I claim to have known Ry was the one for Em way before Em knew.
|Em and Ry's first play together - before they fancied each other|
Really! She had been in college a few semesters and often talked about her friends from the Stonehill College Theatre Company.By then, Em had appeared in two productions . She debuted in the spring of 2004 playing a bit role in the relatively lighthearted Goodbye, My Fancy, an old play with a surprisingly modern message about women on a college campus, first produced in the late forties. Goodbye My Fancy was something you could take your grandmothers to – and we did.
The next production in the Fall of the same year was not so grandmother-friendly. A Mouthful of Birds, a mid-1980s work, connected seven stories that explored possession, madness, and female violence. Em played the unhappy wife in the first vignette who slowly succumbs to post-natal psychosis, which leads her to drown her baby. Difficult for even a proud mother in the audience to watch.
Ry worked behind the scenes in both plays. Light man/electrician. We, no doubt, exchanged a quick handshake as Em introduced me to her theatre pals after the plays. Maybe it was a hug after the second.
The following summer my mother suffered severe health problems. I was forced to move her to a high-care facility and sell her home. On moving day Em’s theatre friend – Ryan – showed up in a truck, mind you, to haul furniture. “He just wants to help,” I remember Em telling me. “He’s that kind of guy.”
Before he left I slipped an envelope onto his dashboard, a thank-you note and gift. Before he was gone ten minutes, he returned. “I can’t take this Mrs. Hayden. I helped as a friend.”
I’m not sure I knew he was the one then. But I remember thinking he should be.
(to be continued)