Francesca didn’t want to go out tonight. She had too much work to get done at home. There was laundry still to finish, end tables to dust, and vacuuming that needed attention. However, tonight’s event couldn’t be missed. Primarily because it was her wedding anniversary. Instead of staying in her sweatpants for the evening, she’s dressed in her formal attire and rummaging through her jewelry box for the black & pink necklace that matched her outfit.
“For Heaven’s sake,” she grunted. “It was in here yesterday!”
“Frannie, we’re going to be late.”
George, her husband of 20 years, stood in the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest.
“We’re fine,” she retorted. “Stop worrying. We’re never late.”
“There’s an accident on 95. Which means we’ll have to take the Boulevard. Adding on an additional 10 minutes to our travel.”
She rolled her eyes and took a deep breath. “Ah, there you are!” She grabbed hold of the shimmering necklace and held it delicately towards the light.
“You always look so beautiful when you wear that.”
No matter how frustrated she may get with him, staying mad at George was never an option. “Will you help me?” she asked. Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago through her for a loop, but it was George who kept her sane. George who held her hands, even though they frequently shook. It was George who sat beside her when they told their children the news. George was then and is now her rock.
Though the 45 year-old mechanic’s hand were rough, his touch remained gentle and precise. She’d fallen hard the moment she’d seen him. Those skin-tight jeans covered in oil and reeking of gasoline added masculinity and allure from a distance. He’d winked at her, and the modest 22 year-old child that she was blushed at bright shade of pink. She didn’t give him her number, but he found her through a friend of a friend who quickly thereafter was no longer a friend. She was timid, shy, and unused to pursued romantically. Friendship formed first, then love. Flash forward twenty years, and they’re celebrating two decades of marriage.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
Francesca turned to face her darling husband and kissed him square on the lips. “I’m glad you never gave up on me.” She kissed his cheek and reached for the ankle-length black trench coat on the chair. He grabbed it and held it out for her. As she adjusted the collar and pulled the thick brunette locks from underneath, Frannie smiled in response to the comforting support of George’s hands on her shoulders.
“No need to be nervous,” he offered. “You’ll do great. You always do.”
Before they walked out of the bedroom door, George kissed his wife’s left hand and told her, with a twinkle in his eye, “besides…if you can sing to me at our wedding, then you can do it in front of total strangers.”
Francesca shook her head, held the magenta-colored pendant in her hand, and laughed.