Ron and I talked on the phone about three
more times from when he brought me back from New York City until late night
Friday, August 27th. He called me around 2:30 in the morning...so, that would
actually be 2:30 Saturday morning....the 28th. He had been on a truck run and
then went out with his friend for a few drinks. He wanted to come on over to
see me, but was very tired. We talked on the phone for a long time. He had a
very strange 'urgency' to his voice. He seemed upset, worried,
concerned, and began talking about what I would do if I became pregnant. WHAT?
I assured him that I was not going
to allow that to happen and not to worry....but he kept insisting on talking
about it and making me promise that if anything happened and I should become
pregnant, to please come to him before doing anything...before making any kind
of a decision. He make me promise that I would talk to him first. Well,
okay...but it's not going to be a problem. Then he restated everything,
again with the same 'urgency'. He kept saying that he did not want
me to do anything stupid. I didn't understand why he was saying all of this
and I was beginning to get worried.
I asked him what he meant by 'doing
something stupid'...did he mean 'something stupid' by 'having
it' or by 'not' having it. He immediately said by ' not
having it'...he did not want me to make that kind of a decision. But I
kept assuring him he had nothing to worry about. Why were we even talking
He seemed really choked up and said he
needed to talk to me about something reallyserious....I was
beginning to get really scared. I didn't know where he was going with all of
this. I told him he was scaring me. He said that he needed to talk to me...to
ask me something...and that it was not going to be bad...that I would be very
surprised...and that he had a surprise for me. He wanted to come on up, in
spite of how tired he was. I couldn't talk him out of it. He said he was going
to go by his place first.
So, I waited up till about 4:30 in the
morning. I couldn't get his very strange conversation out of my mind. But, no
matter how uneasy I was feeling about it, I knew it would be 'good'....he assured me of that. He said I would not be
disappointed. I was getting so tired...and I fell asleep.
Then I woke up at around 6:30 in the
morning...he had called me on the phone....he was frantic, stumbling all over
himself....scared that he had upset me. He didn't, and I was laughing at him.
He said he took one look at his bed and laid down 'for a few
minutes' and then woke up at 6:30. He kept apologizing to me and I told
him all was fine. He wanted to know if he could still come see me. Well, I
talked him out of it because we were to hook up later on that night at the
Lighthouse Inn with Robin and her boyfriend Gregg. I told him I'd just see him
there and not to worry about anything.
Ron was never late picking me up....never
stood me up...and always called me if he even thought he was going to be
running a few minutes late. I did not have a problem with him falling asleep.
I more than understood. I'd see him later. And, I was really curious as to
what he needed to tell me and what surprise he had for me....what was my baby
He had to go to a bachelor party that
evening on Lapidum Road...his cousin was soon to be married and Ron was going
to go to the party for a while. Lapidum Road....that was were he had just told
me he loved me. I was beginning to really like that road.
He intended to leave the party at around
9:00 or so and then meet us at the club. Robin came to pick me up and we were
at her apartment just passing the time. We were all laughing about what 'bad thing' we would encounter THIS weekend. Well, I can't say I was
complaining too bad...more boo-boos to kiss!
Well, Ron called me at around 8:00...the
party was boring and he wanted to come early. We obviously hadn't left for the
club yet and instead of going on, we'd just wait for him to arrive and all of
us go together. This made me even more excited about seeing him.
So, we all had a few drinks.... talking,
enjoying ourselves...and it was getting late and Ron had not shown up yet.
This was not like him. Robin began calling his apartment to see if he had
perhaps gone home to change his clothes or something...maybe he was having
truck trouble. But no one answered the phone. Robin said she'd call every half
hour and keep checking on him.
The evening wore on...and I was beginning
to really get worried. What is going on? Where is he? This is so unlike him?
Finally, at around 11:30, Robin called his apartment again. By this time, we
figured that maybe he had gone on to the Lighthouse Inn, thinking we'd be
there by now. But we weren't .....we were waiting on Ron.
Robin was talking to someone...and she
was turned away from me. I had been sitting on the couch talking with
someone...and I could not hear what Robin was saying. We had the music up
pretty loud and everyone was talking over the music. She hung up the phone and
walked slowly and very 'stiffly' through the living room and paused
as she stood in front of me....then she bolted back to her bedroom...crying.
As I got up from the couch I was asking
her who she talked to....what was going on...what happened....and I went to
her bedroom and she was sitting on the bed sobbing. "What's wrong, Robin?
Did you talk to Ron? Is he coming? Did something happen?"
She looked up at me with a face full of
heartbreak.....and then she uttered the words that Ron had been killed in an
accident. Well, I immediately thought of her cousin Ron....Ron Burkentine....and
I know how close he and Robin were. Oh, no....poor Ron....Oh, my God! My eyes
began to well with tears and my heart ached for her. She sat sobbing with her
face in her hands again and after what I think was full minute, she
looked back up at me and said, "NO, Ron Price....YOUR Ron is
dead.....YOUR Ron...RON PRICE..."
And I went numb. My heart disappeared
from my chest....my eyes would not blink....my mouth froze open....my mind
could not wrap around what she just said...I held my breath....I could not
process that. No, No, NO!
Ron is on his way to pick me up....there's been a mistake...maybe it's Robin's
cousin who was killed and she's in denial....she just doesn't want it to be
her cousin...but it can't be MY Ron...I just talked to him at 8:00 tonight...(Oh,
I began to tremble inside...I felt weak
and had to do something...maybe if I just go back a minute or two....if
I didn't breath my next breath, this would all just go away. He can't be
gone...I'm wearing new clothes I made just for him...he's coming to get
me...we're going to spend the night together....I began to cry....tears were
spilling from my eyes. Robin calmed me down a little and then tried to gain
her own composure.
Robin stood up from the bed and said she
was going to go to his house. Apparently a family member had answered his
phone and Robin said that if they were lying to her that she was going to kill
them. Robin was very angry, very upset, and told her boyfriend to get the car
keys...she was going to get to the bottom of this. She told me to wait right
there, she'd be back in a few minutes, and she'd be able to tell me what was
going on for sure. Her and Gregg left in her car....and I went out to wait on
the stairway landing.
I couldn't sit with people...I couldn't
talk with anyone...I waited for what would be the longest 20 minutes of my
life. Every thought possible went through my head. What if it's all a big
joke? Please let this be a huge, nasty, tasteless practical joke. Let Robin
and Gregg and Ron pull up in that car and all of them be laughing their butts
off at me.....me, with mascara down to my chin, lipstick wore off....eyes
puffy and swollen....and hair clinging to my tears and sweat. My hands
were wringing in anticipation. I didn't know what to do with myself. Johnny
had come out to the landing very quietly. What on earth could he say? Not only
were we in shock over the news, but we weren't even sure if the news was true.
All we could do was wait it out. (please God....)
The last words he spoke to me played over
and over in my mind..."Well, if I don't see you before you reach the
club, I hope you and your buddy have a really good time. I'm going to try to
make it before you leave. Take care and I'll see you later tonight,
baby."....and I began to cry again as I realized I was standing in the
very place where Ron kissed me for the first time. Johnny tried to just 'be with me'....we could not believe this was happening.
The compliments Ron gave me were running
rampant in my mind...he loved the way I dressed....he loved my laugh...he
loved my hair....he loved me. Please come back to me, baby....don't let this
be true....don't do this to me. We are supposed to go look at the leaves in
Virginia in the fall....you're going to take me on some of your road trips...I
wanted to be with you in that truck. I just made love to you two days ago in
New York City. I haven't finished the crocheted afghan I said I'd make for
you. You have a surprise for me tonight....you have something you want to talk
to me about...something 'good'....Oh, Ron....I haven't had enough
time with you....You can't be gone....(oh,