THE LOVER

By: Amanda Fitzsimons

 

Irma lives in a trailer with Dora Mae. The two have lived there for about a year and probably will continue to do so until Irma dies. Irma loves Dora Mae like a daughter. In fact Irma being somewhat senile has come to think that Dora Mae is her daughter. Irma seems to ignore the fact that Dora Mae makes her living as a whore in the town brothel to support the two of them.

Irma has always been a quiet woman. She never really made a mark on the town of Dwibe. Before Dora Mae came to town, many people thought that Irma would continue to live alone in her trailer until she died in it. Some people say that Irma and Dora Mae have a relationship that is more than just mother\ daughter. Only the two of them know for sure that isn't true. Many of the young people in town talk of how Irma has never had a lover.

Irma has only taken one lover in her entire life. It was long ago when Irma was wide eyed like Dora Mae. It was Dora Mae who brought back the memory of her lover to Irma. If it hadn't been for Dora Mae's date with James, Irma might have died forgetting that she had ever known a lover.

It was late in the evening when Dora Mae returned home from her date with James. Irma was still awake waiting to hear how the date had gone. Dora Mae came in and told Irma that she had a great time with James. There was something in Dora Mae's eyes that told Irma a different story. The look in the girls eyes were very familiar to the old woman. It was a look of pain, a look that reminded Irma of something from a long time ago.

Irma knew that Dora Mae was lying about how things had gone between her and James, but the old woman said nothing about it. Irma and Dora Mae stayed and talked a little while longer before they decided to go to bed. As Irma got ready for bed, she tried to remember where she had seen the look in Dora Mae's eyes before. She thought about it until her head began to hurt and she went to sleep.

It was just as Irma was closing her eyes that she remembered where she had seen the look before. It was in her own eyes that the look had appeared so many years ago when Irma was only a girl of eighteen, just like Dora Mae. It was the look of a girl who had just lost all of the love that could ever be in her heart, because it had been stolen by a man. It was a look that just thinking about brought tears to Irma's eyes. . .

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Irma was just eighteen when he came into her life. She was new in town and lived alone in a trailer. She had gotten herself a job as a waitress at the Greasy Spoon Saloon and had been there for about a week before she met him. It was a sunny day in the early spring and the air a smell of life in it. Irma had just arrived for her shift but already wished that she could be outside enjoying all the new life around her.

He walked in the door of the Saloon and sat down at the counter. His name was Joe Smith and Irma noticed him right away. Joe had large piercing blue eyes that appeared deeper against his pale face. His curly black hair was cut close to his head, yet Irma still wanted to run her fingers through it.

She walked over and asked him if he knew what he wanted. Joe looked up and into Irma's large brown eyes and smiled. He told her that to eat he would like a turkey sandwich, and that he would like to see her with him after her shift was over. Irma smiled and said that both would be ready soon. Irma made small talk with Joe while he ate his lunch and she served other customers and made plans to meet him after work.

At seven o'clock sharp, Joe came to the Greasy Spoon to pick up Irma. The two walked hand in hand down main street and talked about their families. Neither one had any family left, the reason that Irma had come to Dwibe was because her parents had just died in her hometown two towns over. The two walked and talked for hours before Joe finally walked Irma back to her trailer. The evening ended with a kiss on the cheek and a promise to be in touch soon. Irma stepped into her trailer only to realize that there was a strange sensation in her chest. She soon realized that it was the beating of her heart and that she, Irma, was in love with Joe Smith.

The next day Irma went to work only to see Joe come in again and sit down where he had sat the day before. Irma went over to take his order and Joe ordered the same thing as the day before. Joe continued to come to the Greasy Spoon everyday that Irma worked, and they continued to go out every evening. The two knew that they were in love with each other and that the loneliness that the two had felt for so long would soon end. After three months of courting each other Joe came into the Greasy Spoon and changed his order only slightly from the past months, ordering not only a turkey sandwich but also Irma's hand in marriage. Irma said yes without giving it a second thought.

Irma had never felt quite like she did at this time. She was so full of love that all the tragic events of her past just seemed to leave her mind. All the girl could think about was how happy she would be as Mrs. Irma Smith. The date for the wedding soon approached and Irma's heart filled with more love for Joe each day. Then finally the day came for Irma and Joe's wedding.

Their wedding was to be held in the town church. The two had invited the entire town to attend their wedding, and every last person in the town did come. They wanted to seen to the happiness of these two young strangers. Since the time the two had arrived in town alone, nobody had seen them as happy as they were now. It was a happy day for all of the town. The church looked perfect, like something out of a storybook. Irma herself looked like a princess, in her long white satin gown.

The ceremony was set to begin, but only Irma was there; Joe was nowhere to be found. Irma waited at the end of the isle for a few moments. She told herself that Joe was just running late for some reason and that he would arrive soon. She said this inside of her head for what to her seemed like five minutes, but it had really been an hour. When Irma looked up and out into the church she saw everyone in the town except for Joe. Irma began to cry as she still told herself that Joe would be there soon. Many of the men left the church and began to search for Joe. They looked in every house and store in the town. When they got to Joe's house they found that all of Joe's belongings were gone. He seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Nobody knew where Joe was or where he could have gone.

Irma was so upset that she ran home to her trailer and didn't come out for two months. When she did finally come out, she was thin as a rail and no longer had love in her large brown eyes. She went back to work at the Greasy Spoon Saloon, and continued to live her life just as she had before Joe Smith - - alone. No one in the town ever did find out what happened to Joe; he had simply disappeared with everything.

**********

Irma came back to reality like a meteorite crashing to the ground. She sat up in her bed and began to cry loudly. Her heart was breaking all over again just thinking about Joe. She couldn't believe that she had forgotten about him for so long. Irma continued to cry and remember.

Irma's cries were so loud that the woke Dora Mae in the next room. She ran into Irma's room only to find her in bed crying like a small child. The girls heart was breaking to see the old woman in pain like this. Dora Mae looked into the eyes of Irma and saw the look that she had seen in her own eyes only hours earlier.

Dora Mae climbed into the old woman's bed and held her. Dora Mae asked Irma what was wrong, and soon she was reliving the tragic story of her first and only love. Dora Mae was touched by the story. She sat there and thought about all the men who she had taken during her short life, and how she had never loved a single one. All this men made love to her and she had never loved a single one. There was only one true love in Dora Mae's life and that was Irma.

Dora Mae remembered how she had offered sex to Irma in exchange for a place to stay, and how Irma had refused. She thought of all the things that Irma had done for her and all the things that she had done for Irma. Irma lay in Dora Mae's arms thinking about how she had begun to feel love again when Dora Mae had arrived at her door one day. Irma realized the motherly love that she felt for Dora Mae was much deeper.

Irma looked into Dora Mae's large round eyes and kissed her on the forehead. Dora Mae returned the kiss and began to kiss Irma's lips. Irma and Dora Mae soon found love in each other's arms. It was at that moment that Irma's heart began to beat like it had that night with Joe. Once again, Irma knew a lover . . . and this time it would last forever.