This story began many years ago. Dale and Diane met in their teenage years, at summer camp, where they fell in love. Living in separate towns, writing each other every week until summer camp came around again. As the years passed, they become too old for summer camp, and the letters dwindle to a stop. However, through the years, Dale never forgot her.

Dale decided to take a quiet weekend at home. He found a box of old photographs. While he looked through them, he came to an old photo of his girlfriend Diane Williams. Memories came flooding back to him, filling his heart with the love he felt for her. He thought back to the days at summer camp and the times Dale visit Diane in her hometown.


That evening Dale purchased his airline ticket, reserved a car. As the week progress, Dale arranged for a friend to pick up his mail, and he washed cloths and packed. Dale was nervous about the trip, but felt confident this was the right thing to do. He got to the airport on time and boarded. The jet departed on time, and arrived that afternoon in his hometown. Dale rented the car and went to the nearest hotel. After resting a few hours, he pulled out the road map to check the route to Butler, Diane’s hometown.

The morning seemed to arrive quicker than usual. Dale showered and shaved, ate breakfast and left for Butler. Dale tried to find a radio station, but there was nothing on he enjoyed. It was the same way when he left, four years ago. While he drove, thoughts of good times with Diane came to mind.


“I will tell you what is planned for today Dale. We will go to the institution from here. The doctor gets in about nine o’clock. The doctor will want to talk to you. He will ask you questions, and tell you about Diane’s condition, and what you may do to help him reach her.” Dale asks, “What did you do? Call him last night after I left.” Mary spoke, “No Dale, I called him after you left yesterday morning. He is very anxious to meet you. But he told me we must talk to you first. So you could decided if you wanted to see her or not.” Dale looked confused, and in a sturdy voice, he said. “Well, I did not come all this way, not to see her.”

The waitress came over to take the orders. Everyone looked as if their feelings had been hurt. She took the orders quick, and was gone.

Mary said. “I am sorry if we hurt you Dale. We need to be sure for our own feelings. Can you imagine how happy I was when I saw you? I was also afraid you would run away, because Diane is in an institution. When Chris told me yesterday, a man by the name of Dale Youngblood is outside. It took everything I had, not to run outside and hug you.”

Dale could see the love in her eyes and the hurt on her face. The waitress bought the meals and no one spoke the whole time they ate. After they finished eating, the waitress came back pored more coffee and picked up the plates. For a long time no one said a word. Dale sat staring out the window. The Williams’ looked around the restaurant smiling or waving at people they knew.


When they returned to the office, Doctor Jackson confronted Don and Mary.

“I would like to consult with Dale. If you could be good enough, to give us a few hours to discuss Dale’s visit.”

Don and Mary went out to the hallway to talk. After a few minutes, Don came back in.

“We have agreed to give you a few hours.”

Don turned around and walked out of the office. It was quiet for a few moments while Doctor Jackson wrote something down on a pad. Doctor Jackson placed his elbows on the desk put his hands together and spoke.

“Now Dale, I am going to start this by telling you, you are on your own. The Williams’ cannot help you. Diane has not seen her parent’s sense the day she threw them out of her hospital room.” Dale answered, “Don told me about her throwing them out, but he did not say anything about not seeing her.”

“The only communication I have had with her is these letters. I am not sure how she is going to act toward you. The important thing Dale is we have to remember to move very slowly with Diane.”

“But Doctor, I only have a week. I have to get back to my job.”

“Do you think you could extend it another week?”

“Maybe, but first lets see how it goes.” “That’s only fair. Now Dale, let’s get down to business.”

Doctor Jackson went to the file cabinet. He pulled out a file and laid it on his deck. It was marked in big letters, LETTER’S DIANE WILLIAMS. He opened the file picked up a letter and handed it to Dale. “This is the first letter she wrote. I want you to read it.”

Dale read the letter. The doctor handed Dale another letter. “Now this is the letter we watched her write.”


Don and Mary arrived home to find Chris. Mary went straight to the bedroom closing the door.

Chris asks, “Dad is everything all right?”

“Yes Chris.”

“How did it go today with Diane?”

“It went very well.”

“Tell me about it Dad.”

“Well Chris, she reacted to Dale by throwing a note pad at him.”

With great enthusiasm, Chris answered.

“WOW! That’s great Dad. Don’t you think?”

Don answered without any affection.

“It’s a beginning Chris. But we are not out of the woods just yet.”

“It is good to see Dale has done some good by coming here. I keep hoping she will get out of that place.”

“We all have hope Chris.”

“Dad, are you taking the day off?”

“Oh my god, I forgot about work. Tell your mother I will see her tonight.”

Don rushes for the door and stopped, looked back at his son saying.

“Keep hoping Chris, Diane may make it yet.”

Out the door he went. Chris stood with an astounded look on his face. Cause Don had never made a remark about Diane.

Lost Love. Copyright 2009 by Stephen Reid. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2019 Stephen Reid