She told him he was pushy and that he kept wearing her out and he laughed because she was bossy and she wore him out.
We listened to him give his version of their story and noted how at times the look on his face flitted between love, exasperation and bemusement.
He said in the earlier days that they had overcome a number of significant challenges and that at times being with her was like being on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. It was a roller coaster of emotion and that while most of the time it was great there were moments where he wanted to tear his hair out.
I nodded my head and laughed, ‘women are nuts. What are you going to do.”
He laughed too and asked if my hand hurt and I laughed again, “nah, she is strong but she can’t squeeze it hard enough to truly hurt me. I am more worried about what she’ll do with that giant black purse.”
He looked at us and smiled again, “you probably shouldn’t say anything else, I know what that look means.”
I smiled at him and turned to my right, “baby, you are welcome to speak any time.”
She gave me a look and said it was nice of me to notice her. I reminded her that I never forgot about her and that I would never do anything to aggravate her.
“You just can’t help yourself, can you.”
“Baby, you’d wonder what was wrong if I didn’t tease you. Let’s be honest, you hate it when I ignore you.”
“Hey kids, I hate to remind you, but I am still here.”
We turned and faced the old man and both apologized.
“It is ok, I get it. I recognize what you have. It is special.”
He took a deep breath, exhaled and then looked at me.
“Don’t ever be dumb enough to just let go of her. She’ll test you in every way. She’ll push, pull and make you crazy, but don’t you ever let her push you away or you’ll regret it.”
I nodded my head and smiled.
“Because if you did I just might take her out and show her that I haven’t forgotten how to woo a woman and believe me I may be old but I still know how to make her feel like there is no one else in the world who means more to me.”
And with that he stood up, waved goodbye and walked away.
I watched him walk to his car and wondered what it was like for him now. Wondered if he lived now in his memories or if he still enjoyed the warmth of the sun upon his back the way he had.
Watched him open the car door and then slowly lower himself into the seat and then surprised myself by springing out of the chair to run after him.
He rolled down the window, looked at me and waited for my question.
When I walked back in she asked me what we had talked about and I told her it was “man stuff.” She snorted and rolled her eyes at me.
That was her way of telling me she wasn’t satisfied with my answer. I knew later on she would ask me again and I wondered if I would tell her all that I knew, all that I saw.
I wasn’t sure if she would believe it. It was hard for me to digest it and if I couldn’t how could I possibly expect her to believe it. She would squint her eyes at me and make some comment about my not having to use a line and I would shake my head and say I wasn’t.
Shook my head and shrugged my shoulders, no point in worrying about it now. I didn’t expect her to ask me until we were in bed and there were hours of daylight left not to mention a good chunk of nighttime that would have to pass before that conversation.
Still it was hard not to think about what he had said or wonder how he and I could have the same birthmark.