew about ghosting. It would have been nice had he told me what wasn’t working, even if it were the dreaded, “It’s not you, it’s me,” or “I’ve fallen for someone else,” or “this is not working for me,” or whatever. At least give me the respect to know that we were breaking up and why instead of just saying goodbye. And now, I know just how much I have lost—nothing, unlike she did in “The Tennessee Waltz.”

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