Passive Echoes

September 14, 1971 - "Homecoming"


After classes the following day, Larry arrived at Marcia’s dorm for their second date. The luxury car that belonged to his father was the only indication that she had ever observed that Larry lived a privileged life. As they drove out of the city limits Larry informed her that he wanted her to meet other members of his family.

Larry stated that he did not live exactly in Winston-Salem but on the outskirts of the city and that they had approximately a 20 mile drive. Soon they were far from the noise and traffic of the city and were exiting into an unfamiliar area for Marcia. They drove past many luxurious homes and finally arrived at their destination. Larry said, “Here we are.”

They drove up the steep incline of a long driveway then stopped on the side of a very large and new multilevel home with large columns and an outsized two door garage. The house was sitting on several acres of land. Larry stopped the car and turned off the engine.

Marcia was taken aback and looked somewhat perplexed at Larry and asked, “Do you live here?” Larry answered, “Yes, I do.” He then stated nonchalantly and unimpressed, “Marcia, it’s just a big house, nothing more,” an indication that he was not very happy living there.

This was much different from the modest middle class home that he had previously lived in. Larry then proceeded to enlighten her about what to expect from his stepmother. He stated that she was a bit pretentious, but bearable. He primarily wanted her to meet his two younger sisters; Yvette, 14, and Denise, who was 7.

Marcia was stunned at Larry’s lifestyle. He never dressed in very expensive clothes despite having a $150 allowance for clothes each month, something that she discovered only after they began dating seriously this second time around. In the more than three years that they had known each other he was not like other guys who tried to impress girls with their “cool rags, fine rides, and money”.

In fact, at A&T you would have thought “he did not have a pot to pee in”, one of Marcia’s favorite sayings about individuals who did not possess much. Larry walked around in pajama tops, a straw hat, and jeans. She was very surprised to learn at A&T that his father was a prominent trauma physician.

When they dated in ’68 and when he started attending UNCSA in ’70 he dressed nicely but was not showy at all, although he could afford to because of his clothing allowance. In the 60’s and early 70’s his allowance for clothes is what people paid for mortgages and rent.

As they approached the over-sized double door entrance, Larry took his keys out and opened the door for her leading to a mid level foyer. He directed her up several stairs to the main living quarters. They entered the living room and he immediately introduced Marcia to “Debbie,” his stepmother who was only six years older than they. A year earlier, Larry had dated a woman her age. Larry's mother had informed Marcia of this the night before.

Larry’s baby sister Denise was on the carpet playing with several dolls and Marcia approached her to introduce herself. Larry then took her a few feet down a hallway to Yvette’s bedroom and introduced Marcia to her. After sitting and talking for a while Debbie wanted Larry to give Marcia the grand tour. He reluctantly did so. After touring the upstairs area Debbie suggested that Larry show Marcia his living area on the first level.

After they descended to the first level Larry opened the door and then immediately locked the door behind them. He gave her the tour of the garage area and entrance that he typically used; rarely did Larry use the front door. Next he showed her his bedroom, adjacent bathroom, and the large den, bar, fireplace, and his piano.

As he completed showing her his living quarters and turned off the lights, Marcia was walking ahead of him in the dimly lit hallway leading to the door to the upper levels. As they approached the door Larry gently grabbed Marcia’s arm and pulled her to him.

She immediately responded by wrapping her arms around his neck as they kissed into a state of dreamlike delusion. It was the kiss that they both longed for and desired for more than a year. A kiss they can still sense and talk about even now, nearly forty-two years later.

After they regained their composure, Marcia softly wiped away her lipstick from Larry’s lips with her finger.They both restrained the passions growing within and retreated to the safe confines of the upper rooms, illuminated and full with people and the needed distractions. There was such an afterglow reflected in their eyes and smiles that Denise, a seven year-old child sensed it.

She walked over to Larry and whispered, “You love her, don’t you?” Amused and somewhat surprised at her inquiry Larry responded, “Yes, I do.” She smiled and said, “I thought so,” and then casually returned to play with Marcia and her dolls as Larry and Marcia eyes engulfed each others.

They left soon afterward to return Marcia to the dorm. Driving in the darkness, listening to the Delfonics, they only spoke occasionally while eyeing each other and emotionally recapturing that moment in the hallway.

After arriving at her dorm they talked for a while about the evening and kissed ever so briefly. Lingering on both of their minds was the special moment and “the kiss” in the hallway, a perfect kiss that they replayed in their minds throughout the night. Before departing after escorting Marcia to her room, Larry asked for a third consecutive date and Marcia eagerly and promptly said yes.

Marcia later told Larry that as she laid awake and reflected on everything that had transpired during the past two days she sighed and lamented to herself, "Oh no, I am so hopelessly in love with him." The goal for this year was to be just cordial with Larry and focused on her singing career. Now, everything had changed.




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