Story: To Have And To Hold

By: Phil Temples


“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?”


“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.”


“’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.

Categories: Fiction

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