By Karl Majerus

The summer sun shone like copper on the ocean as it began its descent in the distance. Heedless to the beautiful scene around them, the couple strode shoeless, hand in hand through the waves.  Their eyes focused only on each other.

As they strolled along, almost in the same footprints, they shared giggles and smiles oblivious to others passing by.  To them, there was no one else on the beach.  Hell, there was no one else in the world.  This was the first day since they checked in, and the second day since they took the plunge in the art of matrimony.  

As they strolled along, Kevin suddenly stopped, causing Angelique to stop as they were holding hands.

“Kevin, is something wrong?” she asked in her French accent, concern on her face.

“No, I was just thinking about the first time I met you.  You were standing in front of the Louvre in that peasant dress, trying to get your sketch pad back in the satchel while holding a coffee.  I tried to talk to you, and you called me a bourgeois American tourist.”

“I didn’t!”  she cried, mortified before giggling.  “Well, maybe I did; but I didn’t mean it.  Besides, you didn’t give up.  Fate brought us together.  We met again the next day.”

“I must admit the truth.  I followed you home that day.  I overheard you tell your neighbor you would go to the bakery for her in the morning.”

“You stalked me?” she asked, moderately shocked.

“You think I was just going to give up on the most beautiful girl on the planet?  I don’t think so.  It took me the better part of my three-week vacation to get you to go out with me.  Then I almost lost you when Bill decided to get cute.  I asked him to teach me to say it in French.  You have the face of an angel and the body of a goddess.”

 “You didn’t lose me, even though you said I had the face of a gorilla and the body of a whale.  I forgave you once I found out the truth, of course all of the bouquets of flowers every day helped.” Giving him a kiss, she continued. “You must have forgiven him as he was the best man at our wedding.”

 “I wanted to kill him but stranding him in La Salles without his passport and ID made it better.”

“It took me another two months of phone calls to get you to come here.  I spent another month convincing you to marry me.”

 “Was I worth it?” Angelique asked.

Smiling, he took her face in his hands, “Honey, you have to ask?  I will spend every day of  the rest of my life showing you how much I love you, now and forever.”  Kevin gave her a deep, passionate kiss  before taking her hand again.  “We better get back, it’s getting dark.”

The next morning they walked into the hotel’s dining room holding hands as they ordered breakfast.

“You two have to be the happiest couple I know,” the blond waitress said as she brought their food.

“We should, we are on our honeymoon,” Kevin told her.

“Really. Congratulations!” she replied.  “I will be right back.”

Five minutes later, she reappeared with two glasses of champagne. “This is from the hotel.”

As the waitress stood there, Kevin raised his glass in a toast.  “To the most beautiful woman in the world, the only one I will ever love.”

***

Two years later, Angelique came back to the hotel and as luck would have it, when she went down to breakfast the next day, she was met by the same waitress.

“Welcome back!  I am happy to see you again.  Is your husband still in your room?”

“No, I lost Kevin to ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease last year,” Angelique told her.

“I am so sorry, he seemed so sweet!” the girl told her.

“I appreciate it, dear.  We had fifty glorious years together and raised four children,”  Angelique said as the waitress sat down by her.  “I met Kevin in Paris when he was on vacation.  He spent most of his vacation pursuing me, trying to get me to go out with him.  Then he called me every day for two months to get me to come here to America and marry him.”      

“After we were married, Kevin worked like a dog to make his company a success.  Then he worked just as hard to promote my artwork while never letting me forget how much he loved me. When he was diagnosed five years ago, I took it harder than he did. He squashed the sadness.  He said we had too much to do.  He resigned as president of his company, and I put my art career on hold so we could travel.  Kevin decided we should get married in every state in America as well as Paris where we met, he wanted us to enjoy being newlyweds again and again.  Maine was our last state.”

“I could tell he loved you,” the girl said. “I hope someday I find someone that romantic.” 

“This year I finally got around to going through some papers in his office and I found this.” 

Angelique added as she pulled a folded letter from her pocket.

The girl took the letter and with permission started to read.

My dearest Angelique,

My words cannot begin to describe how much I love you and how much you mean to me.  My life started the day I met you in Paris. On that day I found the one thing I never knew was missing from my life.

If you are reading this, then I am no longer with you.  Promise me you won’t be sad as we had  fifty wonderful  years together and I would give everything to do it all again. I want you to find someone to spend your life with on Earth so you’re not alone.  Just remember some day in the  future I will be waiting for you, and I will gladly spend eternity showing you how much I love you.

Yours forever,

Kevin.

After reading the letter, the girl wiped tears from her eyes, “If I may ask, are you going to find someone?”

Patting her hand, Angelique answered. “No dear, I have my children and a new grandchild, so, I am not alone.  Besides, I have had the best life possible and everlasting love.”

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