He took her to see the foreign film, The Window to Walancha and then dinner afterwards. They went to a theme park where he treated her to The Virtual Sea trip. He loved the way her eyes lit up and the big beautiful smile on her face. He loved taking her places and watching her get all excited. He didn’t obsess over their age difference. It didn’t bother him at all. He wasn’t the first man to fall in love with a girl who was half his age nor would he be the last. Life was too short to worry about such foolish and unimportant things.
As he sat in his study, poring over papers he had brought home from the office, he recalled the first time they met which was a year ago. It was at the library. He was at the circulation desk, returning the book, The Wedding Tree for his girlfriend, Robyn when she walked up to the desk as he waited for the librarian to tend to him, to grab a library card application form. Her eyes fell on the book. She picked it up and read the back. “Is that a good book?” she asked him, putting it back on the counter.
He turned his head and gazed down into the most exquisite face he had ever seen. For a moment he was tongue-tied. Finally, he said, “I haven’t read it but the person I’m returning it for couldn’t stop raving about it.”
“It sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll borrow it after I finish reading A Ration Book Childhood.”
“A Ration Book Childhood? What is it about?”
“It’s about a woman who is trying her best to keep her family’s spirits up as they struggle amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End. The Blitz has hit the family hard and rationing is more challenging than ever but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.”
“Sounds very interesting.”
“It is. I can hardly put it down.”
“Do you live around here?”
“Yes. My mother and I live a couple of blocks away.”
“I don’t live around here but I like coming to this library.”
Just then, the librarian was ready to tend to him so she walked away.
After he was done returning the book and borrowing one for Robyn and one for himself, he turned away, his eyes searching the room for her. He spotted her sitting at a desk in front of the bookshelves. He walked over, put the books down on the table, took out a business card from his wallet and scribbled his name and number at the back before handing it to her. She took it and when she saw what was written on it, she smiled and looked up at him. “Call me,” he said in a low voice.
“I will,” she promised.
“What’s your name?”
“Anah.” She spelled it for him. “It means ‘One who answers’ or the ‘One who sings’
“It’s lovely…like you.”
She smiled shyly. “Thank you.”
“Goodbye, Anah.” He wished he could stay but he had a very busy afternoon.
She called him that evening and they talked for hours. By the end of the conversation, he knew that his relationship with Robyn was over. He broke up with her the following day, Friday and that evening, he took Anah to an outdoor concert in Ellsworth’s Harbor Park. Armed with a blanket and a picnic basket, they found a good vantage spot and enjoyed a very pleasant evening together. Neither of them wanted the night to end and when he took her home, he made it clear that he wanted to be in a relationship with her. He asked Anah if her mother would have a problem with them dating.
She shook her head. “Mom believes that I’m old enough to make my own decisions about whom I date. And she was twenty when she married my father who was forty.”
Unlike Anah’s mother, his own family had a big problem with them dating. “Are you out of your mind?” His sister, Raquel demanded. “You’re thirty-six years old. You’re twice her age.”
“David, did you break up with Robyn so that you could date this girl?” his father asked.
“We all thought that you and Robyn were going to get married,” his mother said, sounding very upset. “We loved Robyn. She would have made you a very good wife.”
With as much calm as he could muster, he told them, “I ended my relationship with Robyn when I realized my future wasn’t with her. It’s with Anah. I love Anah and I’m going to ask her to marry me.”
“Marry her?” his mother gasped. “How could you think of marrying someone we haven’t even met?”
“And what kind of reception would Anah have received if I had brought her here to meet you?” was his rejoinder and he watched as her face turned red.
“You can’t be serious,” Raquel muttered.
“Does this girl feel the same way, Son?” his father asked.
“Yes, she does.” Just last night, when they were in bed, she rolled on to her side, looked him square in the face and said, “I love you, David.” What he saw in her eyes made his heart beat faster. He remembered the quote, The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The burning love he felt for her was there in her beautiful eyes. Then, she kissed him and those passionate kisses expressed what was in her eyes.
“How can you be sure?” Raquel piped up. “Are her parents divorced? If that is the case, you have to ask yourself if she’s seeking a father figure in her life. Or if she’s more attracted to you because you’re a more mature man who can offer her more security than a younger man.”
“For your information, her parents aren’t divorced. Her father died a couple of years ago from a heart attack. And I’m not a father figure in any way, shape or form. I’m her lover and–“
“I don’t want to hear any more of this,” his mother muttered and rising to her feet, she hustled out of the room.
“Your mother is extremely upset,” his father remarked. “This has all been quite a shock for her.”
“David doesn’t care that he’s upset Mom,” Raquel retorted, her eyes flashing with resentment. “He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.” She left in disgust.
He and his father were alone. “Are you sure this girl is the one?” the older man asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“Well as long as you’re sure and if she feels the same way, then go ahead and ask her to marry you.”
“It’s your life and it’s up to you to do what you want with it.”
“Thanks, Dad.” David shook his hand and then, he left.
“David?” Anah’s soft voice interrupted his reverie. She was standing in the doorway to the study.
His eyes eagerly traveled over her. The pink and white tee shirt complimented her lovely complexion and the denim capri fitted her slender waist and thighs snugly. “Hello,” he greeted her. “Come in.”
Smiling, she walked over to him. “I hope I’m not disturbing you.”
“You’re not.” He stood up and reaching for her hand, he drew her towards him. “It’s work which I brought home. I can deal with it later.” He lowered his head and kissed her.
The kiss lasted for several minutes and when he drew back, they were both breathing heavily.
“I was thinking that it’s such a beautiful afternoon for a walk on the beach,” she said.
“All right,” and taking her by the hand, he led her out of the library.
Minutes later, they were walking barefoot on the beach, holding hands and enjoying the feel of the sun on them. It was there that he proposed to her and she say yes through tears and laughter. Ecstatic, he picked her up and carried her to the house and upstairs to his room where they spent the rest of the afternoon.