THE WEP’S DECEMBER’S, THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE, CHALLENGE, DECEMBER 1 – 15, WAITING By Pat Garcia @WEP, @TheIWSG, @pat_garcia
Tagline: He turned to talk to the man on his left side and the full extent of the scar, the zigzagged flesh that marred the terrain of his otherwise sculptured face, had me wondering who could have been so angry as to mark him so brutally.
The first time ever I saw his face, I stared. The scar, extending from the tip of his ear to his neck, shook the layers of indifference within me about humanity, and compassion swelled up. He turned to talk to the man on his left side and the full extent of the scar, the zigzagged flesh that marred the terrain of his otherwise sculptured face, had me wondering who could have been so angry as to mark him so brutally. He pivoted eighty degrees like a soldier; that’s when he saw me staring. He returned my stare, daring me to look away.
I shook my head, not in pity but with delight, and continued to stare, fascinated by his proud aura. It held me on the spot and kept me from leaving as he walked to me.
Successive dates led to an early marriage. Four weeks later, my newly acquired husband was gone. Our relationship hung on one request. “Write me daily by email, no matter what you’re going through and tell me about your day,” he’d said.
So, I poured out my fears, my pain at not being able to be with him, talk to him, to have a typical marriage, and my frustrations at him dominating my thoughts.
Since then, eight months, twenty-two days, twelve hours, and twenty- nine seconds have passed, and this time I, Ida Mae Jones, now Greco, find myself in the same café waiting on Salvatore, the man who drops into the ugliest corners of the world to protect others. Salvatore had explained to me before we married that I wouldn’t hear from him often when he was gone. Four letters testify to that. Yet I’ve written him an email every day as if I were writing an entry into my journal.
This morning the fifth letter came. Two short sentences: Landing at 9 a.m. Be at the café at 3 p.m.
I wrote in my journal: going to meet Salvatore Greco, my husband of almost a year. This time I didn’t email the entry to him; I put it in my purse.
Arriving at the café, I stood at the reception desk waiting to be seated. I felt Salvatore’s presence and turned. That’s when I saw the face I will never forget. He was coming toward me. I stared at him, searching his face for new scars, and found only one on his forehead, small though it was. He held my gaze as he walked to me; his eyes filled with light and hope. And my waiting was over.
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a healthy crossover into 2023.
Take care and be blessed.