"I told you so". A Love Story.
by Tina Pisco
Once upon a time there was a woman. She was a good woman. At times she could be fickle, or short-tempered. She was sometimes lonely and depressed, but she could still laugh at herself. Most of all she knew how to love.
That made her both weak and strong. It made her weak because to love someone is to let them deep inside your heart where they can hurt you the most. It made her strong because when you know how to love you can always love again.
In her youth she had loved a man and he had betrayed her. She became weak and wounded. She took her love and hid it where nobody could find it. She resolved never to love again. She told herself that she was content.
Then one night she met a man.
She was not wary. He seemed more of a man-child than someone who might hurt her. She laughed and joked and let him walk her home. He said he had once been in love. She smiled to herself as he talked about his broken heart. She knew it had not been love. He sounded like a puppy running after a ball, or a kitten chasing a butterfly.
They should never have met; this woman and this man, but when they kissed on her doorstep the Universe dissolved into a swirl of stars that tasted like whipped ice-cream and carried them round and round in a dizzy delight of each other.
“We can’t keep on like this,” she said after a few weeks.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because you are young and I am old.”
“You are not old and I am immortal,” he said kissing her neck until she squirmed and laughed. ”Of course you know that means you will have to die in my arms,” he added, and his eyes sparkled and blinded her with love.
He moved in the following year. She had been worn down by his logic: they were happy now, weren’t they? Should they forfeit that because they might be unhappy later? After all they might not.
”I wish we had met when I was younger,” she said one night as they snuggled on the sofa.
“Well I don’t,” he said.
“Why not? I used to be very beautiful.”
“You’re beautiful now, you silly woman.”
“I will get old. You will tire of me,” she said.
“No I won’t. I will love you forever.”
She sighed and shook her head. “You will tire of me,” she said again.
He sat up and his eyes were blazing. “It hurts me when you doubt me Why would I tire of you? Do you expect to tire of me?”
She paused to think for a minute and smiled. “No. I don’t expect I will.”
“How about a bet, then?” he asked. “I bet I will love you forever.“ He put his arm around her and hugged her close to him. “Don’t you want me to win?”
“Forever sounds like a very long time,” she answered, grinning. “How about: you’ll love me until next Monday? Will you promise to love me until next Monday?”
“I can do that.”
“Good, so it’s settled. You will love me unconditionally until next Monday and I won’t doubt you.”
And so for a long while they loved each other from Monday to Sunday and the years went by…
He still laughed at her jokes. She still stroked his cheek, though his beard was flecked with grey and her hair had long ago turned snowy white.
Then one day she felt a dull pain deep in her side. She kept it to herself. She got weaker and weaker and woke one morning to find that she was frail.
“Go. Go now,” she wept as she lay in her hospital bed. “Go and live your life. Why stay with an old woman at her sick bed?”
“Because I love you,” he answered. “I will love you forever, you silly woman. Look I brought you some flowers and double chocolate chip ice-cream.”
She took the presents, making an effort not to show the pain. His eyes scanned her face searching for clues. She was touched by his concern and tossed her head that flippant way she knew he loved.
“Forever sounds a bit long. How about until next Sunday?”
“I’ll have to check my diary,” he replied with a grin, “but I think I could manage it.”
On Saturday night her breathing became slow and labored. She slipped into a deep place somewhere before midnight and did not return. When the night nurse came to check on her at dawn she found the man curled up beside the woman. He held her like a child, his tears falling on her hair as he kissed her.
“ I told you so, “ he whispered. “ I told you so.”
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Author's Peronal Information/Bio:Tina Pisco has been a professional writer for over twenty years, writing novels, poetry, non-fiction, scripts , internet drama and comics. Her two best-selling novels "Only a Paper Moon" and "Catch the Magpie" are available on Amazon, as well as her poetry and newspaper columns collections. Tina Pisco has lived on a big house on a hill in in West Cork since 1992, where, over the years, she has raised vegetables, dogs, cats and four daughters along with her books.
Author's Web Site: www.tinapisco.com