My seventy five year old body has visibly grown weaker with obvious signs of age screaming out from my wrinkled skin, my sparkling grey hair, my slightly arched back, my shaky hands and my poor aged eyes that refuse to see without my glasses. My wanders as I sit on the porch of our humble cottage home on the outskirts of Abarkton, his hometown. If you are wondering who this man is, ‘he’ is my better half and my beloved husband of forty five years.
My mind wanders back to a very special year of my existence, my twenty seventh year, when my whole ‘self-pre-planned’ life was overturned when I fell in love with the guy in Abarkton, the place where I was drawing my inspiration for my next novel. I had moved there, away from the city where I lived and was just starting the life I had imagined was my fate. I was volunteering at the school that was attached to the state orphanage in town and this fulfilled two things I loved doing; teaching English and spending time with little children. This gave me enough joy for the day and when I went back to my little rented cottage and sat next to my laptop, the joy overflowed onto the keys on my beaten keyboard as I sat there in solitude doing what I lived to do, “write”.
I had seen him around in town during my travels back and forth to the school and to my cottage but had never taken particular interest in him because like I said, I was living my pre-planned life and it did not involve ‘men’ and ‘love’. The day I met him was the day a student of mine had met with an accident. I had had a particularly tiresome day at the hospital and had stopped by the little pond on my way home to rest and pray with nature when I heard the leaves behind me rustle. When I turned around, I saw him coming out of the shrubbery with an awfully attractive smile. We got into quite an easy conversation and he introduced himself as Scott. He told me he was the guy who was behind the magical delicious desserts that appeared on my table every time I went to ‘Bite Me’. No, he was not the chef; he was the restaurant’s manager. ‘Bite Me’ stood out from all the other restaurants because of its weird and funny name (I love weird) but most of all because of its amazing food. I frequently went there when I did not feel like cooking and treated myself to their delicious food. And on a few days, I had received miraculous desserts just perfect for my sweet tooth. The waiter would never mention who gave it to me but would only say, ‘A gentleman in blue sends you his regards.’ And indeed he was wearing blue that day, the day I first met him.
Months passed and we became good friends. I had predicted my life as one where I would die writing as a spinster but as days went by, I began to fear my heart was steering me the wrong way. Or was it the right way? Yes, indeed it was.
My heart softened when I sat next to him by the pond (it became a daily thing) in silence but comfortable silence and it would soften a little more when he would crack open my stubborn old car’s door knowing how much I hated battling with it. I was falling in love but it did not hurt. A year later, on the same day, the pond saw us holding hands next to it. Another year later, the pond saw him kneeling down in front of me to ask a question I already knew the answer to. And yet another year later, the same old pond saw me in a white dress as he slipped the gold ring into my ring finger and gave me a kiss on my forehead.
Life with him flew right past us but I remember every second of it. I remember the day I got sick soon after we got married. I was down with the flu and I would stay up for hours as I coughed out the air in me. I looked horrible but he would stay awake next to me, run his fingers through my hair and would plant kisses on my cheek and my forehead. It was better than the finest medicine. One day, I was worried about the girl in my class who was being bullied by a boy and I told him about it on our way into town. I saw his car on the driveway even after I had started my classes and the bullying boy came in late for class that day and never bothered the girl ever since. I knew Scott had worked his magic but he never told me about it. I also remember that particular night I was pregnant with our first child, Bailyn, and I was craving for lemon. Our car was at the garage for repairs and going into town, which was three kilometres away, at night was a tough task. But he quietly went to our storage room, took my bicycle, and cycled the whole three kilometres and back and brought home a bag full of green lemons. He does not talk much but he somehow always gets the job done for me.
He takes me to the pond for a beautiful dinner every year on the same day we first met, the 27th of September, the same day we got engaged and the same day we got married. And after he sits me down on a picnic blanket on the lush green grass, he coolly walks out of the shrubbery in his blue shirt like the very first day we met. Tacky but blissfully romantic is how my beloved Scott is.
We are blessed with two lovely children; Bailyn and Markus. They are the exact image of us not only in looks but in taste and interests as well. Bailyn looks like me and Markus looks like Scott. Bailyn takes after her father and loves food and the restaurant and Scott takes after me and loves children and loves to write. They have now both found love as they should and are now living the blessed family life Scott and I have. We have never had issues with money; we’ve always had just about enough for us. But our children, our two lovely blessings make us feel rich every single day.
As I look back on the determined twenty seven year old lady with her own big plans, I realize that the universe does not work that way. A friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, once told me. “The universe, every once in a while, sends you a few individuals who will come to you in unforeseen ways and will stick to you right through your life.” I am sure Scott is one of them, the greatest one.
As I contemplate this beautiful life journey of mine, I hear his footsteps on the creaking wood porch. He is quite agile for an eighty one year old man and refuses to use a walking stick. He, as always, comes and bends down to give me a slight kiss on the cheeks and asks me, “What have you been thinking about Dear?” My heart melts a little as I feel his breath on my cheeks and with my eyes closed, I take in this inexplicable feeling of love I still feel to this very day. Surely God has smiled down on me, on us.