My brother's best friend, Leon. He was one of those guys with the dark hair, suntan, and deep blue eyes. Every time he came home with Tom I insisted on being in the same room (much to my brother's open protests), but I didn't care - I had to be near him. Every once in a while he would talk to me and I found myself standing there opened mouth and a closed throat that could not choke out a sound. My heart would pound and my knees grew weak and I just knew I was in love.
One day Tom and Leon came home to announce they had joined the Navy. THE NAVY!!! How long would it be before I would see Leon again? It was one of the lowest days in my life. The day came and we took them to catch the bus. I watched Leon and Tom get on the bus and cried all the way home. My parents thought I was crying over my brother, I had never told them of my undying love.
My brothers stint in the Navy was short lived. He didn't even make it through basic training. Of course Leon did and went on to start his Naval career. Tom got married and moved and I was sure I would never see Leon again. One July 4th I was in town with my family enjoying all of the festivities and who should we run in to but LEON! Oh, he was so handsome in his Naval uniform. Yep, my stomach still did flip flops when I saw him. He talked with my father for a while and then surprisingly offered me his hand and began to walk me down the street. We reached the local corner store, Colizzi's, and he took me inside where he bought me a stuffed toy collie. It was magnificent! We left the store and he walked me back to my parents like a proper gentleman, still holding my hand.
To this day I will never forget Leon. He was every girl's dream and yet took the time to take a 7 year old love struck girl to the corner store and bought her a gift surely knowing the crush I had felt for so long. I never saw Leon again, but his memory will always be with me.