He sat and waited, tired and hungry. How long could she keep shopping? When would she be satisfied? When all his hard-earned money was gone, that's when. He tried to put his foot down, he really did, but all she had to do was look at him with chocolate-brown eyes and full lips that pouted, and he was a goner. He could deny her nothing.
Who'd have thought that a hundred and twenty pounds of slender beauty could carry such weight? She crooked her finger and he followed, her willing--sometimes unwilling but ever faithful--slave.
The beauty of his surroundings was lost on him as he sank deeper into his funk. Was this what his life was all about? Work, work, work, and watch her spend, spend, spend?
Nearby, sitting straight and pretty in bright pink, an older lady perched on the side of the fountain. She waited, too.
She waited for the pain to fade, waited for the good memories to replace those that sometimes threatened to crush her with their heaviness.
This had been her favorite place to shop, to spend time with him. And he'd been ever indulgent, satisfying her whims because it made him happy to do so. He never griped about the little trinkets she bought and scattered throughout their home. He never complained about money, though she'd never spent more than they could afford.
Now after spending sixty-five years together... now she was alone. She missed him. She missed the way his big, warm hand curled around hers as they walked through the courtyards and down the narrow alleyways. There'd been nothing more comforting than feeling the slide of his palm and his fingers gently entwining with hers. Being here had always felt like they'd traveled hundreds of miles to an exotic town south of the border. A mini-honeymoon every time.
But never again. She'd never feel the touch of his hand so gently against her cheek, the brush of lips against her own. She had her memories, and that was all. It was enough. It wouldn't be much longer and they'd be together again.
She glanced over her shoulder at the young man sitting on the other side of the fountain. He looked irritated, angry, glancing at his watch and sighing over and over. When a young woman walked out of the glass shop, he stood with a choppy movement and strode over to her.
She watched the young couple walk away, his hand cupping her arm, not out of any desire to touch her, to keep her close, but rather to guide her the way he wanted her to go. She shook her head. The young, wasting time being upset and angry, never realizing--until it was too late--that the things most precious to them could be taken away in a blink of an eye.
In the last beat of a heart.
With a long sigh, she stood and stretched, then started the short walk back to her car. It was time to go. But she'd be back.
And she'd remember.
The above was inspired by the picture of the fountain (also above) at Tlaquepaque in Sedona.
I'm over at the Amber Quill blog today. If you want a good laugh, come on over and visit! And that's all I'm sayin'...
One joy scatters a hundred griefs. ~ Chinese Proverb