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Winny the Cat
Dedicated to my dear friends, Damien & Brawnwin
Submitted by Brenda
During the summer of my 18th birthday, my family planned a trip to Hawaii to visit my brother who was stationed there. Mom suggested that Brawnwin, my girlfriend of 2 years, come along. Her parents said okay, and that is how the best two weeks of my life began.
Everything about Hawaii was amazing. Brawnwin was beautiful, but in Hawaii she glowed like moonlight. We spent those weeks wholly engrossed in each other and the beauty of that place. I know that "magical" is a word others use liberally, but I reserve it exclusively for talking about that time in Hawaii.
As usually happens, our young love didn't last. Mistakes were made and apologies fell short. And then one day she didn't want me around anymore. I was devastated. I had no reference point for my feelings at the time, but recognize them today as pure love. Why God gave such a gift to someone so ill equipped for it is the first question I plan on asking when we finally meet.
So, life went on. I married and had 2 wonderful children with the wrong person. We separated and shared custody. Not the life that I expected and certainly not the one I would have picked for myself.
Then one day I was walking through PetCo and heard someone yelling my name. "Damien! Damien! Come here!" There she was. Brawnwin. With her dog. A dog that had my name. We just stared at each other until she finally walked over and gave me a kiss. I'm sure we exchanged niceties, but I honestly don't remember anything except her face and an overwhelming feeling that I was clumsy and 18 again.
Somehow I managed to come out of my stupor and suggested that we go to the coffee house to catch up. As we sipped coffee we slowly started to reveal the twists and turns of our lives. Choosing words carefully at first like you might with a stranger on a bus, but it eventually moved into more personal and private topics. Her life read like a carbon copy of mine … married the wrong man … legally separated … shared custody of the kids, but she got the dog. The dog named Damien.
She told me that at a time when she and her husband were trying to reconcile, he surprised her with tickets to Hawaii. When the date came she feigned an illness that kept her from traveling. Her eyes welled up a bit as she told me our trip to Hawaii was among her most treasured memories, and she didn't want to taint it by going there with someone she didn't love.
We have not spent one day apart since that chance meeting. Someday we will marry on a moonlit beach in Hawaii. Very soon I hope.
Brawnwin stopped by my place after the coffee shop. I introduced her to my cat Winny. Winny was my pet name for Brawnwin all those years ago.