A Walk in the Park
My heart was racing as I walked up the path. I assumed it was probably due to either the fact that I was going to see her, or that my old body didn’t like the exercise. Either way, my chest felt as though it might explode like one of those people from a movie back in the eighties. I made it to my bench, thankfully, and sat to check my pulse.
“What brings you here, stranger?” Emily’s voice asked from behind me as I checked my pulse.
My heart leapt to my throat as a spasm flew through my back. She was there on the bench next to mine. Her silver hair perfectly maintained. Every tooth in her white smile original. Her clothes were immaculate. Just the way I remembered her.
“Jesus Christ, Emily! Why do you have to startle me like that? Do you want me to die?” I snapped at her.
“You need to relax more. You’re getting too worked up.” She replied, her smile not wavering.
“How exactly am I supposed to relax when you startle me?” I said.
“You’re getting off topic, Hank. I asked what brought you down here.” Emily said.
“I-I don’t know…” I replied, searching for the original purpose of my walk. “I-I think it had something to do with you…”
“You’re memory is slipping a little more everyday, isn’t it?” Emily asked, her smile changing to a sad frown. My eyes couldn’t help but look at the lines on her forehead as her eyebrows knitted. The wrinkles were there, but barely imperceptible.
“You’re so beautiful…” I said, losing myself in her jade eyes. “I miss you so much…”
“Then come with me!” She said, “Why stay? What’s left?”
“I-I should, but what about the kids?” I replied. “The grandkids? The great-grandkids?”
“Hank, you’re ninety-seven years old and you still think that Jacky and Bill need you. They are living in retirement now.” Emily said.
“Ninety-seven. Sweet Jesus! I thought I was younger than that. Are you sure?” I said as a jogger passed giving me an odd look as he passed.
“I’m sure. I check on the kids often enough. You could too, if you really wanted to.” she said, holding her hand out. “Come with me, Hank. We haven’t been together in more than thirty years. Come with me…”
“Alright, then. Suppose I would go with you. How am I supposed to do that?” I asked.
“Just take my hand and come with me.” She replied.
I reached out and grabbed her hand. I thought mine would pass through it, like the last time I had tried to touch her, but instead it felt solid and warm. A tear slid down my cheek as I stood with her. All the aches in my joints were gone.
“Let’s go.” I said pulling her close to me as we walked slowly down the path.