From Dana Taylor: Some books just stick with you. I read the short and wonderful romantic memoir IT HAD TO US by Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence several years ago and interviewed Elizabeth for my radio show. I still remember the charming he said/she said style of this true story of two people once married, once divorced, married to others, widowed, and how they came together again. Now available to the world as an ebook, it will surely make its way to the bestseller list. Enjoy this excerpt!
One of the most romantic sequences in Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence’s IT HAD TO BE US comes when Harry decides to throw caution to the winds and be with Elizabeth, even though it means leaving his family and friends behind – and taking a dangerous, wild ride in the middle of the night. In the following excerpt from Chapter Three, Elizabeth remembers her feelings and what happened after a brief reunion with Harry in Las Vegas, and Harry recalls what led to his extraordinary decision.
On the trip back to Los Angeles, I couldn’t sleep a wink (usually I sleep like a baby during a train ride) because all I could do was think about Harry and how much I missed him. The train was two hours late as the result of a fatal railway accident. This tragedy shocked and saddened me. It made me even more anxious to get home in time for the phone call I was expecting from Harry.
When I entered my condo, I saw a light on in the upstairs bedroom. Thinking it was a prowler, I armed myself with one of my small suitcases. While running upstairs to confront the intruder, I tripped over the strap of the bag and knocked my face against the stairs. Although disoriented and in a great deal of pain, I managed to crawl over to the telephone and call 911.
While waiting for the paramedics, I checked my phone messages. Harry had called and said, “It’s late and I’m getting worried. Call me as soon as you get home – no matter how late.” Before I could phone him, the paramedics arrived and my next-door neighbor came over to see if she could help. Although my nose was bleeding and I was in severe pain, I didn’t want them to take me to the emergency room until I had a chance to speak to Harry, so I told them I would be okay.
As soon as everyone left, I called Harry and explained what had happened. He sounded relieved to hear from me but worried just the same. After telling him how much I missed him, I hung up and drove myself to the emergency room. It was around mid-night. The X-rays showed I had a broken nose. The physical pain was minor compared to the pain of my loneliness.
I’m home now. My depression is deepening. I can’t eat. My thoughts of Elizabeth keep me awake all night. . . I go to the golf course with my friends, but I’m not really there. I have a problem. I discover that I cannot get back into my routine.
I don’t want to get back into my routine.
I only want to be with her.
It’s 7 p.m. Pacific time, but no call from Elizabeth. Well, I’m not going to call her. Somebody has met her at the train station and she is with him. At 7:40, I call her. I reach her answering machine and leave a message. I am seething inside and angry at myself for not believing in her. At 9 p.m. she calls. She tells me the train was delayed because of a fatal accident. She also reports that when she got home she noticed a light upstairs and thought a prowler was in her house. When she ran upstairs to check, she fell and hit her nose on a step and is in much pain.
After we hang up, I begin to worry. Doesn’t she know that if you think an intruder is in the house, you call the police? You don’t go in. She needs someone to watch over her. Now!
I know I should be at her side. I need to be with her. I’m still clinging to the idea of these wonderful vacations together. I tell her I won’t be through with golf league business until October and I could meet her in Denver then, but if she wants me to come to her now I will. I desperately want her to tell me to come to L.A. She says I should do what I feel is right.
The only thing I want is to be with her every day, every hour. I call her back and tell her I can’t go on this way. I need to be with her and can I come out now? She says she feels the same way, and of course, I can come to her.
By Sunday my van is packed and ready to go. I call Elizabeth and tell her I’m on my way and will be with her Tuesday night.
I cannot sleep. I leave for Los Angeles. The highways are icy all the way to Santa Fe. I can only do 30 miles per hour safely. I have become sleepy and almost lose control. I stop at Raton and try to sleep. I leave the car running with the heater on. I start to think what if the exhaust links and I die without seeing her again. I move on. It is foggy now and I barely execute a turn, so I stop but cannot sleep. I move on. Arriving in California, I call Elizabeth and tell her I will be at her place soon. She says she will make arrangements at the guard post for me to be let in. I break the speed laws. After getting lost in L.A., I finally get to the condo gate at 11 p.m. and find Elizabeth waiting there for me.
For more information about IT HAD TO BE US, Harry & Elizabeth’s award-winning romantic memoir, click on the link below: