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The Twelve-Year Favor


In the fall of 1977 I moved to San Francisco. I had visited the city several times in the past and found it to be cool, hip, laid back and open minded. I did not give moving much thought. I just got it in my mind one day, and that evening I packed up and was gone.

I hung out with people who did not fit into the main stream and looked down on by big society and the pretty people. I found them to be most refreshing.

An associate introduced me to someone who had one side of her face disfigured in car crash and fire. She told me her name was Sam. I could tell she was conscience of her face as she covered the disfigurement with her hair.

Sam was cool and we saw eye to eye on most things. We talked for hours on end about everything in the book. One afternoon she came to my house and said she needed to talk to me. I let her in and asked what was on her mind.

Sam told me that she needed a favor and that she would understand if I said no. I told her that I would do her the favor if I could. She told me that because of the disfigurement on her face that she was not getting any attention from guys. I told her that while I was aware of the disfigurement, it was not something that I paid any attention to. She replied that she knew this and that was why she wanted a favor from me. Once again I said I would do her the favor if I could.

She walked up to me, put her arms around me, and kissed me. I told her that I would be more than willing to do her the favor.

That favor did not end that day. It was a regular thing the two years I lived in San Francisco. When I moved away, no matter where I was, if she called, I would go back to her. I had always had a big wall around me, but I had no defense against her. There was something there that I could not resist. It was like she was part of me and I was part of her.

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This continued for 12 years, and in all that time, I never once declined to go to her. After not hearing from her for a coupled of years, I asked around and found that she had married and moved away. Losing people had become a pattern with me. Whether it was me or just reality, I don’t know. I just know that it always left the heart torn a little bit…

© 2022 Don Robbins

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