T: How long have you been dating? Where did you go on your first date?
B: We’ve known each other for about eight years, but we’ve only been actually dating, for about two years. Before then, we were just friends. Our first date was at an ice cream shop. Jacob loves butter pecan and I love vanilla. After that, he took me to the park and we sat under our favorite oak tree and watched the stars. It was cool that night, so he wrapped me up in his warm jacket and put his arm around me. It was the very first time he ever kissed me and I can still remember turning red from blushing.
J: It was a really beautiful night. Over the years we’ve been flirtatious with each other, but never did anything about it officially. My dad, kept trying to cajole me into asking her out because he and my mom, both knew I liked her. When I finally found the courage to ask her out, she gave me a funny look and said, “Jacob, are you sure this is a good idea?” Then she laughed. I shook my head yes. I took her to ‘Worthy’s Ice Cream Shop’ in town. They made all their ice- cream homemade. None of that processed pre-packaged stuff. It was the real deal. Belle’s folks, actually had suggested we go there, come to think of it! We held hands and I’d look at her across the table, then Belle’s cheeks would flush and she’d look away. I could tell she liked me. When we left and I saw she was shivering, I took my jacket off and wrapped her up in. It was then, I decided to go for it and put my arm around her. She didn’t seem to mind and leaned into me. When we stopped to look at the stars. I remember us looking at each other and then I leaned in and so did she and we had our first kiss. Belle kind of got flustered after that kiss and I realized it was her first time, kissing a boy. I’ll never forget it.
T: Jacob if you were Belle’s first kiss, was she yours?
J: Actually Teresa Belle was the first girl I ever kissed.
T: How did you feel when you were drafted?
J: Frankly, I was upset! We had planned everything out. We were going to go to College together at “The University of Akron”. We were going to get our general requirements out the way and figure out what we were going to do with our lives together. I knew my dad could get me a job at the tire company if I wanted it. We were starting to get asked a lot by our friends, when ‘WE’ were going to get married. There was a lot to look forward to. Then, right after I graduated, that dang letter came from the Selective Service. Since I hadn’t technically enrolled in college yet, I didn’t have an exemption. I went down and took the military test to see if I could score high enough to enroll in college and get a draft deferment. Unfortunately, I was so nervous when I went to test, I didn’t score high enough and I received the order to report letter. I was crushed, but at the same time, I realized I was following in my father’s and Belle’s father’s footsteps. There was a lot of trepidation. I was leaving Belle and unsure if I was coming home ever again or not. I’d never left the United States before, so there was that whole thing of going to a foreign country as well.
T: What fears did you have when you learned Jacob was drafted?
B: My first thought was, how much I was going to miss him and my second thought was, what if he gets killed in action and never returns home to me. Jay (My nick name for him) owns my heart and every time I look into his eyes, I see my future in them. I know he’s doing the right thing, fighting for our country and all, but I still think it’s a senseless war and I hope it ends soon, before more of our boys overseas get killed and Jay has to actually leave to go over there.
T: Before the war, what had been your plan? Has that plan changed?
B: We were both going to college together and then graduate at the same time. I thought he’d get a good job, we’d get married and have two or three children, and one day, grandchildren together. I may graduate college first, but that’s still my dream.
J: Everything Belle said is correct. The plan has changed somewhat, now that I’m in the service. There’s more of a sense of urgency, since I’m getting ready to ship out to Korea. I think with the skills I’m learning in the military to be a photographer; I might make that my career when I finally get out. Belle has said, she wants to be a teacher. She’s definitely going to graduate before I am, but our basic plan is still the same. I think the time table has moved up though.
About the Authors:
From the time Sharon Johnson learned to write, she had one dream, to become a writer and author. Writing has always been the one constant through every moment, both good and bad, in her life. She started with basic Haiku and rhyming poems; then later, she started writing simple one to two page stories. She’s always kept journals documenting her life and those of her children. Through every poem, story and journaled event, she never stopped looking for what she calls her ‘Charmed’ book. Year after year the book never came, until the summer of 2013, when a two to three page idea max, turned into ten then twenty pages and kept growing from there. It became clear within a very short time, her characters had much more to say and their story was far from over. And that’s how ‘The Chat Room’ was born. Eighteen months and a lifetime later, her dream finally became a reality in August 2015. There’s a saying she’s created as a part of her daily mantra; “Never stop looking for your happy ending, because your story isn’t finished yet…
Elias Raven was born and raised in Los Angeles. He’s an avid reader with a lifelong passion for writing. He’s a storyteller, a poet and a talented musician with an amazing voice. Oh, and let’s not forget an amazing cook!
As a young boy he spent many summers reading classics such as “The Adventures of Sherlock Homes” and “The White Company” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His creativity was constantly being pushed as he learned more and more about the world around him. His taste in literature spanned from classics to science fiction/fantasy. He expanded his taste devouring everything from William Blake to Milton, Dante, Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, T.S. Elliot, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Khalil Gibran, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Paul Verlaine, Walt Whitman, Alan Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carl Sandburg, Dylan Thomas, and Jim Morrison. These inspirations and his sheer love for reading had him take pen to paper around the age of 20.
Did I mention he’s a Musician? …You can often find him playing his guitars (both electric and acoustic) and keyboards and singing (4 octave ranges) in his home studio. He’s a classically trained music aficionado -trained early on by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Hayden, Liszt, as well as Big Band, Jazz and Rag Time. Spending time with his father at the Los Angeles Philharmonic; experiencing his first orchestra concert at the age of 9.
Elias the Gourmet Cook…Oh My!…His Japanese mother and grandmother trained him very well in fine culinary skills both in cooking and food appreciation from all over the world such as Italian, Indian, Moroccan, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hawaiian, Pilipino, Greek, and Polish.
When Elias is not reading, writing, composing music or cooking…he can be found listening to music, playing games, hanging out with his kids. He enjoys going to concerts, going on culinary adventures, sightseeing, spending the day at the beach or in the mountains…just doing something adventurous!