Millie fingered the cold, smooth surface of the pocketwatch her husband had kept in his right pants pocket every day for fifty-six years. She’d given it to him for his twenty-fifth birthday, only five and a half months after he’d asked her on their first date whether she believed in soul mates.
Two months after she’d given him the pocketwatch, he’d asked her to marry him. They married on the one-year anniversary of their first date, and when the priest asked her if she’d take him for richer or poorer, in sickness or in good health, she smiled and answered yes. Yes, she would take him through the good and the bad, although she hoped for more good.
They had stuck together through the first hard years, struggling to make ends meet until he was promoted and given his own office. A raise that afforded them the house on Beaumont Street where they sat on the hardwood floors the very first night and laughed as they imagined the pitter patter of small feet and a dog barking in the backyard. The puppy had come easily. The children had not. For five years, they’d tried and tried to conceive; and just when it seemed hopeless, she discovered she was three months late.
Matthew had been their pride and joy. The shared object of their affection. And then he grew up, made a family of his own and moved to France to work for a prestigious biotech firm. It was her and her husband again. Growing old together.
But where had the time gone? How quickly had that face on his pocketwatch aged as the years ticked by? How slow had they reversed when the dementia began to take hold of his tired head, muddling the thoughts and memories she’d always believed they would hold together?
And still he had held onto that pocketwatch, remembering to put it in the right pants pocket every day of his life, even when he could no longer recall her face. He held onto the times from long ago, when they were young, when he looked across a room and fell in love with a rosy-cheeked girl
who laughed and the moon smiled bright whose laugh made the moon smile bright.
– Written by Miss A on September 24, 2011