‘T oo Young To Be Tied Down’ By Pamela Angel



As Christina drove by and passed Marc standing in front of their daughter’s house, 42 years later, she wondered how he could come back into their children’s lives. 9 months shy of their 50th anniversary; 9 years of marriage and on their granddaughter’s 9th birthday? Triple nines she thought; what could that mean?

This seemed to be too much of a coincidence! Could it be the letter she wrote him last month, asking that he reconnect with his children? Could it be she asked him to resolve his untimely devastation of their family prior to passing, as he was soon to turn 70 years old.

“I’m also asking that you reconnect with our children as they are innocent of any wrong doings in our lives. They do not need your support, I’m sure that sounds good to you, YOU! Produced the sperm that connected with my egg, giving us two beautiful babies. One looking identical to you and the other identical to me. Now these two miraculous children have produced three of GOD’s most precious children for me and you, to add to our heritage. This is something of a miracle as your family is short on Larsen dependents. That’s the least you can do for Ziara and Marc Anthony, II. Their father (you) chose to keep them out of his life; at the age of 4 years and 1 year and 9 months old. You never showed love, concern or contact them for any reason.

I truly believe, we, our entire “Engle-Larsen” family deserve to resolve any issues that remain because of your untimely devastation of our family, prior to your passing. Marc, you are shy of 70 years old. The time is now or never. I know you would never agree to such a meeting as you have too much to lose and doing right is not your style.”

Christina held her children’s paternal family together for all these years and now she knew her children needed healing as much as she did. Or could it be now that his children no longer needed his monetary, mental, physical or affection from him he felt the time was right.

He was their paternal grandfather. That part of life Jayla and Marc Anthony missed. Their father’s pride and selfishness got in the way. Christina knew that cycle had to end before Marc passed. She did not want her children’s paternal family to get lost because of their father’s inconsideration’s.

CHAPTER 1: New Beginnings

How did we get here? She thought. The Engle’s began to prepare for their move for a better life. It was already late summer. Brandon Engle, Sr. had just been notified, he’d been selected as the new Superintendent of the Rancho Cordova school system. Elated he and his wife, Jean prepared their four children (Brandon Jr. B.J, Christina Elizabeth, Joseph and Jaden) for their move. The move from Louisiana was very organized. Christina there only daughter was not keen on the move, but decided, she couldn’t let her parents go without her.

The following year after their move, Christina was so excited about entering high school; she and Caitlin (her best friend) had many things to think about walking to school together and of course would they be in the same homeroom. Would they try out for the first-year team cheerleaders, homeroom officers, go to the dances with their brother school, St. Augustine High School? Would it be icky, dancing with a guy? Would it be icky talking to them? Caitlin had more of a fear than Christina as she had three brothers and thought it would be fun.

On the first day of high school, Christina and Caitlin walked to school. The school was 10 minutes from their house. Christina lived on Carlton Place. On the corner of Carlton Place and Lime Street was an ice cream/food café. You could either be served inside or at the window outside. Outside there was plenty seating. They walked pass the now empty “Frosty Top Café” laughing and almost skipping to school.

After assembly, they picked up their schedules and found out they were in all the same classes. The girls, all dressed in uniforms, walked, and talked as they tried to locate their lockers and homerooms. It was extremely exciting. As weeks went by the two girls became pros at mastering the high school campus. Christina was nominated Secretary of the Seventh grade Class. Most of their friends would be there since it was the high school affiliated with her elementary school. While in elementary school they had witnessed the high school boys coming to meet their girlfriends after school. It looked so cool to them.

Their first dance finally happened, she and Caitlin got the attention of the seventh-grade boys. It was exciting and so much fun except when her eldest brother would frighten the younger boys, when they asked her to dance. Christina went home that night crying to her parents.

Being raised a Southern Belle and a Daddy’s girl, Christina went to her father for help.

“BJ will not leave me alone at the dance,” Christina yelled as she fell in their dad’s lap! Her lip dropped as she said, “he’s following me everywhere and scares the guys away.” he won’t let me dance or do anything fun and that’s not fair, daddy!” Their father hugged her.

“BJ, let her dance and have fun.” Father said.

At the next dance, BJ slacked up with his attention on his sister. He wouldn’t let Christina slow dance; However, he would let her fast dance. Toward the end of the dance, BJ saw a girl who caught his eye. Christina’s excitement exploded, now she could be free from her oldest brother’s inquisitive eyes.

The last day of school was beautiful and Sunny (1962). The wind was blowing hard enough to blow Christina’s hair in her face. They had gotten out of school at Noon and made plans to go to “Frosty Top Café” for lunch with friends.

Christina found a table where several of the girls from her school were sitting. Maureen a friend of theirs called to the girls to come sit with them. She and her group sat at the table. As she was trying to pull her hair back, she was approached by someone,

“May I help.” A soft voice said.

Without waiting for a response, he very gently pulled her hair away from her face. She looked up as their eyes met;

“Hi, I’m Marc Larsen.” the voice said

She didn’t respond immediately. Christina regained her calm remembering a story her mother would always read to her. It was about a knight in shining armor that married the princes. That was her favorite story. Her family always called her princess. She knew she would find her knight in shining armor as he had become as real as her Daddy was. The other thing she knew…. Marc Larsen would be her knight in shining armor.

Weeks later Christina and Marc were seen as a couple. They seemed inseparable. Whenever they had a minute, they’d talk on the phone or spend time together. Night after night they would talk about how many children they would have. Marc would always say he wanted “I want a thousand kids.” Often, they would talk so long into the night they would fall asleep before hanging up.

CHAPTER 2: The Other Side of Life

Christina was now in her sophomore year of college. She was now 18 years old attending Tisane University in Louisiana. It was scary as she no longer knew anyone at the school. Marc wasn’t there, he’d gone to Howard University in Washington. She felt so lost. The only thing that kept her grounded was his letters and daily phone calls.

She joined the Black Student Union, where she met Gayle Thompson and Nancy Hardy. They became remarkably close friends. They attended the same classes as they too were in the school of Business Management. The threesome became highly active and supportive of the Black Student Union.

One of the officers of the Black Student Union, Carl Arnold had a crush on Christina; she enjoyed the attention he gave her. His hazel eyes were so dreamy. He would always put her and her friends in whatever group he was appointed to head. They served as a liaison between students of African descent and other minorities on campus. There were many parties and the Annual BSU Culture Show, which was well-attended by everyone on and off campus. Christina soon had many friends and loved her new life.

Carl was also a member and officer of the HIFI Fraternity. They were really an awesome group. Their sister group was the Crystal Sorority, they had a lot of respect and loyalty for the members of the HIFI Fraternity. Because Christina and her friends were often attending functions with Carl (as invited friends); they were accepted as friends of the Crystal Sorority.

Christina received a lot of attention from the guys at the dance parties. Often, they would ask if she worked, out because of her shapely body form. Carl felt he was her protector and would often keep a close eye on her. Very much like BJ use to do. The only difference is she enjoyed Carl’s protective nature and the attention he gave his little sis, as he referred to her.
Christina’s love for Marc had not changed. He was still the only man she could see herself married to, the only man she wanted to spend her whole life with. Being with other guys was different, it was exciting, this was the other side of life she was now seeing; but she still wanted her life with Marc, he meant the world to her. She would never say she did not love the attention she was getting from so many guys of all ages. She loved every minute and flirted as much as the other girls.

Christina began to struggle with her feelings. She wasn’t sure if it was because she was missing Marc and just because they were spending so much time together. She loved the way it felt, it wasn’t the same feeling she had for Marc. It felt so different was pleasingly pleasant and she couldn’t wait for the next time she’d see or talk with him.

Marc surprised Christina at the airport, during summer break. He asked her to marry him and placed upon her finger what she thought was the most beautiful ring in the world. It was very exciting as the airport was rather crowded being the beginning of summer break. All she’d ever remember was “him taking a knee.” People all around cheered as she cried. This was totally unexpected. They never had that conversation.

During Marc stay with Christina they made as many of their wedding arrangements as possible. They took engagement pictures and newspaper pictures from a professional photographer. Picked out wedding announcements and filled out their wedding register. Christina and Marc prepared their engagement announcement and submitted it to the Times Lafayette News Paper.

During this time Christina had no communication with Carl but thought of him often and wanted so bad to tell him all that happened.

Once Marc got on the airplane, she immediately called Carl. He did not answer, call after call she got the voice mail.

When the semester began, Christina knew she’d find Carl in the student union.

“Where have you been Carl? Why aren’t you answering my calls? What did I do? I missed being with you and talking to you. How could you ignore me like that” she said angrily?

“Hold on Hold on Christina! Said Carl. When Marc came into town I went to the airport. I witnessed Marc’s proposal and your response. The both of you were so into each other…” said Carl.

“What! Interrupted Christina. Why would you do that!” She stated angrily.

“I needed to know how strong your feelings were for Marc. I needed to know if I was wasting my time. Christina this is my last year here, I will be going away for my residency soon. I needed to know before I graduate where we really stand. I learned nothing can break that bond between you and Marc. You and I have become a welcome habit; I think it’s time we distance ourselves for the rest of the year. I need to get use of being without you. Christina, you’re about to get married! That’s hard enough for me to digest.” He stated.

“But…” Started Christina.

“NO! NO! don’t say anything, let me finish. I do have feelings; I know you know it. I believe you have feelings for me to. Strong feelings, you just don’t know what to do with them. Christina, do you realize I have given 2 years of my life to be with you. I have not dated anyone, always you and I together. Ever since we met, it’s been, you and me. During the time I’ve known you, you have never spent that amount of time with anyone else. Not even Gayle and Nancy! I respected you and Marc for all of 2 years. You! Christina who only talked about loving Marc. I’ve loved and respected you and dealt with the heart breaks every time you mentioned Marc. That hurts, but I think I know you well enough to say; if you didn’t have strong feelings for me, you wouldn’t have spent the times we had together. I think that’s something you need to work out. What do you want? We can’t continue like this,” said Carl.

Christina knew she loved Carl; she even knew it was more than Marc. She loved Marc too; she couldn’t tell him she was in love with someone else. She couldn’t do that to him, they been together to long. She thought once she and Marc were married, she’d love him more than Carl. Carl would be forgotten, after all they would never see each other again as he’d be in a different state. They distance themselves from each other thinking everything would go back to before they meet each other.

A month later, on a dreary day, while Christina was trying to juggle school, work, and wedding planning together, Marc called to ask if they should postpone the wedding; the date was approaching too fast. He was so afraid they wouldn’t be able to manage as they were both in school. Christina wanted so badly to finish school but felt there was something else bothering Marc, she didn’t know what and he wouldn’t open up to her. She asked if she could come to Howard and discuss postponing their wedding face to face. Marc was elated, he couldn’t wait to see her. His tone, and mannerism completely changed when she said she’d come.

Christina called Carl early the next morning to arrange a meeting with him. She told him she was leaving and probably wouldn’t be back. She told him she just wanted to see him one more time to say goodbye.

“Carl, I really need to see you. I’m leaving tomorrow to see Marc. I’m sorry to burden you with this but I can’t go without saying goodbye. I don’t think I will be back, and I really need this last day with you. Please Carl, please,” cried Christina.

“What! You only have 3 months till you become a senior! Isn’t that more important than running off at the end of the year?” Chastised Carl.

“This is an emergency something is terribly wrong; he won’t tell me what it is. I’ve got to go!” Said Christina with a sense of urgency.

“Christina, this is ridiculous! I really think it would be better if we said goodbye over the phone. I’m getting pissed off right about now! Why would you want to blow your education, after you’ve made it this far! I’d never allow you to do that if you were my fiancé! No matter what the urgency was.” Said Carl.

“NO! I need to see you, PLEASE GIVE ME THIS LAST REQUEST CARL! As she breaks down and cries, she say’s “I need to see you.”

“Okay, okay babe, (he couldn’t stand to hear her cry or become emotional), calm down. I’ll pick you up in an hour and a half. Is that all right with you? You will probably be sorry we’re doing this in person, I have some choice words to say about this dude if he allows you to come. Did you ask? Said Carl very passionately.

“Yes! He’s extremely excited about me coming. It cheered him up. He sounded like a different person. Carl, I’m sorry, she said calmly; I just can’t leave without saying goodbye in person. You mean so much to me, I really…” Christina’s voice trails off.

“Please come,” she said in a whisper. “I’m not sure But if I’ll be back, I really need to see you”. Said Christina.

“I’m getting dressed as we speak, see you soon.” “Christina! I’m not happy at all about you’re leaving before the end of the semester! I just want you to know that before you see me.” Carl said adamantly.

Christina left the next day, knowing she would never see Carl again, knowing she would never be back and knowing how much she loved him but never told him. This was something she had to do; Marc had always been there for her. Marc proposed to her, she had no idea that was going to happen. Now she regretted it, they should have discussed it, he shouldn’t have just taken it upon himself to make that decision. She couldn’t tell him “No,” at the airport. That wasn’t fair nor was it fair to lead Carl on. But she had to go to see Marc, they needed to talk. This decision they both were going to make together.

Forty-two years later he’s returned to further destroy what was left of Christina. Now that his children were grown, successful and did not need his support, he’d accept them and their children as the proud Papa. His hope was to create an alliance with his roommate, Beverly, their child, and Christina’s children as his perfect family.
As Marc stood by her car window looking at her; she slid into her seat, closed her door; put on her seatbelt, then drove off without responding to him and never looked up. He taken all the strength she had left out of her. He completed his mission to shatter all of their childhood dreams and his childhood sweetheart in the same instance. Their storybook love was gone forever.
Later that night, while looking at the stack of pages she’d written, she stops and sips her coffee. Thinking “I had Marc’s children with the appreciation value of a thousand.”

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