I have always felt that there was more to the end of Indy and Marion's first romance than a teen crush. So be advised, adult themes are ahead. This is an outtake from a longer story arc that will find two of Indy's ladies together in the same bomb shelter in London, circa 1943.
I love Easter eggs! Sooooo...I will write a drabble for the first person who finds the paraphrased line from 'Casablanca'.
Shanghai, 1935 -two days before the clipper leaves for America.
Willie had found it, of course, by accident. She'd been rifling through his pockets for a smoke and had come across a battered silver cigarette case in the inside breast pocket of his jacket. Indy must have seen it flash out of the corner of his eye, because he reached out and grabbed it from her.
"What are you doing with that?" Indy snarled. "That's nothing you need to worry about, sister, you put it back where you found it."
Startled, she stammered that she just wanted a cigarette.
Still scowling Indy took one out for her and put the case back.
Of course she was insanely curious and she fished out the cigarette case the first chance she got. When she opened it, she was not entirely surprised to find something besides smokes. Inside the lid, carefully cut to fit, was a black and white photograph. It showed at tall, handsome young man with a very young woman, scarcely more than a girl. They were standing in front of a brick building on what looked like a leafy American college campus. The couple was looking at each other, not the camera, so it took Willie a long moment to recognize the man as a younger Indiana Jones.
He was wearing a jacket and tie, bareheaded for once. There was a cowlick standing up on the top of his head-or maybe the girl, snug in the circle of his arm, had been ruffling her fingers through his hair. Indy was gazing down at her like he'd just seen his hope of heaven, and smiling a soft, tender smile that she could never in a million years have pictured on his face. The girl was wearing a simple, chic dress with a lace collar. She was strikingly lovely, with a cloud of dark curly hair and huge eyes that were fixed on Indy. And from the look she was giving him, in her world the sun came up each morning just for to shine on one Indiana Jones. On the back was written 'Indy loves Marion, U. of Chicago, 1925'
Well, young love happens to the best of us, Willie thought wistfully.
Her speculations were interrupted when a heavy, calloused hand encircled her wrist.
"I thought I told you not to snoop."
She winced as his grip tightened and he took the picture from her hand.
"What are you so sore for? It's just a picture, I'm not going to hurt it."
Willie paused, knowing that she was on thin ice, but curiosity go the better of her.
"That your girl back home? She's awfully pretty."
He sighed. "That she was."
"Was? Is she dead?"
"Might as well be. I'll never see her again."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Which of course means 'yes' thought Willie, wise in the ways of men. Just my luck, meet a fella who can carry a torch like that and he's already carrying it for somebody else….
"So, what was her name?"
"Marion," said Indy, softly. "Marion Ravenwood…"
"Pretty name," Willie offered. "Sound like a movie star." Then, despite herself, she chuckled.
"Indy," she said ruefully, "Scratch any man-Yank, Brit or Aussie- in the goddamn Far East and you'll hear a story that begins with 'Baby, I fell for a girl once when I was a kid..' You may as well tell me yours. I've heard 'em all before."
Indy looked at his cherished picture with faraway eyes. He'd never really talked about this with anyone. Well, not the whole story and not sober, anyway. So, slowly and painfully, he told her about the promising graduate student, the professor's daughter, their forbidden love, and the doomed affair with its brief shining happiness and tragic end.
Willie had tears in her eyes when he finished."I am so sorry" she said, and meant it. "That's one I really haven't heard before. It's like a story in a book and I haven't read many books, y'know?"
"But the part I don't get is that-is it different in Chicago? I mean, back home in Missouri, if a fella gets a girl, you know, in the family way, only one thing happens. That girl's daddy gets out his shotgun to make sure the fella 'does right' by her. But the way you're telling it, you were on your way back to your girl with a ring in your pocket when her daddy hustled her out of town, and took her to someone who, um, did away with the baby. Then she never wanted to see you again. Or that's what you were told, anyway."
"Well, it wasn't Chicago, it was Cairo, but that's the way it played, sweetheart."
"Indy, I don't like to be the one to say this, but I had a girlfriend stateside, long story short, she was involved with a married man. A married man who had a lot to lose if his wife's rich father found out about them. When she got knocked up, he sent her to one of those 'doctors' who could 'help' but it was botched and.."
"Yes. It was awful. How do you know that didn't happen to your Marion?"
"I don't know for sure. But archeology's a small world, and I've heard of Abner from time to time. People say Marion's been seen with him. So I think she's out there somewhere, for all the good it'll ever do me."
"And that's why you were so wound up about those kids."
He nodded, all cockiness and sarcasm wiped off his face for once."Yeah, I guess so. Mine would have been about that age. Maybe it's too late for him-or her, but it wasn't too late for them."
Willie smiled. "You hide it pretty well, but you're a stand-up guy, Indiana Jones."
Indy put the picture back in the case and stowed them inside his leather jacket. He keeps her right over his heart…I wonder if he realizes that?
Then he tipped up Willie's chin and kissed her.
"You're not so bad, yourself, kid" he said.
"But I'm not her."
Indy shook his head. "No. But don't feel bad, princess. Nobody is."
He didn't come to her room that night, but then she didn't expect it. Sometimes a man just has to have a drink or two and lick his wounds alone. Besides, she couldn't have stood it if he'd slipped and called her 'Marion' at an awkward moment.
He did come to her again, before they went stateside, but it was different. Or maybe, she would think later, I was different. I finally understood that all we had going was a friendly roll in the hay. Nothing wrong with that. But woman ain't been born who could have a chance with Indy until he gets over that girl. If he ever does. And that's when I decided I wanted a man who would look at me the way he was looking at her-at Marion. In a way, I owe marrying Julius to the good Dr. Jones.
Author's note: In December, 1958, Willie will be opening Christmas cards in the home she shares with her husband in Beverly Hills, California. One envelope will produce a snapshot of a distinguished-looking man with his arm around a lovely dark-haired woman. They seem to be on a college campus. Standing beside them is a handsome young fellow with his mother's coloring and a cocky, lopsided grin that only one father could have given him. On the back is written "Professor Henry Jones, Jr. and all the fortune and glory a man could ever want- Marion (Ravenwood) Jones, and Henry Jones, III." Willie will cry-she's always been a sucker for happy endings..