Don and Penelope

Don and Penelope Don and Penelope

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

A sweet, non-erotic little story that really happened.

Summary

A sweet, non-erotic little story that really happened.

Content

Submitted: February 19, 2017

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Content

Submitted: February 19, 2017

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Penelope took her seat at the table in the busy dining hall and patiently waited for the waitress. It was her Sunday ritual to treat herself to brunch, and she rather enjoyed spending the morning alone. The waitress appeared and Penelope ordered her usual—iced tea with lemon and a glass of champagne.

“Excuse me, Miss, are you alone?” A lanky, older gentleman smartly attired in a blue dress-shirt and navy pants asked from the table next to hers.

“Yes, yes I am,” Penelope answered with an endearing smile.

“I just wanted to say thank you for sitting next to me and allowing me to look at such a pretty girl while I enjoy my breakfast.”

Penelope sat dumbstruck for a moment. She had recently put herself out on the dating market and had spent an entire week reading cheesy pick-up lines and receiving automated flirts from men in their forties who were too worried about being shot down to send out any kind of a real greeting message. This man’s words were the nicest thing anyone had said to her all week. He wasn’t hitting on her (at least she didn’t think he was), he was just being friendly, and Penelope thought it was nice. He had made her feel good, and that was more than any of the faces on the dating site had done. It was ironic, here sat a man, probably in his seventies, who unwittingly demonstrated that there actually were men out there who were learned in the art of courtoisie (they were just part of the older generation).

Penelope beamed at the stranger. “Thank you,” she said.

“No, thank you.”

Penelope got up and went to the buffet to retrieve her food. She felt strange inside. Her heart had been hardened over the years due to a number of failed relationships, and just when she thought no one had the power to revive her sense of romance, a random stranger says one little thing, and a faint flicker of something she used to know stirred in her soul. It didn’t matter that he was old—what mattered was the genuine sentiment and the sincerity she felt in the words he had spoken.

She ate her meal sheepishly stealing glances at the chivalrous ancien. He would look over at her on occasion, too, but no other words passed between them. After a plateful of watermelon slices, some chicken soup and a generous helping of fried chicken and mashed potatoes, the stranger sat back and flagged the waitress down for a cup of coffee. He drank it quietly and then made ready to leave. He gathered his things—a cane and his jacket—and approached Penelope’s table. Penelope smiled and looked up at him.

“Thank you again,” he said. “Your company made my meal so much more enjoyable.”

Again Penelope was awestruck. She hadn’t even spoken to him, but the man seemed so happy to have had her near him. “What’s your name?” She asked.

“Don,” he replied and held a long-fingered, thin hand out to her.

“Penelope,” she returned as her palm met his. His grip was warm and soft—and politely brief.

“It was so nice to meet you Penelope. You’ve put a smile on my face, so now I’d like to put a smile on yours.”

Penelope looked into Don’s crinkly hazel eyes and regarded him with tenderness.

“A man goes to the doctor and the doctor tells him, ‘I’ve got bad news—‘you only have six months to live.’ The man goes away very sad. A few weeks later he goes back to see the doctor and he’s holding his bill. ‘Doc, I can’t pay this bill of yours,’ he says. The doctor looks at him and begins nodding his head—‘Ok, he says, I’ll give you another six months to live, then.”

Penelope laughed. Don smiled proudly. It was a corny joke, but sharing it made two people feel good. This is what meeting someone should be like thought Penelope. She stood up and gave Don a hug before he left. Don wrapped his long arms about her and gently squeezed.

“If you come again and I see you, I’ll be sure to say hi, he said, and he turned to go.

“Same here,” Penelope said.

The old guy left, and Penelope sat and sipped her glass of champagne. She spent the rest of the morning contemplating how amazing it was that one person could step into another’s life and awaken thoughts and feelings that had been begging to resurface but were always denied the pleasure. Sweet ol’ Don had no idea what he had done for her.

 


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