DISCLAIMER: You know the rules, I once again changed the name of the girl to protect her identity. Although the title kind of gives her away.
September 11, 2001
My mom storms into my bedroom and yells “were being attacked!” I jumped out of bed and immediately looked out my window. For some reason I began thinking about Red Dawn and why would a small town like our be attacked. I sat down on my bed and thought, my mom really pranked me after Ellen leaves. I wonder out to the living room and my mom was standing motionless with both hands covering her mouth as her eyes could not pull away from the television. As I turned to see what she was watching, I see the second plane hit the World Trade Center. Living in the midwest, the impact wasn’t felt like it was on the east coast. But we were shocked and could not stop watching the news. Reports came out the planes were out of Boston and it hit me…that is where Ellen’s plane was going. I grabbed the phone and could not get through to her host family. I was scared, I worried she was on one of those planes and that she had died.
It was after 7 pm and I finally got a call. It was Ellen. Her flight to Boston was delayed and they were stuck in the airport for hours. She was stuck in America and her visa was about to run out. I was relieved and I told her I wanted to drive down and get her. But my mom convinced me not go, there was such unknown after the attacks.
Within a few days the airways opened back up and she flew back to Germany, unharmed. She called me every couple of days for a few months. It started to change over time. There would be times it was more than a week. By early 2002, I was beginning to finally realize it was over and started to move on. But it seemed like she knew when I met a new girl. I would meet a girl and she would call me within a day or two. It felt like she was keeping fresh in my mind so I wouldn’t settle.
By mid-2003 I was back and dating other girls. I had to move on past this. She would give me the occasional 3 am phone call and piss off my mom. We would talk and say we missed each other. It was strange, it felt like we were holding on to air, there really was nothing left.
By the end of 2003, I believed I was over Ellen and moved on to the girl who would eventually be my wife. Turns out my love for Ellen was nothing more than, wanting something I knew I couldn’t have. But not one month into my new relationship, end of November, I got a call. My girlfriend was staying the night when Elsa called me around 4 am. I’ll never forget talking to her and telling her about my girlfriend and how serious it was. I didn’t hear from Ellen again until mid-2004 after my mom passed. I guess Ellen was checking in on me and was again disappointed that I was still daring the same girl.
One day, my now wife, approached me and told me this cycle had to end or she was leaving. I called Ellen and told it to leave me alone. I was committed to the girl I was dating, but Ellen’s ghost remained. After that conversation, I felt this great weight lifted off my chest and I could finally move on. I gave myself, 100% to my girlfriend, my wife.
August 2005, yep story is not over yet. My future wife broke up with me. After my mom died, I became a shell of a person and was in a dark place. It was only after my girlfriend left me, that I realized I needed to move past my mom’s death as well. But, at the end of September I got an email from Ellen, we ended up chatting on instant messanger for a while, which led to a phone call. We talked for a while and spoke about a possible future. Here we were 4 years removed from one of the most emotional times of my love life and she was talking about a possible future. By October, Ellen was making plans to come visit me. It was making me very happy.
One night, I was driving through my wife’s home town and somehow ended up on her street and drove past her house. It was like she was telling me something. I felt like my soon to be wife was telling me not to fall into the “Ellen trap” again.
I drove for most of the night thinking and honestly I pinned Ellen and Elizabeth against each other. I still believed even with a break-up, Elizabeth and I would get back together. I needed to be her man, her guy. It was then that I called her cell phone. I didn’t talk to her that night, but the next morning, I heard the Charlie’s Angels theme, Elizabeth’s ring tone, I jumped out of bed answered the phone…the rest is history.
As for Elsa, I told her not to come to St. Louis. I was moving forward with Elizabeth and it was over. She took it well and that brought an end to the Elsa and Ray saga. It was a good time in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But in the end, I found what I was looking for, Elizabeth.
Once a year I get a message from Elsa, it has actually been 2 years since I last heard from her. I sent her a message the other day to tell her I was doing this…no response. She is married, I believe with 3 kids. I am married with 2 kids. It has been nearly 15 years since all of this and Elsa does go down as possibly the one that got away. But I am fine with that, because I got the one I needed.