My entry for DH short story contest 2012
KISS AND TELL
“Nearly done, there you go!”, he commented, putting down the saw and admiring his handiwork. His tall frame was drenched in perspiration, but his eyes sparkled with the satisfaction of having completed his task.
Though a shade over sixty five, the former lawyer, thought his wife, looked… well resplendent. Despite the generous sprinkling of silver hair, the lines of wisdom which creased his temples, he still radiated the same powerful ‘something’ which drew her to him all those many years ago!
A shy smile homed in on her face, as the memories of the glorious past streamed in.
The first time she set her eyes on him, as a gawky eighteen year old in the bus, she thought him attractive, but it was only when they spoke, a long time later, that he truly won her heart. The courtship, the romance, she was well and truly swept off her feet. He was witty, intelligent, handsome, yet there was a mysterious something about his persona that drew people to this charismatic lawyer.
Having caught sight of his wife stealing a glimpse at her reflection in the window pane, the lawyer’s lips curled into a grin. He observed, her hair was swept back in a callous bun, her flowing dress held effortlessly onto her curvaceous figure, her once chiseled features now softened by age. Suppressing his analytically- trained brain, he just continued to stare, he didn’t need a reason to love that woman before him.
As the couple settled in with their hot mugs of coffee, on the front porch, the last rays of the season held them in warm embrace.
It had been nearly two new moons since the couple had moved into their retirement home in the valley. Having spent four or so decades carving out distinguished careers, raising their family and living amidst the general hullabaloo of life, the soul craved some calm and quiet. This being impossible to wring out of the hustle and bustle of city life, they had decided to abandon it altogether.
Their new cottage was nestled deep within a wood of oak trees, the gurgling river which fed the valley flowed a stone’s throw away, and the hue of the lilies sat in stark contrast to the pale of the environ.
The local community too, was well knit and warm. They had wasted no time in embracing this respectable couple, he a lawyer of repute, and she a dedicated teacher, who had retired as Principal of the Mission school. The locals had gone out of their way to help the couple settle down, and feel at home. The post-retirement life was perfect.
Life in the valley was simple. People didn’t crave power and prestige; they didn’t haggle in boardrooms, or fight power wars in the back rooms. There was no place for greed. They just worked hard, to earn a living and live their life…and that they did to the fullest.
So if the day was spent plying their trade, the evenings were spent in the pleasant company of friends and neighbours. So each evening, since their arrival, the couple had been ushered to and fro, once for a game of charades, then a garden party and so on. Despite all of this being quite novel to them, they’d quite enjoyed it. The food was sumptuous, the drink flowed, and the conversation eclectic. Their views, like life itself, were simple and the truth came out hard and straight.
But as ever, amongst the women, gossip held sway.