Story: To Have And To Hold

By: Phil Temples

old_couple2

“Harry, we’ve been dating now for—what? Four months? I don’t mean to sound pushy, but don’t you think it’s time that we take it to the next level?”

“Huh?”

“You know, don’t you want a soul mate? Someone to share your life with? ‘For better or for worse, in sickness and in health?’”

The man and woman sat on a park bench on a warm afternoon in late December. The sun shone brightly.

“Mildred, listen honey–we both know this wasn’t going to be a long-term thing. It’s just a fling. Now, don’t get me wrong—the sex has been fantastic! You’re like a tiger in bed. But, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me! So do you, for that matter. And besides, look at our age difference. Compared to me, you’re a young woman. You don’t want to be tied down now, do you?”

The woman was silent for a moment. Harry hoped he had let her down gently, but he couldn’t tell. Women were just so unpredictable.

“Stand up, Harry.”

“Huh?”

“’Stand up,’ I said.”

Harry rose from the bench. With some effort, Mildred did the same. With all her might, she kicked Harry in the shin. Harry went down like a sack of potatoes.

“Aaahhh! What the hell?! I think you broke my hip, Mildred!”

“Well,” replied the 86-year-old-woman to the nonagenarian, “You didn’t want me in health. Now, do you want me to ‘have and to hold in sickness?’”

###

Phil Temples lives in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA and works as a computer systems administrator at a university. He has published over eighty works of short fiction in print and online journals. Blue Mustang Press recently published Phil’s murder-mystery novel, “The Winship Affair.” And his new paranormal-horror novel, “Helltown Chronicles,” has just been accepted by Eternal Press.

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