At forty-five years old, Marina was still single.
Not by choice, though.
She had relationships. Not all, but a fair amount of them had the possibility of becoming long-term connections. It wasn’t for lack of trying that all of them ended.
The men tried.
She tried, and then she ended the relationship.
None of them were perfect.
Marina wanted perfect, but now, at forty-five, she wondered if perfection even existed. In fact, she doubted if she would ever find the perfect man, but the prospect of being alone for the rest of her life alarmed her.
Her mind wandered to Dylan. He was her first love. She was nineteen when she met him in her first year at university. They had some classes together, but enough apart not to get bored with each other. When they were still together three years later, they made plans to live together. They did that in their last year at uni and that was where their problems started.
Dylan annoyed her with leaving clothes on the floor, hanging the toilet paper the wrong way round, not rinsing his plate after he had used it, and wearing socks with holes in it. As perfect as he was before they moved in together, just as imperfect as she deemed him then. Six months after they had moved in together, she left him.
She was single for two years when she met Thomas. His dark hairs, dark eyes and soft-spoken nature pulled her in. She was head over heels in love with him. They dated for two years when he asked her to marry him.
He went along with her suggestion to live together for at least a year before they would tie the knot. They never did.
It took up to her thirtieth year to fall in love again. Or maybe it was lust. Kyle was a beast in bed, but after the first love and lust wore off, his quirks, which once fascinated her, then only caused irritation. After Kyle came Hank, then Billy, Gareth, Aiden, Zeke and Noah.
When the relationship with Noah ended eighteen months ago, she had vowed to be single for the rest of her life. That decision didn’t last long.
After much introspection, and looking back on her life, Marina knew something had to change.
She had to change.
She pulled one dress after the other from her closet, held it in front of her, looking I the mirror and then discarded it on the bed.
Why she was so nervous about her date with Dylan, she didn’t know. It wasn’t like she didn’t know him. Yes, they were both twenty years older, had more life experience, but essentially they were the same, right?
As soon as that thought crossed her mind, Marina shook her head at her mirror image.
No. They weren’t the same anymore. They were still Dylan and Marina, but living their lives for twenty years had changed them. Only now she knew what she wanted, and maybe Dylan knew too.
The surprise when Dylan and she matched on the dating app had her leaving him hanging for almost a week. She had instantly recognized him from his picture — his boyish features had changed into strong manly ones — and since he called her by her name when he sent her a message, she knew he had recognized her too.
She finally settled on a soft pink dress which accentuated her gentle curves, kissed her calves and showed just enough cleavage not to be vulgar. Silver high-heeled sandals and a silver clutch bag completed the picture.
They awkwardly hugged and gave each other a kiss on each cheek when they met at the restaurant. For the first half an hour, their conversation stuttered.
Then, as if a switch flipped over, they were the twenty-somethings of way back when. They picked up where they had left off, at first avoiding talking about their break-up. Eventually it came up, but by then they were already gazing into each other’s eyes again.
Two months later, they were inseparable. Dylan, an established business director, carried Marina on his hands. Marina enjoyed being the center of his attention. She was as in love with him again as she was when they were both still students.
Eight months into their relationship, she took the last sip of her red wine, and her eyes grew wide when she spotted the ring at the bottom of her glass. If the smile on his face didn’t tell her anything, him being on his knees next to her did.
“Beautiful Marina, I still leave my clothes on the floor, and sometimes my socks have holes. I never know which way to hang the toilet paper and I am sure there’s more that will irritate you at times, but will you…”
Before he could finish, Marina interrupted him: “Yes, yes! Oh god yes, I will marry you.”
No conditions, no doubts, no premonitions.
They were a dashing couple on their wedding day — radiant and insanely happy.
In her vows, Marina ended with the words: “To love is a choice, and I choose to love you with all my heart, from now till the day we die.”
They were married for almost two years when one morning Dylan rolled over to kiss his wife awake, like he had done every day since they were married. She had her back turned to him. He softly touched her shoulder and instantly knew something was wrong.
Marina had died in her sleep, a serene smile playing around her lips.
Wicked Wednesday stops at the end of the year. Currently, there’s a challenge to complete 25 prompts by 31 December. Following the clever example of others, here you see the prompts I have already completed. My goal is to write for every one of the Wicked Wednesday Bingo Prompts. Join in!
This story answers to the prompt: to love is a choice
My stories for the prompts are:
- Harmony In Flowers (language of flowers)
- Listening To Her Inner Voice (intimacy and self esteem)
- Annual Meeting On Summer Solstice (summer solstice)
- The Healing Power Of A Penis Masturbator (phases of life)
- The story above (to love is a choice)