“Laddie, get me that taxi,” she bellowed to the young bell-boy. Startled out of his wits, he ran after one that had just disgorged a noisy group of tourists.
She climbed in gingerly. And waved imperiously. The taxi honked its way through the crowded street, towards the Ruins of St. Paul’s Church.
She looked around impatiently and spotted the broad shoulders, confident gait, the head full of thick silver hair.
“Stop now. I shall alight.”
The gentleman on the opposite side of the street quickly strode towards her. He held out his hand, his eyes twinkled merrily.
“Patricia! You look as ravishing as ever,” he kissed her gently on the cheeks.
She glanced at him, “You don’t look so bad yourself, Roger. Please hold my hand. These cobbled stones are ruthless to my feet. And why couldn’t we have met at the casino?” she demanded.
“And then what? Have your dozen grand-children, great-grand-nieces and grand-nephews goggle at us? How would you explain to them who I am?”
She laughed happily.
He guided her into the beautiful Portuguese restaurant. Candle-light, music, wine. Everything was perfect. Just like how she knew him to be. She sighed contentedly as they danced slowly. She knew the routine. They would retire to his luxurious suite. Next morning breakfast in bed. A day spent exploring the island, the helicopter ride back to Macau.
Patricia had met Roger on a cruise liner. The holiday had been a gift from her children after she lost her husband to sudden pneumonia five years ago. She had become a recluse and the children had urged her to take that vacation.
She had been impressed by Roger’s fancy-free and footloose approach to life. He took everything in his stride. He had been married once and his wife had succumbed to a prolonged illness seven years ago. He had swept Patricia off her feet and they were madly in love. They had continued to keep in touch over the years. She was 70 and he was nearing 80.
He looked deep into her eyes, “Patricia, you know we love each other. Few get a second chance in life. What are we waiting for? Will you marry me?” He got down on his knee and took out the diamond ring from his pocket. There were tears in Patricia’s eyes as she whispered, “Yes Roger.”
Next morning, Roger drove Patricia back to her hotel. There was a cacophony of noise as her very large family was seated at breakfast. They hardly noticed her until her youngest great-grand nephew squealed,”Mommy, look! Gramma is back. She’s brought a Person.”
They turned to look at the couple. Roger gently squeezed Patricia’s hand. She said quietly, “Children, meet Roger. My fiance.”
There were a few seconds of stunned silence. And then everyone rushed to congratulate them. There was backslapping and laughter all around.
The rosy glow in Patricia’s cheeks and the twinkle in Roger’s eyes bore testimony to their love. They were married the next day at a quiet ceremony.