80. SweetestRedHead

80. SweetestRedHead

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

SweetestRedHead

As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.

~Pablo Neruda, Ode to a Beautiful Nude

My last divorce had devastated my psyche. I found a dating site, although I was fearful of something new. I felt like a broken down old man. Who would want me at fifty-five?

A confident and curvy lady nicknamed SweetestRedHead accidentally clicked on my profile, still lacking a photo. Even more accidental was the automatic flirt she sent while trying to exit my profile, asking for a photo. I hesitantly took the worst selfie in the world and submitted it. I was many pounds overweight and hurting both physically and emotionally.

With no confidence I wrote back to this lady. She wrote back. Said I was handsome. How could this beautiful creature, this SweetestRedHead, see that in me? We continued on, e-mail after e-mail, one self-revelation after another. It was actually exciting to come home from work to see her next e-mails. She felt the same. I finally got up the nerve to ask her out! A date was set for Friday, 6:45 P.M.

I was early to the restaurant by nearly an hour. I waited outside. As she walked up, I knew it was her. I could tell by her photos that she was curvy but this was more than I expected. But, because of our e-mails, I was still so excited to meet her in person. Dinner was wonderful. She eventually invited me to sit next to her. I wondered if she could hear the beating of my heart. A soft touch and we held hands. No words needed to be spoken but many were said. When we finally looked up, after hours of conversation, the place was cleared of other patrons. The workers were eating their post-shift meal and waved at us genially as we left. Word had gotten around about our “blind date” and they left us two lovebirds alone.

I walked her to the car and we hugged goodbye. I could feel the tensions in my body release from her heartfelt embrace. I kissed her gently, sensing her surprise. She was not that kind of girl. My kiss so tender did something for her. She kissed back with her own tenderness evident. We broke apart with reluctance as she got in her car and drove away. I watched her car till it was no longer visible. We both drove home all agog. Whatever just happened was incredible! We needed more of each other.

Our romance was a whirlwind. She, ever so confident in her curves hidden by clothes, became hesitant when it was time to become intimate. I examined her curves with the one thing I had going for me, my absolute adoration of her. I showed it with my eyes. She was inexperienced and often hesitant. My patience was rewarded with her acceptance.

In the glow after, she nestled into my side. Being the poker player I am, I sensed her “tell” — that she wondered if she was worthy. I never told her what her tell was. It was an ever so slight unconscious nodding of her head. Happened almost every time, especially while snuggling together. I would tease her about it, but never revealed it. Looking into her adoring eyes and seeing that adoration being returned soon eased her “tell” and led us to a beautiful life together.

I could see, when she looked at me, how loved I was. She could see, when I looked at her, how loved she was. Our confidence in ourselves soared and that in turn fed our love. She found she didn’t have to hide the curves of a beautiful woman. She didn’t have to feel uneasy about nudity. What did I see after all? I saw a woman who loved me so much that my heart yearned for her every minute we were apart. I saw a woman whose being filled my soul. I saw a woman who filled my confidence with just a loving look from her soft brown eyes. I was no longer the broken down old man she rescued like a puppy from the pound. I was vibrant and strong. I had confidence again. I was whole and we were united in our love.

She had been alone most of her adult life. Caring full-time for an aging and ailing parent left little room for others. Four years before meeting me, her mother had passed away. Her friends I met told me how happy I’d made her. They just didn’t get it. I had to tell them how happy she made me! I would have shouted it from the rooftops!

We promised each other forty years together. We cooked together, cleaned and took the garbage out as one. A team, synchronized. When I had to go on the occasional trip, we e-mailed or texted constantly. I filled her in on my days as I traveled for work, announcing my next location. I would text my ETA for arriving home, sometimes beating traffic. Her joy at seeing me, and my joy in seeing her, fed us like a food. We craved each other, unable to be sated. We encouraged each other for work and play.

Our confidence in ourselves soared and that in turn fed our love. She found she didn’t have to hide the curves of a beautiful woman.

Then, some discomfort. A doctor visit. More painful visits. I skipped work to be with her at every appointment. Then a visit to a specialist an hour away. Several weeks later we were back and a surgeon’s skills were used. That was followed by a day in the hospital. I slept on a chair in her room. Next, ten weeks of recovery. No lifting, cooking, cleaning. I was nursemaid, cook, and assistant all rolled into one. I gave it my best effort.

My beautiful, curvy, and adored SweetestRedHead passed away before any additional treatment could be done. The paramedics were heroic as I sat stunned at what was happening.

We didn’t get forty years. We had two and a half. Best years of my life. God had other plans for her. God has plans for me too and I will accept his call when my time comes. She would want me to be happy. I know that. I was happy just being with her.

In heaven, they say you are perfect. Here on earth, she already was for me.

~Patrick Michael McIntyre

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