WHEN I WAS GOING to high school the best looking chick in the whole damn school was the girl who was to become Valerie Dumar, the actress. The girl was actually a very nice person, but unfortunately way out of my social league.
Normally I would never have even met Valerie, but she had trouble with math and I was assigned as a tutor to help her to pass a required course. I did help Valerie with her math and found out that she was intelligent and the type of girl I would have loved to have dated. However, I was just an average guy and no match for the big social guys around school (or so I thought.)
I was supposed to get paid by the school for my tutoring of Valerie, but I never did. Actually, the improvement in my social standing around the school when the other students found out that I was tutoring Valerie was payment enough.
After we graduated from high school, Valerie went off to become an actress.
I continued my education through college. I worked hard in school, did pretty well and got a good job, or so I thought, after I graduated.
As I later learned, Valerie had some problems getting her career started. She apparently got involved in some contract hassles and it took her a while to get things going. I was told, by some of the girls with whom I graduated, that Valerie did some stage work and that she had finally got her contract problems fixed. She had appeared in a small role in a very forgettable film. The film may have been forgettable, Valerie was not. With the attention from her first film role, she was able to get a much better role in one of those experimental film things they do at festivals. Valerie won the Best Actress award at the film festival. The Best Actress award was presented as a small gold medal. Again the gold medal was a fact that I became aware of only later.
With the attention from her first film and the further attention from the Best Actress award, Valerie won a good role in a film to be shot on location, down in Mexico.
Valerie and some other people involved in the film were flying down to Mexico in a chartered plane. The plane was caught in a rapidly developing storm and crashed in the ocean. From what I have been able to learn, they know where the wreckage of the plane is located. However, the wreckage is in very deep water and it's not practical to salvage the plane or to recover the bodies.
You almost certainly never heard of the incident. The only reason I even heard of the incident was that I was home from college and listening to the local news. They stuck in the crash report toward the end of the regular newscast. When they said that Valerie had died it was as if everything stopped. All I could hear or see was Valerie's face and the voice of the announcer telling me of the crash. By the time I was even aware of anything else, the news had ended and another program was on.
Valerie was the only famous person I have ever really known. I never dated her, but I spent quite a few hours in close contact with Valerie while I tutored her in math. I thought that someday I would be able to say, "I knew Valerie Dumar back when!" I suddenly realize just how much Valerie had meant to me. And now, suddenly it's too late.
I thought the incident had faded into my past. I go on with my life. I work hard and I'm making some progress with my career when I find out that the company I'm working for is in deep trouble and that I'll probably be looking for work soon. I put some resumes on the street, but times are hard and there are few job openings and lots of people looking for work. Then, to cap things off, the company where I'm working gives everybody the week between Christmas and New Years Day off without pay. Merry Christmas everyone and bend over!
I sit in my apartment Christmas Eve night, staring at the TV. The TV isn't turned on, not that it really matters. I'm at a low point in my life. Then, some idiot knocks on my door. I'm about to just snarl, 'Go away!' However, I get up and go to the door.
When I answer the door, it's Valerie, as beautiful as I remember her!
She comes through the door and into my arms.
I can only stammer, "But I thought that you were, … I mean the news said that you were …"