Bring back the romance in life before it gets away, leaves us, and disappears for good.
April 20, 2013
The overcast day was warm, almost humid, the rain only minutes away. The trees swayed, buoyed with an incoming breeze preceding the storm, and the smell of rain filled the air.
I had to hurry or I’d be drenched in minutes. My head was tucked against the wind, and I almost didn’t see the couple in front of me. Much can be said about the pace my life takes on any given day—always in a hurry, no matter the weather; this day would be different.
I avoided colliding with them by mere inches.
Thick swan-white hair covered his elderly head, bare to the elements. He was bent toward his companion, protective and gentle.
I couldn’t see her face under the wide brim hat atop her head, but she was small in stature, and ever so slightly bowed at the shoulders. She appeared fragile, but elegant, soft, and yet, there was something…
Their slow gait showed no sign of increasing, even with the impending threat of a mighty squall. I pulled up, caught off guard by the picture in front of me. They held hands, but more importantly, it was the way their hands joined together. Ten fingers entwined, melded, and completely engaged. I don’t know why this simple gesture impacted me so much, but my heart beat faster at the sight.
I looked from those hands to their faces. The threatening storm faded around me, and all attention focused on their expressions glowing, radiant—gazing at each other with such love.
Now, I could see her face as she looked up at him. Her complexion was like a fresh peach, but there was evidence of many years etched there, too. The hair peeking out under the brim wasn’t as white as his, but streaked slightly with various shades of gray, fetching and feminine.
While I watched, the gentleman reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a single, glistening red rose. The petals were full, open, and inviting. With a grand gesture, he offered it to his lady.
She took it with her free hand and looked up at him, again, through wispy eyelashes, a smile dancing on her lips.
I was struck with the grace and romance that transpired between them. The love, definitely there, had dignity, mutual respect, old world charm, and magnetism practiced over many years.
The wind picked up, and blew the hat right off my head. I let it go; I was mesmerized.
With a sweeping bow, he motioned to a bench on the side of the walk. I wanted to shout that the storm was coming, but I couldn’t find my voice, and suddenly, I didn’t care.
She accepted his offer and sat primly, crossing her ankles, and arranging the long skirt around her ankles. Only then did he take his place beside her.
The first drops hit the concrete in front of me. I knew I should take cover, should warn the couple of the impending downpour, but magic glistened around the two, and I couldn’t break the spell.
He removed her hat and placed it on her lap while her hair fell in lovely silver ringlets around her shoulders. She broke the stem of the rose off and placed the flower behind her ear.
He smiled. Tears danced in his eyes as he leaned to kiss her.
It was then she noticed me, and smiled.
Embarrassed for witnessing such an intimate moment, I averted my eyes and walked away.
By now, the rain was pelting down, stinging my shoulders. I was soaked in a matter of minutes. I turned to make sure the couple took cover, but they were gone.
Something changed me in that moment. Maybe they were real, maybe a figment of my imagination, or maybe the yearning of my own heart.
Yes, the yearning of my own heart. Romance, the soft touch of kindness, the seduction of respect, the charm of chivalry. Bring back the romance.
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