Who? "old woman" What? "magazine" Where? "basement"
Creak, creak...

Mayella Joston rocked back and forth, back and forth, producing a steady rythm in the small square room.  Her grey hair was whisked up in a neat bun, glasses perched on the edge of her nose as she read the 'Gardener's Weekly' magazine.  The only thing May ever did these days - the only thing she could do - as she waited for her husband's return; he wasn't retired yet, still working for the county.  She smiled just at the thought of him.  He always had been a helpful, dedicated man...

Her thoughts traced back to when he had first shown her this room, their room.  Technically it was the basement, but a better place she had never known.  How George had worked on this for her.  It was neat, cozy, with pale blue walls and a strip of sunflower wallpaper across the middle, homely pictures of fields and flowers and family.  A comfortable bed lay at the far side of the room, hand-made shelves beside it, full of books and more pictures and family heirlooms, a dresser and large mirror at the other side.  A huge light-peach rug sat in the middle of the room over the soft yellow carpet... at the other side of the room sat May and her rocking chair, and chests of things they both held dear to their hearts (besides each other).

Mayella glanced downwards at the chest next to her, which contained the letters she and George had sent to each other decades ago... when they had been seperated by so much.  She smiled again.  She could recite most of those by heart; she had been through them more than she could count, often with George now that they were together.  Those times during the war had been tough... but neither had lost hope, and here they were now, happier than ever.

May remembered when they had first met, in their childhood, in front of the ice cream parlor in Daxley.  They had been no more than... eight, was it?  Or maybe only seven...  How adorable he had been.  Soft brown hair blown all over from the wind, pant legs scuffed up from rough-housing with his friends.  Strawberry ice cream dripping down his hand, melting too quickly for him to catch.  His other hand shooting out to shake hers.  "You like strawb'ry too!  I'm glad, strawb'ry's good... m' name's George, nice ta meet you!"  She had taken right to him, shaking his hand and grinning shyly.  Neither had really comprehended what had happened that day.

But they began to realize it later, when those Baxter boys had started picking on her.  She had been eleven, he twelve, and they at least fifteen.  The things they had said, tried to do... she had been so scared... and then George had come, beating the living daylights out of both the older boys.  That had been scary too - George had never even raised his voice at anyone before - but that day they began to see each other in a new light...

And later still, she sixteen, he seventeen, right before he left for war.  Oh, that tearful departure, looking into his deep blue eyes, trembling. 

"I love you, George." 

His sweet response, full of sorrow and passion; "And I love you, Mayella Jay, more than you could ever know."

"Promise me something?  Be careful..."

He sighed in that way of his, when he was trying to make light of something serious.  "I'll make you a deal."


"I'll come back in one piece if, and
only if, you do something for me when I get back."

She sniffed as she looked up at him curiously.  "Anything."

He had gotten down on one knee before her, eyes smoldering, a small box suddenly in his hand... "Will you marry me?"

May forgot everything.  All she could do was nod and collapse back into his arms

Mayella came back to reality and found herself smiling again, a tear running down her cheek, an echo of the joyful sobs from that unforgettable day.  Ahhh, the memories... a loud noise sounded from the front of the house.  It sounded like a door opening.  Wait... it was!  Mayella's smile grew wider as she slowly lifted herself up from her chair, tossing the magazine aside gently.

"Ella honey?"

"Here, dear."

He came down the stairs, that familiar creak more welcoming than God himself.  How Mayella wished she were young and sprightly again, to be able to run and jump into George's comfortable arms as she once had.  Oh well, it didn't matter; the embrace was just as warm as always when they reached each other.

"I love you, honey."

"Love you too, darling." 

JGM81192   JGM81192 wrote
on 12/17/2009 1:37:53 PM
Completely in awe! That was really something there. Very sweet.

Michele   Michele wrote
on 6/16/2009 6:55:51 PM
What a sweet story--I cried a little too. I've met so many people of this generation through my work--most widowed by now--aren't they lucky? Something to aspire to!

WAN   WAN wrote
on 6/15/2009 8:16:43 PM
OH so sweet....My tear fell from my eyes. thank you for this wonderful and very sweet story moonrose:)

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Don't have much new material right now, so here's a reposting of an old favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy :)