Calli and Gunner
It is fall of ‘93. In Hot Springs, North Carolina there is a little diner just out of town. Calli works long and hard hours at Ken’s Diner. She is nineteen, has long blond hair, blue eyes, and has the perfect smile. She doesn’t look like she belongs there. But, Calli loves the small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains. The diner gets visitors from all around the United States. Calli loves meeting new people and listening to their stories.
It was a Tuesday, Calli was working her regular schedule, seven A.M to three in the afternoon. She loved that shift. Calli was almost three hours into her shift when her life changed. In walked this handsome young man, around the age of twenty two. Tall, strong, and lean. He had dark brown hair, and was wearing a plaid flannel, dirty jeans, and boots. He had the biggest smile Calli had ever seen. Calli walked over to his table and said, “Good mornin. My name’s Calli and I will be your waitress for today. What can I get you to drink?” she asked.
“ A glass of water and some coffee, please?”
Calli then got him some coffee and a glass of water.
She sat it down on his table and said, “ Are you ready to order, sir?”
“ Yes, Ma'am, I am. I would like the number two with a side of bacon.”
“Alright, it will be out soon.”
Calli was working as usual, running around helping everyone that needed it. Ken, the owner of Ken’s Diner called out, “Calli, your order is ready for table five.”
“Alright Ken. Thanks,” she replied.
Calli grabbed the food for the young man's table; she carried it to him and set it down.
“Here you go,” she said to him.
“Thank you Calli.” he smiled.
“If you have time, will you sit down with me and chat? I’m new here and I don't really know anyone.”
Calli giggled, “ I have a break here in about three minutes.” On Calli’s break she went over to his table and sat down.
“So what is your name?”
“Gunner,” he said firmly.
“ Well, it's nice to meet you, Gunner. What brought you here to Hot Springs?”
“ I moved down here for work. I’m a trucker, I got promoted, so they asked me to move down here. I thought why not? I don't have anything going on in Kansas.”
“That's great!” Calli said happily.
They talked all of Calli’s break. When she handed him his check she had written her number on it.
Soon, they were going out every night. Going on dates and having fun. They were being young and carefree. They were in love by June.
They were married by the fall of ‘94. Calli wore her mother's wedding gown. Her father walked her down the aisle to a crying Gunner. They were young and in love.
Gunner could support them both with his paycheck, so Calli quit the diner and stayed home, while Gunner was on the road all day. He would come home every night and Calli would have dinner on the table by six. They would sit out on their porch till dawn talking and laughing.
“Gunner, when we have a baby girl, I want to name her Ella,” said Calli.
“Anything you want, you can have.”
Soon, Calli started to feel sick, so severe, Gunner had to rush her to the hospital. Gunner was freaking out. He didn't know what to do. He was blaming God. Asking, why them? The love of his life was hurting, and he can't do anything to fix it. Just watching her hurt, hurt him.
Gunner went to the chapel in the hospital got on his knees and started to pray. Praying like he never had before. “Lord, please don't take my love away,” he cried, pleading with God.
When he was finished he went back to Calli's room. He sat next to the bed and picked up her hand. He held it like he was never going to let go.
“You will be fine, Gunner. I promise,” Calli said with a weak voice.
“I love you honey and I always will!”
Gunner held tight to Calli until the Lord called her home. He was a mess. Blaming himself for not making her go to the doctor sooner. He let her brush it off instead of going to find out what was wrong.
When Gunner arrived back at his home, where he once lived with the love of his life, he saw something laying on the table. It was a paper folded perfectly that said “Gunner.” He was anxious to read what was inside.
He picked up the letter and walked to the couch. Feeling pain in his heart he opened up the letter.
First of all I want to start off by saying thank you. Thank you for coming into that diner and changing my life forever. You are the best thing I could have ever asked God for. When you first came in you caught my eye. With your dark hair and blue jeans, something about you, I knew I would fall in love with.
The way you always made me feel special. Like you saw nobody else but me. You showed me how to love and to be loved. You taught me how to be carless, young, and free.
I also wanted to tell you that I knew. I knew I was sick, I had acute Myelogenous Leukemia. I didn’t want you to know. I didn't want our lives to change. We were so happy. So in love. I’m sorry I didn't tell you. I thought it was for the best.
I just want to tell you I love you and I always will. I will forever be in your heart. Watching over you. I love you Gunner with all my heart.
Please, never stop being young and carefree. You will have an amazing life. I'm so thankful God let me have just a tiny part of it.
I love you, Gunner Davis. You will get through this. Stay strong.
Love your wife,
P.S Look outside
Gunner looked outside to find a Golden Retriever with a dog tag that said, Ella.
As Gunner stood there with tears flowing down his face, he thanked God for putting Calli in his life, even if it was for a short amount of time.