Walter was sitting in the dining hall of the Azure Woods retirement home when he saw her. Her hair—strawberry blond mixed with silver—was thick and hung loose around her shoulders. Walter felt something stir in his mind, like the awakening of something that been long sleeping.
Love at first sight, he thought, scoffing mentally. He was too old for such nonsense. Still, he could not stop looking at her, admiring her kind eyes and the hint of a smile at the edges of her mouth. After all, if not now, then when? He wasn’t getting any younger.
She walked his way and her smile when she caught his eye made his heart beat faster. “Good morning,” she said, sitting down at his table.
“Good morning, ma’am,” Walter said, trying to stand up, but then falling back into his seat. “I’m afraid we haven’t met before. My name is Walter.”
“Margaret,” she said with a small smile and shook his hand.
They talked while they ate and Walter found himself captivated by her. The retirement home was a lonely place sometimes and it was nice to have someone charming to talk to. They went to the rec room after breakfast and sat looking out the window and talking.
By lunchtime, there was a question that was burning on Walter’s mind. He could feel that old familiar nervousness building inside him—something he had not felt since his youth. He reached out recklessly and took her hand.
“Margaret, I know we’ve just met and you don’t know me very well, but I like you. I like you a lot, and time is short. Call me an old fool, if you wish, but I’d like to marry you.”
He saw a tear in her eye and suddenly he knew he had said the wrong thing. He was about to apologize, to take it all back when she leaned over and kissed him.
“I love you, Walter,” she said. “I said yes to you sixty-two years ago and I’ll say yes to you every time you ask me.”