Cherry Coke by
(296 Stories)

Prompted By The Crush

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Cherry Coke

I must confess I often find myself googling my college crush.

Actually M was more than a crush,  he was my steady boyfriend during my freshman and sophomore years,  until I took a camp job that following summer and met someone else.  But that’s another story.

M was a class ahead of me and after the breakup we’d often see each other on campus until the end of the academic year when he graduated and went off to law school.

Years later after I was married and living in Manhattan,  I was pushing my toddler in his stroller and bumped into M on a busy 86th Street,  We chatted for awhile and then he disappeared back into the crowd.

By serendipity we met again some years later.  It was a warm summer day and my husband was wearing shorts as we drove out of the city for the weekend.

As we approached the Larchmont tollbooth on the Hutchinson River Parkway,  a bee flew through the car window and stung my husband on his bare leg.  Wincing in pain he jammed on the brakes and we were rear-ended.

A guy on a bike seemed to appear out of nowhere and asked if he could help.  It was M.

The car was drivable and we went to the local hospital where my husband was treated for his bee sting.   M,  we learned,  was now living in Larchmont with his wife and two kids,  and was practicing law in the city.

That was over 30 years ago,  but recently I’ve been catching up with M on Google.

He still looks pretty good at 77,  or is it (gulp) 78,  although now his dark curly hair looks pretty grey.

I see he donated to Hillary’s last campaign,  he supports Off-Broadway theatre,  and belongs to a Westchester golf club.

He still practices law in the city,  but a few years ago he and his wife bought a house in Florida.  I bet he plans to retire soon and move down there.

But there are some things the Internet can’t tell me.

Does he still chew that awful gum?

And what about that great American novel he was going to write?

Does he still drink cherry coke?

And,  I wonder,  does he ever find himself googling his college crush?

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Boyfriends
Characterizations: been there, funny, moving, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    College crushes were often so fruitless. I remember sitting in a particular spot several times a week because I knew someone I had a crush on would walk by at a particular time. Of course, he never noticed me. But that was OK, because I ended up marrying my last college crush and here we are, 51 years later.

  2. Dana, it’s nice to know I’m not alone…I’ve done online searches for several old classmates and crushes over the years. (I wish I knew who, if anyone, has searched for me!) And at least you can search for him by name because that hasn’t changed, whereas it’s nearly impossible to find women once you’ve lost track of them. And isn’t it curious how some people pop into and out of our lives again and again?

  3. Marian says:

    Really cute, Dana, and what a dramatic experience in the car you had, meeting M again. I’ve run into former boyfriends and crushes from time to time, but not so notably. And yes, I confess, I’ve Googled some of them as well.

  4. Suzy says:

    Very cute story, Dana. I was puzzled about the Coke glass full of cherries until I got to the penultimate line, “does he still drink cherry coke?” I would love to have a cherry coke made with real cherries! Anyway, how great about the two times you bumped into him, on 86th St and at the Larchmont tollbooth. Especially at the tollbooth, that is like a deus ex machina in a Greek play! It should have led to a continuing connection, but that might have been dangerous. Maybe you’ll bump into him again someday.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    A lot of serendipity in this story, Dana. What were the odds that M would just show up after the bee sting episode? Nice that you ran into him from time to time; fun that you could google him, but you are correct, the internet can only tell you so much. As for the rest, you’ll just have to call him and ask!

  6. John Shutkin says:

    Great story, Dana — especially since so many of these stories end up so sadly. But I particularly like your last questions, as they really get to our memories of those we have cared about (and particularly your very last).

  7. Of course he Googles you. You can take that to the bank. Lovely story, Dana.

  8. Dave Ventre says:

    I too vote yes for him Googling you.

    I also, on occasion, satisfy my idle curiosity about people from my past. I was surprised to find that my very first college girlfriend (the one just before Maria) died some years back. No cause was given in her obits, only that it was unexpected.

    I actually dated her twice, the second time soon after college. despite the fact that both periods were short, she was unusually important in my life for a very odd reason. There is a story in it if I can find a prompt.

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