Janet Forestal turned the one dollar bill over that she had received as change for her lunch at the deli. Besides the usual wear and tear on the older dollar, there was a curious message printed in small letters on the bill. It simply said “Where’s George?” Fascinated by the message, Janet typed the message into the search engine on her computer when she returned to her desk. Her search brought up an interesting site that tracked many of the places where the currency had been. Janet smoothed the bill out on the desk next to her keyboard and began to read its history, carefully logged by over twenty people on the site.
The history included anecdotal notes by the previous bill holders. They were listed with the most current entries to the top and the oldest one at the bottom, so as Janet read, she retraced the bill’s progression across the country from its point of origin. Each entry gave a brief snapshot of the bill’s journey. Amused by the brief stories, she continued to read until the very first entry made her pause. It had a note that said “Received as change from Jan at Joy’s Pizza, a girl I will secretly love forever.”
Janet noted the town where the entry had been made and felt goose bumps crawl up her back. The entry had been made in her home town and the year was the last year before she had left home to go to college when she had worked the summer at a local restaurant called Joy’s Pizza. Her lunch break over, Janet put the bill aside and turned her attention to her work.
“Received as change from Jan at Joy’s Pizza, a girl I will secretly love forever.”
That evening when she returned home to her small apartment that she shared with two cats, Janet was anxious to check out the curious entry on the currency tracking site. Many years had passed since that time. She had gone off to college half way across the country and although her family still lived in her home town, she rarely had extra money enough to make the trip to see them. Janet went back to the website on her home computer and looked at the original entry again.
Only three or four people had ever called her Jan. Two of them were in her own family, and the other two had been her best friends. One a girl called Alice and the other, a boy named Kendall Millerton. Janet had been secretly in love with Kendall all through high school, but had never had the courage to tell him. She was too afraid that she would lose his friendship. That had been over six years ago, but she had never forgotten him.
Janet clicked on the profile icon which had been filled out on the site. The profile contained only the initials KM, but it had a link which said “see my pictures here.” Janet followed the link which brought her to another profile page on a popular photography site. The familiar face of her high school friend, somewhat older than she remembered, stared back at her from the page. She felt a twinge in her heart. Had Kendall been in love with her, too? She quickly scanned the page of photographs. Kendall had loved photography and had spent a lot of time learning everything he could about his hobby. From the information in his profile, his hobby had developed into a business. Janet continued to look through the pictures searching for evidence that he might have married.
One pretty girl appeared frequently in his pictures, but she did not see any information indicating that he wasn’t single. Kendall’s photography business profile listed a phone number. It was still early evening. Picking up her cell phone, she entered the number into her phone, but shyness prevented her from hitting “send.” What if he didn’t remember her? It had been so long ago, what if he had changed? Doubt and fear clouded her excitement and she set the phone down. She realized by the feeling in her heart that she was still very much in love with him. Janet picked up the bill again.
Gazing at the worn portrait of the First President, she felt ashamed. This icon of courage and greatness humbled her. Here was someone who had risked everything. What had she ever risked? How many times had she bitterly regretted never taking the chance and telling Kendall how she felt about him?
Now this simple piece of currency had given her the opportunity to change that. The providential coincidence of receiving the marked bill was too unlikely to be ignored. Yielding either good results or bad, she firmly believed she was destined to call Kendall. She boldly picked up her phone, dialed his number and hit “send.”
Janet and Kendall Millerton were married only two months after their reunion. They are happily settled near their home town outside of Columbus, Ohio and are expecting their first child.
Thank you Janet, for sharing your Story with us.
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© 2008 by Sharon Franklin and Story of My Life®