Andy never had felt that way in his life. He couldn’t think about anything but her. Those big brown eyes were full of wonder and innocence, that broad smile, her magical laugh, her soft voice.
He couldn’t focus on his homework or the job he had to do to bring some money to his troubled home. His mind was entirely captivated by that wonderful girl. He had to admit: he was madly in love.
But how to reach her and let her know his feelings?
He knew she was working as a nanny for a family near the park, and he decided to go when she was walking with the kids and wait for her with his guitar singing ballads hoping she would catch the message.
She did. And slowly, she began to stop by the bench to listen to that white guy singing love songs while the kids were playing around.
One day she sat by his side and they began to talk and she felt in love too.
They planned to escape together to a place where their life together could be possible.
People noticed them, began to talk, and the word reached their families, who forbid the young lovers to see each other. A black girl and a white boy? Were they crazy?
They managed to pass to each other messages and decided to run away together on the 4th of July of 1950. They were going to meet at the park as always. Andy had a truck with which they wanted to head to the North and settle in New York.
But Andy’s coworker, who had friends in the Klan, discovered the plan and waited for them with three more thugs in the park.
Andy arrived with his best suit, guitar, and a buqué of flowers to pick up his girlfriend. But instead of an excited beautiful Loretta waiting for him, he found her bleeding in the arms of those criminals. She only uttered the words I love you, and they killed her in front of him, throwing her body to the pond. Andy charged against the murderers, and they hit him, leaving him badly injured.
Months later, his body had healed but his heart was broken for ever.
Every 4th of July, when everybody was celebrating independence day, he went out in his best suit and with his guitar, bought a nice buqué and walked to the park to visit the spot where he saw her for the last time. With the memory of her brown eyes and her broad smile in his mind, he put the flowers one by one in the pond and sang a love song to his Loretta.
Last year, in the 70 anniversary of the tragedy, they saw him with his long white beard playing his guitar and heard his weak voice singing:
“Have I told you lately that I Love You?
Have I told You there’s no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness,
ease my troubles, that’s what you do.