I had a similar experience, long before match.com ever showed up. It would have been late ’80s. A lovely, lovely woman I’d met in a Unity church, in the days when I did such things. And she and I had become members on the same Sunday. Shall I call her Jill?
We lost touch for a while, and then, one day I’d had to go to the hospital — something I rarely, rarely ever needed to do — as I came out, there she stood, in the portico, smiling her smile that I can see 30 years later. We talked and smiled and laughed, and I got her new number (that was before cell phones and moving meant a new phone number). A couple of days later I called and she failed to pick up, so I left a message — I suppose on a real answering machine, the ones with tape cartridges and counters. Several messages went un-responded-to before one day a week or so later the phone was answered. It wasn’t Jill. It was Jill’s mother. Jill had had an aneurism and had gone in one heartbeat.
Jill and I never got to our real first date, just some happy moments and some flirting and some laughter. Like you, I can only remember her as this smiling, quite gorgeous creature — who I will always want to know better.
I don’t even think I ever got to kiss her.
. . .Ships that sink in the night. . .