Mr. Kennedy placed a hand on my shoulder. He must have felt sorry for the way he had made me feel, and for the conceited things he had said. I whirled around to face him, expecting an apology.

"Please excuse my rudeness. It was only because many of the women who I come across tend to throw themselves at me. Although I cannot say that I blame them."

"You see?" I said, in a tone that obviously suggested that I was annoyed.

"You cannot mention such things! It is inappropriate and most likely untrue. As I already told you, I have met many a man handsomer than you."

Mr. Kennedy threw his head back laughing which quite annoyed me, for I was not seeing the amusing side of things.

"Oh, my Dear. It was a pleasure to meet you. I have never met a woman who would dare speak to a man this way, let alone a stranger." He said.

"And I have never met a man so conceited as yourself. I have never in my life heard anyone, man or woman- boast about how the opposite sex found them irresistible." I stated haughtily. I put my sun glasses on and turned away from the rude man.

Mr. Kennedy took a deep breath. "Let us just begin again." He said, extending his hand toward me. "Hello ma'am. I'm Thomas Kennedy. Pleased to meet you."

I turned around and reluctantly shook his hand. "Marilyn Birch." I said quietly. "Pleased to meet you too."

"Marilyn? I would say you look less like Ms. Monroe and more like Audrey Hepburn. The likeness is uncanny."

I sighed and thanked him although I was tired of people comparing me to Audrey Hepburn, because I knew that when people looked at me they saw someone who looked like her but not as pretty. Like an ugly relative of some sort.

"Would you like to come in? We could have some of those cookies you brought a long."

Inside I panicked. I didn't want to go in. He was rude. He was pompous. He was irritating. He was handsome. Wait... That last one did not belong going through my mind. So I pushed it out and unwillingly followed .

Although our houses were only a small distance away from each other, his was considerably larger than mine. When I entered I realized that it was also much better furnished.

A beautiful grand piano sat in the corner of the parlor atop beautiful wooden floors that I wish I had, but knew were far above my budget. His couch was a rich cream color that went well with the light brown color of the drapes. He had a colored television in the corner of the room, facing where you could see it perfectly from the couch. I was surprised that he had one, for they had just come out the year before.

Mr. Kennedy took me into the kitchen that had older appliances, but was still very nice and well kept. Mr. Kennedy opened the fridge and produced a pitcher of lemonade, and set it on the table next to my cookies. From the cupboards he carefully removed two crystal glasses.

As he poured the lemonade and put cookies on plates, we participated in some small talk.

"So Mr. Kennedy, how did you-"

"Thomas." Said Mr. Kennedy, cutting me off.

"Excuse me?"

"Call me Thomas. I am used to hearing Mr. Kennedy being directed towards my father when someone was addressing him, so I would prefer that you call me Thomas."

"I will make sure to remember that."

Months passed by, and Thomas and I began to form a close friendship. I hardly believed it myself when. If someone had told me, a week after meeting him, that he would become my best and most cherished friend, I would have been shocked and thought that they must not know me very well at all to assume that I would become close friends with such an eccentric character. But, we did become close friends. So close that hardly a day passed by when one of us was not at the other person's home.

I was barely twenty and he barely twenty six, when our nice little schedule was upset.

I was pacing the floor, looking at my watch expectantly. Thomas was an hour late and the soup I had made grew cold.

Thomas was never late. My stomach felt like I had swallowed a stone and I had the sickening feeling that something was amiss. Something awful must have happened because it was so unlike Thomas be late and not at least call to tell me that something was wrong. I pulled on my shoes and coat and walked over to Thomas' home. I knocked on the door and when it was opened, I saw something I never expected to see.