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Turning Tides: Looking Over My Shoulder

As told to Leah Gebber

I knew Benny was right for me from our very first conversation. We met in a hotel lobby, some distance from town. After some small talk he said, “I didn’t schlep you all the way out here for a Coke. There’s a view I’d like to show you.”

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I followed him out of the marble entranceway and he led me through the hotel garden and over a stile to a field beyond. It was a balmy summer evening, and the light had a soft, warm glow. We walked together up a large hill where several couples were sitting on the benches dotting the landscape. We looked down on the view: a small river with a picturesque bridge spanning it. It wasn’t a dramatic view — no mountains or waterfalls — but it was quietly beautiful.

We didn’t talk much, and the scenario was … I don’t like to call it strange, but different for a first date. Afterward, I asked Benny about it. He said that he saw right away that I might enjoy it, and he had heard from my references that Sundays often saw me packing a big picnic lunch and taking my son, 11-year-old Tuli, to the countryside for a hike.

That’s how it was with Benny. We disregarded the preliminaries, we didn’t worry about polite chitchat. We were simply comfortable in each other’s company. Since my divorce, I’d rarely dated. At first, I was too broken by the reality of life. Though I’d longed for the divorce and knew it was the right thing, when it actually happened and I was left in a tiny apartment that smelled of mold and a son who was withdrawn and morose, it all crashed down on me.


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