She was the callow Catholic school senior who cried the night her boyfriend French kissed her, fearing she’d become pregnant. Five months later, now a bracingly pretty college freshman, she was wooed and plundered by her theatre professor. It was give and take–he gave her drugs and took her virginity. Two months later, she had an abortion. She spoke matter-of-factly about the earthquake that had reduced her to rubble, then never mentioned it again. She’d built a protective barrier around her heart.
I thought she was the most sophisticated creature on the planet. When she agreed to go out with me, I was certain she’d discover I was a rookie, and laugh me off. Instead, she laughed with me, and sat in a grocery cart while I pushed her around an empty parking lot. The lost girl had met the lost boy, and they’d breached each other’s barriers.
We didn’t know where we were going, but we were going together. We decided we’d move to England and break into theatre! But the day I got my passport, she got cold feet. So, instead we rented an apartment 6,000 miles short of England. She acquired a day job at a hospital and met a handsome, world-weary doctor. And suddenly we were done.
Five years and one condensed lifetime later, the lost boy called the lost girl. Things had changed, I told her. I’d found my Creator and fallen in love with him. She laughed and called me simple, said she too had changed. She’d embraced The New Age: “I am the center of my universe!” she announced (she’d finally found a safe place). “And you are the center of your universe.”
I told her I was happy with the one God had made.
Then she then urged me to leave California because “all of the best psychics” were prophesying an earthquake that would destroy everything west of the Rockies!
“I’ll be OK,” I replied.
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because it’s not going to happen in my universe.”
She abruptly ended the conversation, and we never spoke again. I’ve regretted that gotcha ever since.
Yesterday, I found her Facebook page. Her most recent post was dated four years ago. It was a warning about an imminent earthquake. And then there was silence. Did it happen in her universe? I wondered acerbically, then checked the unworthy thought.
So I googled her. And found her obituary. One year after her final post, she’d passed away. I don’t know how. I know she’d moved east of the Rockies and was “a dedicated member of the New Age community.” The obituary also said she was kind and supportive and “lit up every room she walked into.” I believe it.
Did she find her way? What happened in the year between her dire warning and her passing? I don’t know. I never knew the woman she became. But I knew and loved the lost girl she’d been. And I pray that the God of all universes reached out to her during that time and prepared her to come home
To the safe place he’d made just for her.