‘Cause when I die, then I die loving you.
He returned home after his every-day afternoon walk. It was autumn, golden leaves were falling from trees preparing for the approaching cold season. The temperature outside was getting cooler and the sun would soon go under the line of the horizon.
For John, the walks became more exhausting and cost him more effort than they used to. Nevertheless, he wasn’t going to give them up; it was demanded by his active nature that wouldn’t let him sit still. Besides that, he loved the fresh air and he could spend hours on admiring the beauty of the world surrounding him. As long as he was able to walk on his own legs, he would muster up the strength out of his elderly body to do what gave him pleasure.
Sometimes Anne accompanied him during his strolls, but lately the state of her health wouldn’t let her to.
As John walked the pathway he’d known so well this afternoon, delighted in the bracing air and the last warm beams of sun, he thought about his life. Their life.
Indeed, it hadn’t always been perfect. Sometimes things wouldn’t go exactly the way he wanted them to, but if he could turn back time and live through it all over again, he wouldn’t change a thing.
He slowly reached the spot in which the path curved and led to an overgrown pond.
“Just a few more steps,” he told himself to mobilize his legs to work. After he’d succeeded, he sat on an old isolated bench and breathed deeply.
The air had the same exact smell that reminded him of the past and the landscape hadn’t changed much, too. Maybe it was a bit cooler today and the pond was surely a lot more neglected.
She was eight when he met her here for the first time and he was a ten year old. Anne, wearing a yellow dress that outstood her tanned complexion, was chasing butterflies in the grass, laughing merrily. John looked out for the prettiest flowers that grew in the field and picked a bunch for her. Since then, they became inseparable.
Memories flew through his head like a stream. All the days they had spent together as teenagers, not chasing butterflies on a meadow anymore, but feeling them in their bellies. The moment he dared to take hold of her hand for the first time—even though they would often run around holding hands as kids, that time it meant something different, something more intimate.
The first kiss he stole from her lips, awkward and uncertain. Sneaking out of the house in the evenings to be together in private. Long talks on the subjects none of them would bring up in a conversation with anyone else. Sharing all of their secrets, trusting each other, being able to count on mutual support.
He could still remember the way his heart thumped in his chest when he decided to propose to her and the moment she said yes.
Finally, the day of their wedding. The white dress she looked so stunning in that the brightness surrounding her posture could make you go blind. The guests gathered in the church, the tears of emotion. The swearing in front of God that they would be together forever, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, until the death would separate them.
The honeymoon spent on travelling in a red convertible—the wind in her hair, the feeling of freedom. They were young and carefree, they could do whatever they wanted to, drive wherever they liked.
Falling asleep with her every night and waking up next to her every morning, seeing her bright face, hypnotizing eyes and the smile that had the power to light up his whole world.
Of course, there also were worse moments, when they fought about trivialities and disagreed in many issues. However, they always found a way to compromise, a way to bond their hearts together even closer.
John sighed, smiling at his thoughts. All those years had been kind to both of them. They stuck together since what seemed like forever, lived in a marvelous house and brought up three wonderful children that were their pride.
When he came home today and slipped the shoes off of his tired feet, he felt happy.
Anne was sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace, reading a book. As she saw him, she lifted her head up and smiled, with the same brilliance that captivated him years ago. With the silver in her hair, glasses sitting on her nose and wrinkles on her face, she still looked admirably. There was no woman in the world more beautiful than his wife.
John sat next to her, put his arm around her and kissed her gently on the cheek.
There he was, as old as the hills, spending another evening at their warm home, with the woman he loved. Maybe not all of his dreams and expectations came true, maybe he didn’t become anyone famous and didn’t accomplish anything big, but he’d found love—true and everlasting.
What more could he want from life?
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