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As Years Go By
Not my photo but saw it somewhere and it inspired this piece.
The elderly couple had been married forever and a day. At least that was how it seemed to Marjory as she sat on the park bench with her husband Hubert. How could it be that one minute she was a blushing bride, giddy with excitement and flushed with the anticipation of ‘being a girl no longer’, the next she was an old woman, happy to know Hubert was near but no longer feeling the need to be close?
She loved him still, of that there was no doubt. It was the ‘in love with’ part that she was having difficulty with. Perhaps it was foolish to feel like this. After all, she was a woman going on 77 years - what business did she have trying to hold on to feelings that had been so fresh and new back when she was but a child bride?
What of her Hubert’s feelings? Did he still have the burning passion for her that he had had 60 years earlier; that had caused him to propose to her after knowing her only a week? If he did, he never spoke of it. To be honest, he didn’t speak a lot at all these days, happy to just tinker about the house, doing this or that. When he did speak it was only so she could pass the butter.
As they continued to wait for the bus that would take them to visit their youngest son and his family, Marjory tried to think when the ‘passion’ died. When had Hubert stopped rushing home from work, taking her in his arms before making love to her in the kitchen as dinner was cooking? And when did he stop bringing home flowers for no reason other than ‘I thought they matched the violet of your eyes’? Of course the children had come along and they were both a lot older now but did that mean the ‘romance’ had to stop? It would seem so.
Perhaps it was because they had become comfortable with each other. Each of them had their own little foibles and yet the other loved them despite this. They had shared many joys and heartbreaks over the 60 years of their lives together and had come out the other end – scarred and battle weary but together. Perhaps it was the shared experiences that kept them together.
It was as the bus approached them that Marjory decided it was enough. Almost as though a light was going off over her head, she realized that the real love for each other was still there, it just chose to manifest itself in other ways – like his taking her hand absentmindedly as they crossed a street, or still holding out a chair for her when sitting at a table. Or the way she would make his favourite roast meal every Sunday, complete with trimmings. They were each telling the other that they still loved them; only with actions, if not actual words.
“Let me take that, my love” Hubert spoke with a smile, reaching for the case Marjory had been leaning on.
It had been the most he had spoken all morning and yet it was like music to her ears, her soul. Yes, she was still ‘in love’ with her husband. And that was a grand thing indeed.
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."
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