Matchmaker

I was born in Utah and have lived in Utah all my life. I grew up near and in Murray. My mother says that she remembers things from my childhood, things that made her a little nervous.

I was six years old when odd things started happening. Although I don’t remember the exact day and month, I do remember it was in the late summer of 1982. My mom says that I used to talk to someone that she couldn’t see and she assumed that it was my imaginary friends. She also said that I had named my friend Samuel, or Sammy.

I remember things happening to me and I can even see Sammy’s face. From what I remember, he was around the age of seven or eight. About a year after my friend Sammy started coming around, something miraculous happened. I was seven now and allowed to do things that I’d never done before, like going to the park down the street on my own.

Once, when I was doing just that, there were several older boys already playing on the swings. I was shy and avoided them at all costs. I should have just gone home, but my friend was supposed to meet me there and I didn’t want to leave her hanging. So I went under one of the big slides where I could escape the sun and started to build a sand castle. I waited for my friend for about twenty minutes before the boys abandoned their swings. One of them, the ring leader, spotted me and decided to have a bit of fun. I recognized the boy from school a few years before. He must’ve been in junior high at the time while I was still in elementary school.

"Hey," he yelled as the group came over to me. "What are you doing hiding under the slide? Don’tcha got any friends?" I could feel my cheeks getting warm and my insides froze in fear. Choosing to ignore this young man, I kept patting sand onto my castle and avoided making eye contact with the group as they all snickered into their hands at their leaders mean remark. "Didn’t you hear me little girl?" He demanded as he came up to me. My hands were shaking by then and tears pricked my eyes, but I still refused to look at him. His gang of buddies were all laughing stupidly and they surrounded the area I’d been sitting in.
"Hey!" The first boy said, "I’m talking to you, are you thick?" He kicked the small hill that had been my castle, sending sand spewing right into my face. I yelled and tried to rub the sand from my eyes as tears leaked down my cheeks. "Aw, look at the big baby." The boy said and I managed to finally look up at him. I must’ve looked ridiculous looking at him like I did, but my embarrassment soon faded as I watched the mean boy. His face was only feet from my own as he looked down at me with a glint of malice. The next second, his smug look was wiped from his face as he jerked sideways and fell. Something, or someone had hit him, I even saw where impact was made across his cheek when he fell. He hit the ground hard and groaned in pain.
"What happened?" he asked desperately as he got to his feet. His friends were looking at each other, a little confused. "Someone just hit me, who was it?" Anger flared back into his eyes as he turned on me again. I shrank back in fear when he took a step closer, but that wasn’t needed as the exact same thing happened again only he was struck across the other cheek and fell the opposite direction. Then it was like several people had come and all of the boys were pushed or shoved and they fell to the ground one by one. The ring leader got back to his feet several time only to land back in the sand on his back. Once he even fell over and hit his head on one of the poles holding the slides up. I could see a bruise starting across his cheek as if someone actually had smacked him. Seconds later, the pushing and shoving stopped and all of the boys got to their feet, stumbling in their haste to get away from whatever it was attacking them. With one final look at me, this time a look full of fear, the boys ran without a second glance a few of them screaming in fear. I was left alone and my heart quickened in terror.

I didn’t know what had just happened and I was afraid that I was going to get beat up as well. I stood and examined the ground around me, looking for signs of someone else there. I was still crying, but this time I was terrified and my whole body shook. Before I could turn and flee, a sense of calm came over me. I don’t know how to describe the feeling, but it was as if I could hear someone saying, it’s alright, even though no one spoke. Then, distinctly and clearly I heard, don’t you remember Sammy? Even though no words had been spoken. With a last shiver, I relaxed and felt safe. I knew then that Sammy, my friend from my childhood had come to protect me.

I left the park, finally giving up on waiting for my friend, and went home. My mother saw that I had been crying once I got home and I lied to her, telling her that I had fallen and gotten sand in my eyes. Years went by and ever since that day at the park, I could feel Sammy near me, watching and protecting. After he saved me that day, several more things happened that he saved me from until I was in college.

I had decided to attend the local community college and took a few classes. I had never been into the dating scene, mainly because I didn’t have any interest. I went on dates; I just never could attach myself to anyone. The semester before I was to graduate with my associates’ degree, I met someone named Scott. He was like any of the other men in college, except for one thing. I was in the library one day, studying for my math class when I felt Sammy stronger than I usually felt him. It seemed that he was at my elbow, prodding me in my back even though I could physically feel nothing. I finally became agitated and asked, "What?!" under my breath. I had this sudden urge to look up at that precise moment and did so. I looked up only to lock eyes with someone else. He smiled and looked away. I continued with my homework. A few weeks later, just as the semester was about to end, I was walking across campus when I felt Sammy again. This time he was walking right behind me as if he were my shadow. "Sammy," I whispered. "What do you need?" It was quite uncomfortable to have him breathing down my neck like that. Again, I had an urge to do something that I wouldn’t have done if Sammy weren’t there guiding me.

I took a different route to class, going through one of the buildings instead of around it. Just when I was beginning to think that I was mad or Sammy was I turned a corner and saw the same man that had been looking at me in the library. He saw me and smiled again, this time coming over to talk to me. He introduced himself as Scott and asked me my name. Our conversation took a few different avenues and he finally asked me on a date when I told him I was late for class. A few months into our relationship, Scott asked me what made me go into that building when he had never seen me their before. I laughed nervously and told him he wouldn’t believe me if I told him. After a few minutes of persuasion, I told Scott that my friend Sammy had dared me to go in. "Who’s Sammy?" Scott asked his interest keener than I reckoned it’d be. "He’s a friend of mine," I shrugged my shoulders. Scott became a little distant and told me that he had had a brother named Sammy growing up; Sammy was actually his twin brother who had died when they were seven. A chill ran up my spine. Scott was 25, only a year older than I was. When his twin brother died, it was the same time that my Sammy started coming to me. I don’t know why Sammy came to me and I don’t know why he led me to Scott, but Scott and I were married a year later.

I couldn’t bring myself to tell Scott about Sammy until after we had been married a couple of years. If anyone knows how or why this would happen, please feel free to contact me. I’m still mystified to this day.

Submitted by Utah, USA