I am Allen Soames, 32, 6’ 0” tall about 190 lbs. I believe that my word must stand for something. I have been married for almost 3 years, fortunately no children. That is coming to an end is 3 more days. Here is my story.
I met Deborah Callan while I was adjusting to civilian life after 4 years in the army. I might have stayed, but after making my commanding officer look stupid, I was invited to not reenlist. That is a different story.
I was at an employment office were I was looking for an opportunity to use my electronics skills as a civilian. I believed that a Medical Equipment Repair Technician would not have a difficult time finding civilian work; wrong. Every employer was looking for a college degree. Because I did not have one, I was looking for any kind of job that had mechanical or electronics skills involved.
Deb, (she told me to call her that) was one of the ‘in processing coordinators’ at the office I went to. She a cute, short, red-haired pixie and we seemed to connect at some level. She took all my information, and as I handed the completed forms she slipped me a piece of paper and said; “When your done here, call me.”
I did not have any luck at her office, but a friend of mine that I talked to later, told me that his brother was looking for an electronics specialist for his detective agency. I called and talked to Jack (the brother) and was hired. My job was to check out all of the equipment to make sure it worked as needed and to repair or replace any that did not.
Back to Deb. I called and told her I could be placed in her inactive files because I found a job. We talked for a long time. While talking to her, I asked her if it was alright to ask a personal question while she was working. She laughed, and what a delicious sounding laugh. “of course, you called about business, so this is a business call, just don’t go pornographic on me.”
“Would you like to go somewhere for a cup of coffee, or a drink. I have to warn you if we go for a drink, that I don’t drink because booze and I are way to compatible.”
She said; “Coffee will be fine, I go to lunch tomorrow at 12:30. There is a real nice place about 5 minutes walk from here. Will that work?”
“It will be great. I meet you at your office at 12:30 sharp.”
We progressed from coffee to dinner to concerts, movies and plays. We did the dating and mating dance for 6 months. Then we did the meet the families. We dated for a little less then 9 months, We were at her parents house when I asked her to marry me. She sort of hesitated and asked me; “Are you sure that this is what you want?”
I was shocked and disappointed, angry and confused. I blurted out somewhat angrily; “I would not have asked if it was not what I want. I will not ask again. I’ll talk to you when you can decide to answer. Call me when you can.” And I got up and went to my car.
When I got to my car, I realized I was a little childish, but I was surprised and hurt. I drove home and went to bed.
I did not hear from Deb for about a week. I was angry and stubborn enough to not call her. When she did call, The first thing she asked was; “Why haven’t you called?”
I replied shortly, “Because I wanted you for the rest of my life, but that is obvious to me that you are not sure. We have been dating for a decent amount of time. I thought you would be able to answer.” I continued; “Deb, I have told you many times that I love you. but I want to move to the next level. I am not going to be satisfied to go on as we are.”
Deb sobbed, then said; “OK, I am not ready to commit to you forever. I love you, but I can’t say I want to marry you, yet. You have made yourself very clear. I guess that we should stop seeing each other for awhile; or at least until I can give you an answer. Is that all right with you?”
“I guess that you gave me your answer with your words today.” I said; “I hope you have a good life. I will try to move on. Good luck and good bye. Please when you make your decision; if you decide that you want me forever remember that you had your chance. As I said that day, I will not ask again. Please don’t call me again.”
(Yes I know that I am an angry hard ass, but I had made myself clear to her that my goal was to have a loving partner in life.)
Things went along fine for a few years, when I was asked by my boss to go see about a security system that would not lock after hours. When I got to the address, Deb was sitting at the reception desk. I explained that I was here to fix a faulty alarm system.
She called someone, and the head of their maintenance department explained that while the main entrance alarm worked properly, they could not set the alarm at the employee entrance.
While we were waiting for the person from maintenance department Deb asked me how I was and if I was dating. I snapped back; “Ms. Callan, or whatever your name is now, I am here for professional duties. I do not believe my personal life is any of your business. Please direct me to someone who can act like a pro.”
She jerked back like I had slapped her and got a sad look on her face.
I found the problem, and called the branch manager, their head of security, and the head of maintenance over to show them that one of their employees used clear tape to block the door from locking. I fixed the alarm and suggested that they check their security tapes and find out who did that. I did not hear back from them, but I was on a new hire training call at their facility when the branch manager thanked me and told me a janitor on the night crew was ‘entertaining’ a girlfriend one night and forgot to remove the tape. He was told not to report to work again.
Deb walked up while the branch manager was there and apologized for her intrusion into my personal life. She then asked if we could try to be friends. I thought she was sincere, and said so. I left after the trainee did the routine systems maintenance and tests.
About 3 weeks after that I ran into Deb while I was having an after work beer at a downtown bar. When I saw her some of the old feelings returned. When she saw me I waved her over and said; “Can a friend buy a Friend a beer?”
She laughed and said, “No, but a white wine would be nice.”
I apologized about my anger. I told her of my hurt that she had caused. I told that now since I had asked her for a drink, I would answer. “I am not seeing anyone on a regular basis. I seem to have commitment anxiety issues according to my shrink. It seems I don’t want to go through the pain of rejection again.”
She started to get that same sad look again, but I cut her off. “It’s better that you said you could not decide then to find you made a mistake. Don’t be sorry if you weren’t sure. I thought we had had something special, but to me it was obvious from your answer you did not think so.”
I then asked; “Have you found Mr. right yet?”
The response she gave me made me snort my beer. She said “Yes I did find him and in my stupidity I let him get away. I would like another chance. Would you like to start over.”
“I would love to, but you need to know, I carry a grudge until it turns to dust, and then I sweep it into a baggie and carry that. If things progress, I will not ask to marry you ever again. If you can live with that, I am willing.”
(Still the Hard Ass, aren’t I)
She surprised me by saying; “We’ll see after a few dates, I think I can change you mind.”
I laughed, finished my beer and headed for the door. She hollered; “Wait you didn’t get my phone numbers of address.”
“No, I didn’t, when I want them I’ll ask.”
She came back with; “Just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait.”
Only Deb would hit me with that, she is the only one who knew that I had seen ‘My Fair Lady’ on Broadway, in the local Movie House, and on TV numerous times, and in the local amateur theatre. I stopped smiled turned around and she laughed and said “‘Gotcha’”
I laughed again and blew her a kiss and left.
I thought that that was the last of it, but she called my office the next Monday and asked to talk to me. I explained to her that I could not take personal calls at work, but I would meet her after work for coffee at a place near her work. She said OK 5:00.
We met, we talked, she gave me her phone numbers. I did not give her mine, she noticed. I said I would think about somewhere we could go that did not stir up the rejection memories. Deb said OK. We parted at that.
I called her the next evening and as a joke asked if she would like to go to dinner and come over to my apartment and watch ‘My Fair Lady’.
I heard a squeal, lots of laughter, and a ‘Just You Wait’ and a yes. I said I would pick her up at 6:00 at her house. We said our good byes and I felt great; like a cloud had been lifted from over my head. I did not forget the hurt, it was just becoming a memory.
The dinner and the movie went over very well and we dated for about five months when Deb asked me; “When are you going to ask me to marry me?”
I replied; “Never.”