It's been a while since everything happened, but I remember it clearly as if it happened only last year. I have lived my life to the fullest, and I have no regrets in my life. I never held any secrets, neither from my husband, nor from my children. Well, not exactly NO secrets. There was one secret that I have kept hidden inside of me for all those years. But now my husband has passed away, and my kids have all moved out, building lives of their own. So now I guess its safe to tell someone the secret that I have been holding for so long.
My name is Alison, and I was an only child. I was sixteen years old when this story started, and that's quite a while ago. I went to high school, but I was very different than most high school girls. Instead of doing like the other girls, and run to the nearest boutique, or beauty parlor, I spent every minute of my spare time on my computer. I wanted to be a writer, and I was willing to do what it took to make my dream come true. So I was always on the computer, either writing stories or looking for tips on novel writing. I didn't care much about fashion, or make-up, or new hairstyles. I was a geek, I know, but at the time I was happy with who I was, and hardly ever drempt of being anyone else.
That's my mother, Dana. She was young, and she was beautiful. But she have much time for me. Not through any fault of hers. But my father died in a car accident when I was five years old, and ever since that time, she had to do two jobs in order to be able to give me the best education that she could. I loved my mother, and I was sorry for her, seeing how hard she worked. She didn't only have no time for me, she hardly had any time for herself. She looked beautiful all the time, only because she worked as a beautician in the mornings, and so she had to project as image of beauty to her clients. In the evenings, she worked as a waitress in a diner down the road, and always came home very late and very tired. I loved her for she was my mother, but she hardly knew me at all.
I didn't really have any friends, so I had no best friend to confide in at the time. My only real friend was my dairy. I loved writing, and not just novels. Every night I would sit down in my bedroom and relate all the days happenings to my diary. I told my dairy everything that happened in school, and about my homework, and my classmates, and about every story or novel that I wanted to write. But there was something else I sometimes drempt about, something that I could not dare to say, not even to my dairy.
One day, it was a holiday, and so I had no school and my mom didn't have to go to work in the morning. So she asked my if I wanted to do something together. I was thrilled about the idea of spending the whole day with my mother, and so started preparing things right away. We decided to go for a picnic in the park. In the afternoon, we sat on my favorite bench, and started talking.
I got up from the bench and sat down on the grass. "I don't know. Maybe I should, but then I don't even know how to party." Mum leaned closer, and asked.
"Well why don't you start by doing something simple, like going to the school dance next week? I know there's one coming up, because many girls have come into the parlor talking excitedly about it." I stared at her.
"Come on mum, I'd rather die than do something like that. The school dance is not something simple like you put it. It's the toughest ordeal and girl has to go through. I can't go. I've never been out, and I'm not going there, making a complete fool of myself. I wouldn't even know how to act." My mother smiled.
"Well maybe you should be yourself. Just be this beautiful, amazing girl you are."
I sighed, as I lay down to look up at the sky above me.
"I know mum, that inside I am this beautiful girl, but on the outside I am nothing but a geek. And you know I can't go to the school dance looking like this. You said it yourself, most girls have come to your place if work, to make themselfs even more beautiful for the dance. How do you expect me to go looking like this?" My mother said nothing, just smiled. We stayed like this for a few moments, she looked at me, and me staring up at the clouds above.
"What are you thinking?" she finally asked.
"Looking up at the sky, I am thinking that somewhere up there, beyond the clouds, in a parallel world, there is another me, who is just as beautiful on the inside, but who has a gorgeous exterior too. I know she exists somewhere, but I live on this plane, and in this reality, this is who I am."
My mother stood up then, and helped me to my feet. She looked straight at me and smiled.
"Alison, you are forgetting one thing about this plane. In this reality, you have a mother who will do literally anything for you to see you happy, but who also happens to be beautician. I want you to come to my work tomorrow, and we will transform you into this beautiful girl that you dream you would be. I want you to go to this dance, and I am not going to take no for an answer." I stared at her, not quite believing if I was hearing right. I could be beautiful? Well, it was worth giving it a try, anyway. I hugged my mum, and could only whisper a soft thanks. I was so happy.
The next morning I got dressed, and went to look for my mother at her place of work. She looked up when she saw me and smiled.
"I've booked you an appointment for this afternoon. And, I have taken the morning off, so I can could come with you shopping for your dress. We are going to get you a beautiful dress for the dance, and some fabulous clothes to go with your new look you are going to have." We went to the clothes shop on High Street. I had never been here, and was amazed by the amount of beautiful clothes available. I went over to a rack which held t-shirts and jumpers I normally wore. My mother came over to me, and took my hand.
"Come on, you shouldn't be looking at those un-feminine clothes. This is the rack you should be going through." And she led me to a rack which held the most fabulous dresses I had ever seen. It took almost all morning to choose the perfect dress for the dance. Along with that dress, I bought several other clothes - clothes like other girls wore. I was still wondering if I was going to look okay in them, but after all it was time for me to start looking like other girls. After we finish shopping, my mother took me back to the beauty parlor. The hairdresser immediately starting working on my hair, and my mum gave me a facial, and started applying make-up. When they were finished, mum made me put on the dress I had bought for the dance, and led me to a mirror.
I was all trembling inside as I walked into the hall where the school ball was to be held. These people had never seen me looking like this, and while it was true that none of them had ever harrassed me, they had never even noticed me either. I noticed that as I walked slowly inside all heads were turning towards me, and most people where whispering about me. So I walked slowly around, and tried to hide away as much as possible. And before I knew it, I had arrived near the pool.
"Hello," I turned to see who it was that was speaking to me, and to my amazement I saw that it was Robert. Robert was one of the quaterbacks on the football team, and he was very popular and always surrounded by the most beautiful girls in the school.
"Hi," I said.
"It's Alison right?" I looked in amazement, and could only manage to nod my head. How could he ever notice me? It's true that we were in some classes together, but he had always ignored me before.
"You're looking really beautiful tonight Alison," he said.
"Thanks," I replied.
"Would you like to dance?" I didn't know what to answer. I mean, I had never even talked to a boy before, let alone dance with one in front of the whole school. Before I had time to answer, he had taken my hand and led me to the dance floor.
The next afternoon I was sitting in the park, thinking about all that had happened the night before. I still wans't sure it was really happening, or whether it was all a dream. Suddenly I heard a voice behind me.
"Your mother told me you would be here." I turned and standing behind me, I saw Robert. I smiled at him, and replied.
"Yes I love it here. When I have nothing to do, this is where I spend my time."
"Mind if I join you?" he asked. I smiled at him again, and then he sat down beside me.
"Yes, me too," I replied. "It was by far the best night of my life."
"I really would like to see you again," he said. "I really have to get to know you better." I was speechless, I mean, last night I know that it had been something out of this world, but I had thought that by the morning he would have forgotten about me. And yet, he had taken the trouble and come and look for me, to ask me out. Then suddenly he put his arms around me, and asked. "Would you like to go out sometime?" I was speechless but finally managed to say.
"Yes Robert I would love too." He said and smiled.
"Thanks. I really enjoy being in your company, Alison."
"Isn't it funny?" I replied. "I mean, you are all the time repeating how much you enjoy being with me, and yet before you had never even noticed me."
"But thats not true," he said. "I have always liked you. No matter what the others said, I had always though you were beautiful, and besides you are really smart. But I was always afraid to make a move, because I was scared that you would reject me. I mean, you hardly ever socialized with the others, you took no notice of other boys. It was just books and grades for you. But when I saw you at the party last night, and looking so gorgeous, I figured that finally you were about to spread your wings and start flying too. So I decided to let you know how I feel about you, before you actually fly away far from me."
We talked for a little while, and then Robert asked me if I wanted to go for a walk with him in the park. I agreed and he took my hand, and we walked hand in hand, amoung the trees, and flowers, and the birds. Suddenly, Robert turned to me, and as he slowly took my face in his hands, he brought his face closer to mine - and kissed me! It was amazing. I had never been kissed before, but now it had happened, and I was the happiest girl on earth.
After that day, Robert and me were inseparable. We were always together, at school, and after school. We were in love, and I knew that we were meant to be together. I was the envy of the whole school - and I was so in love. Nothing could ever come between us, and destroy your happiness. Or so we thought....
It was almost two years now, since we had started dating, and we were still very much in love. One day we were sitting on my favorite bench in the park - which now had become our bench. I was sitting in Roberts lap, and talking about something silly, when I noticed that Robert was unusually quiet.
"Whats wrong?" I asked. He looked down.
"I have found my dream job. Only its in another country. If I choose to go there, I have to start next week. But I don't think I will accept."
"I can't go and leave you behind." I understood, but couldn't let him lose this opportunity. So I put on a brave face.
"Robert, you must go. It will be hard without you, I know. But you can't lose this job."
"Yes Robert," I said. "I'll be waiting for that day, when we shall be together again."
"So this is it I guess?"
"Yes Alison. I have to go. But I will never forget our promise. I shall love you forever.
And then Robert was gone! The days that followed were a blur. I could hardly concentrate on a single thing. I only thought about Robert, and what he might be doing. I wondered if he was thinking of me too. I often went to the park, and sat down on our bench, and though about all time we had spent together.
The days became weeks, and the weeks turned into months. I found a good job with a paper in my town, and soon gave up on my dream of ever joining Robert. Even our letters became very infrequent, until they finally stopped. The months became years, and I grew up and became a woman. I finally managed to get published, and was soon a successful writer. I also met a gorgeous man called Darren, and we fell in love, and shortly after we got married.
Darren and I had three children, Daimian, the eldest, Lana, our girl, and baby Carl. I was really happy. I had a beautiful husband, three equally beautiful kids, and I was a successful writer. I hardly ever thought about Robert. I used to believe that he was just a story in one of my books, a fairy-tale which never quite happened. He belonged to my past. This was my whole life now, and I was totally satisfied by everything I had.
One summer evening, I took my kids to the park. While Darren and Lana ran about playing, I started walking aimlessly around. I finally arrived at my old favorite bench. I put Carl down, and lay on the grass. I found myself becoming lost in the sweet memories of long ago. Suddenly I heard a voice above me.
"Alison, is that you?" I got up quickly, and standing above I saw one of the most gorgeous men I had ever seen. "My God Alison, you haven't changed a bit. It's me, Robert."
"Robert?" I stared at him. "Well you have changed a lot, but you look much better than I remember you."
"Wow, it's been so long. I never thought that I would see you again." And on an impulse, I hugged him. He hugged me too, and we held each other really close. I was telling myself that I was hugging him because I was really happy to see him after all this time. But deep down I knew it was much more than that.
"Robert, I am really sorry but I have to go now."
"Wait, I have to see you again. Please do come for a dinner with me. Tomorrow night?" I looked at him, and as I looked into his pleading eyes, I lost control of my thoughts, and actions, and before I even knew what I was saying I told him yes.
"You made it, haven't you? You have become a writer. I have read all your books, and I think you are brilliant. "
"I really enjoyed being with you. Do you think we could meet again?" I looked at him, and was very tempted to say yes, but I thought back to my loyal husband, and my three children, and said.
"I'd love to Robert. But I think it's better not too. I have my own life, and I am really happy. I don't think we should ever meet again. You shall always remain a beautiful memory in my heart, but nothing more than that." He looked sad at my reply, but forced a smile, and said.
"Of course Alison, I understand. I had no right to come back into your life like this after all these years." I looked at him, and answered.
"No, it was really great seeing you again. At least I know you are still ok. Goodbye Robert."
"Goodbye Alison." And with those words, we hugged each other for one final time, and then I started walking away from Robert forever.
"Why?" he asked, laughing.
"Because I love you. I love you and the children, and always will." After that day, I never saw Robert again. I only heard about him once, in the newspaper, when he became the owner of some business in another town.