Strange Happenings

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"Strange Happenings"
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A lot of people do not believe in coincidence - they choose to believe instead that everything happens for a reason; was a matter of fate and was meant to send a message of some type. I, too believe that. In most cases. However, I fail to see how this particular coincidence could have anything to do with fate or have a message in its occurrence. It was just a coincidence plain and simple.

When I was fifteen years of age, I met Rodney through my brother's girlfriend. I was not allowed to go out on single dates yet but I was allowed to double date with my brother who was two years older than me. Rodney was the cutest, coolest, guy I had ever met. He was a year or two older which added to his charm. He was the James Dean-Marlon Brando type, duck hairdo, leather jacket and all. A real Fonzie type character. Not only that, but he was the proverbial bad boy that young girls can't help but fall for in spite of all their common sense and good girl upbringing. He was quite the charmer although he never pressed me to do anything beyond kissing. My brother told me that I was never to go any place with Rodney unless he and his girlfriend were with me. He told me that he had heard that Rodney had stolen some tires and was not the proper kind of boy for me to be with. I guess my brother figured as long as he was with me, I could date Rodney and get him out of my system. Cautioning me against being alone with Rodney was a moot point since Rodney had no vehicle of his own and Mama wouldn't allow it anyway. I was never one to go against Mama's rules. One night, on a double date with my brother and his girlfriend, Rodney asked me to go steady with him. Man, I was so far off the ground after that, you couldn't touch me. ME..little ole ME asked to be the steady girlfriend of someone who looked like Rodney. The date of that night was August 8. Double eights.

There was a place called Morgan's Bridge on the outskirts of town that Rodney liked to go to and a lot of the kids (couples) went there to have parties but I was never allowed to go, not even with my brother, who seldom went there himself. He and my mother were convinced that only ill could come from going there. Some of the kids who hung out there were older and got into trouble. Rodney and I didn't go together for long as it was difficult for us to get together; him with no car, me unable to date without my brother, and us living on opposite sides of town. He had quit school and I was still in school so we actually had little in common. Also, for some reason, Rodney wanted to get married. We were both way too young but he believed in young marriages. The thought of it scared me to death. As it turned out, less than a year after we broke up, he married a girl younger than me and they went on to have six children.

Over the years, every August 8, I would think of Rodney and I would always say to anybody around This is the day I started going steady with Rodney many moons ago, then I would tell whoever I said it to (usually the girls in the office or other friends) all about the cool dude I went steady with. I had many other important anniversaries and events to remember over the years but that was one I never forgot. Maybe the fact that it was 8/8 made it easier to remember, I don't know. I only know that I always remembered it.

One day in August, many years later, I was looking through a trunk with old photos in it and I ran across an old autograph book. I had written Patty Loves Rodney on the inside cover and there was an old photo of him between the pages. I sat and looked at it, remembering, and then placed it back in the trunk. I went about my daily routine and later in the afternoon I received a letter from my mother which was a usual thing but this time there was a newspaper clipping enclosed. It was the story of a drowning at Morgan's Bridge his favorite fishing hole, the paper said the victim was Rodney - date of death..August 8.

More about this author: Patty E Padgett

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