“How is everything Mr. and Mrs. Collins?”
“Douglas has outdone himself tonight Eric.”
“The oysters were divine.”
“The chef will be happy to hear that.” The waiter removed the plates and was just about to hand each of them a dessert menu, but slipped it back into his apron pocket. He looked at Mrs. Collins. “Creme Brulee and – ” He gestured toward Mr. Collins. “– sherbet?”
Mr. Collins nodded. “Raspberry.”
Andrew Collins felt warm inside. Was it the half bottle of Pinot he and his wife shared to celebrate their one year anniversary? No, this was more like a feeling of satisfaction. A year ago, he decided to retire and sell their home. Friends thought he was crazy. You’ll be bored out of your mind, they said. How will you pass the time? His good friend Jerry retired a few years ago with dreams of seeing the world and catching up on all the things he’d missed early in life, but couldn’t do any of it, because he failed to plan.
Just for kicks, Andrew and Claire thought it would be fun to recognize their first year by ‘living it up’ all weekend. Claire started off yesterday with a trip to the spa with her friends, while Andrew worked out at the gym. They met up later that morning at the bistro for a couple of sandwiches to-go and went to the garden to picnic under the clear cerulean sky.
“What time is the movie?” Claire said.
“Not 'til four thirty.” Andrew took one of Claire’s cherry tomatoes.
To pass the time, they spent the early afternoon in the library looking at books and giggling at the tabloid headlines, when some friends saw them and challenged them to a game of Pinochle. “Okay,” Andrew said. “But, just ‘til 4:15. Then it’s off to the movies.”
At the cinema, Andrew felt a popcorn kernel bounce off his ear. His friend hated losing at cards.
On the way home, the four friends heard music coming from the piano bar. All at once they looked at one another, thinking the same thing. It was nearly midnight when the singing stopped. Just Andrew, Claire, and twelve of their closest neighbors.
“Can I get you anything else,” Eric the waiter said. He emptied the bottle into their glasses.
“No, thank you, Eric.” Andrew looked at Claire. “I have everything I need.”
Andrew held up his glass and looked deep into Claire’s eyes as she took the last bite of her Creme Brulee. “Sweetheart, to us.”
Claire raised her glass. “Happy one year anniversary, love.”
Andrew took a sip. “To think, we get to do this again next weekend.”
“Way ahead of you,” Claire said, waving her spoon at him. “I’ve already scheduled a 1 hour massage upstairs for tomorrow.”
Andrew poked the remaining raspberry at the bottom of his glass with a tiny fork, spun it around before popping it into his mouth. He knew he made the right choice when they decided to move here last year.
Allegro Senior Living. You’re just getting started.
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