Meeting Windy's Parents
Windy and I were unusual. We led parallel lives. Well, kind
of. Windy never had much time for me, but when she did, we had unusual
Windy claimed strange things never happened to her when I
wasn't around. Since they happened to me when she wasn't present, it must have
She was one of my first friends when I moved to Phoenix.
Straight away we both learned we were from the Chicago suburbs and shared some
of the same friends. On a few occasions, we nearly met while living back in the
Windy Cindy. No pun intended.
After the end of my first summer in Phoenix, Windy invited
me to join her family reunion at her cousin's house in Lake Havasu, about four
hours away in a car. Having no family of my own in Phoenix and time to spare, I
joined her for the extended holiday weekend.
The majority of Windy's family had relocated to Arizona. I
had never met her parents, as they were still living in Chicago. I was looking
forward to it.
It seems as if we stayed in a hotel while in Havasu. I don't
remember for certain. But I know we met up with her parents in a hotel parking
lot, having driven to Havasu separately. The idea for the visit was to go
boating and water skiing. We did.
I'm sure it was enjoyable. But that is not what I remember
most. What I do remember was something beyond the norm. I remember Windy's
Not from that weekend, though. I had met them before. Both
of them. But not together. Piecing it all would be near impossible for me.
As the days rolled on, I was able to determine that I had
also seen Windy and her brother before. I used to work at the second most visited
tourist place in Chicago in security and visitors services.
One day I was guarding the special exhibit hall. Windy and I
pieced together that her father had sat himself next to me and was telling me
corny jokes while I was working. He was bored and uninterested in the exhibit,
or the museum itself, and was keeping himself entertained via myself.
Successfully embarrassing both children, they did not stop with him but kept
touring, encouraging him to leave me alone.
This had only been a few months before. He had no
recollection of me or the event.
Placing the mother was more difficult. The previous meeting
with her did not spring back to mind. I found it strange, because she is the
one that stuck out the most. I strongly remembered her. It unnerved me that I
could not place the encounter, and the entire weekend I fought for it.
Monday came. I had come to terms that I would probably not
figure it out. From time to time I would quietly sigh and shake my head at
Windy, “I just can't remember.”
She only grinned with amusement. I wasn't sure if she
believed me. She said nothing of it. But I also knew that she was aware I
possessed some strange insight, some sixth-sense-ishness that saw beyond the
On the final day of our weekend getaway I donned some lavish
Cleopatra-like jewelry. It was a mix of gaudy and chic and complimented my dark
tan and white cotton outfit.
The majority of Windy's family, around a dozen of them, were
standing around the long counter that separated the kitchen and dining room preparing
lunch. Windy's mom stood at the end of the counter.
It was that very action that jarred my memory. Things were
flashing in my mind. Images were passing. In the same moment came the words
passing to me in slow motion, “I have that same jewelry set, only in black.
Where did you buy it?” asked Windy.
Her mother spoke at the same time. Everyone turned their
attention to me awaiting my response. I sat there jaw-dropped. Stunned, even.
My eyes were like saucers...
On to Part 2