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TWO STORIES

ONE

They gazed into each other’s eyes with the devotion that comes from more than fifty years of matrimony. The years on both showed through the age spots, the white hair, the baldness and the wrinkled hands. As the oldest child of six, I knew what was behind the seemingly happy looks on their faces.  

Dad grinned at Mom because she took him back after threatening fifteen years before to “take him for all he was worth.”  This was after his affair with the secretary in his office who was my younger sister’s age at the time.  We’d never seen our gentle mother so angry. Mom hired a private detective to follow our dad for a week and her silent suspicions were confirmed when she saw the photos of the two of them at the Comfort Inn outside of town. Let’s just say that his secretary wasn’t taking dictation. When confronted by the whirling dervish of emotions that our mom had turned into, Dad agreed to give up the woman and send mom to a spa to “recover” for the summer.  Four of my younger siblings were still at home so they supervised Dad who seemed to shrink into a toy poodle after his attempt at being a swaggering bulldog. He was never the same.

Mom had a faint smile because she had no idea who Dad was. Her memory had begun to go about five years before. It started benignly enough with her forgetting where she put things down. Now she didn’t know who anyone in her family was. She thought Dad was her father. She was always shouting, “Get out of my face, Father!” at him.  But he insisted on keeping her at home. Lately, she had started to wander in the middle of the night confused about where she was, turning on the stove to light her cigarette. A few days after this photo was taken they both died in a fiery blaze in the early morning hours.

Story by Harriet Riley

TWO

Rose and Jack have been married for over 50 years now, still gazing into each other’s eyes with that irreplaceable look of eternal love. The two have known each other pretty much their entire lives and were at a first name basis all of high school, but finally ended up dating during their Senior year. In short time, Rosie and Jack fell madly in the love and both knew it was everlasting, for they were more than best friends and partners; they were soul mates. They spent every moment they could with one another; never seeming to get enough. And they truly never could.
After attending Boston College together for four years, they decided upon moving to New York City, where they would set out to work for National Geographic magazine. Both had always aspired to be travel journalists, seeking to fulfill their passion for wanderlust. The lovely thing was Jack had was a skillful photographer, and Rose a lovely writer. The two worlds collided as the couple was granted the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel the world for National Geographic; capturing moments through Jack’s lens and writing about these priceless memories through Rose’s creative mind.
They set out to explore the world for quite some time, and were happier than ever. Their dream was finally achieved, and they couldn’t have been more content. Rose and Jack had always envisioned traveling the globe together, and having the ability to make a career out of their fondest passion was a sincere dream come true. The two spent time living in London (Jack’s birthplace), Paris, Rome, Brisbane, and one their favorite places; the tropical Maldives. Jack and Rose fell deeper in love with each moment, and continue to in present day.
In this photo, they are about 80 years old, celebrating their 50th year of marriage. Jack and Rose own a few houses across the world, where they love to spend their time, but decided to spend this special occasion in their London townhouse. Of course, Jack catered to Rose’s obsession with delicious food and cooked her favorite meal; roasted chicken and a multitude of vegetables. He set a magnificent table for two on the terrace, with globe lights twinkling across the sky and the spectacular city gleaming in the background. Rose and Jack truly enjoyed their night together, gazing into each other’s eyes as if it were the very first time they fell in love.

Story by Bella Edwards

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