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Max has been in love with his wife Rosie ever since she sat next to him in their Chaucer class nearly forty years ago. Now she is dying of Alzheimer's. He devotes himself to taking care of her, bringing her tea and toast each afternoon, going to the park to feed the ducks, and reminiscing.
When he can no longer care for her alone, he hires Robin as Rosie's live-in nurse. As time passes his attraction to Robin grows. They share meals, movies, and confidences while Rosie fades further away. He dreams of kissing Robin and telling her how he feels—but wonders could she ever feel the same about him. When Rosie dies, Max dreads the day Robin will move out. What will he do without her vibrant ways, her sweet smile? What will he do without her?
Page Count: 49
Word Count: 13100
The shrill sound of the teakettle shattered Max’s reverie. He was remembering when he and Rosie met thirty-eight years ago. Sighing deeply, he looked down at the yellow mug and remembered the two of them rowing along the Charles River one May morning, the night after their first date—the first of many before shocking everyone they knew by getting married one April weekend while still in their senior year of college. He had been attending Harvard and she was at Radcliffe, a few years after the two colleges had begun sharing courses.
He often thought of Rosie walking in on the first day of their Chaucer course. She had stood at the doorway and looked around the crowded room for a seat. He was immediately captivated by her pretty, oval-shaped face, high cheekbones and the serious intensity in her eyes as she scanned the room, and then her delighted, almost childlike smile when she saw the empty chair next to him.
She’d asked if he minded her sitting there, and he turned and looked around the room. “Well, there aren’t any other seats in the room, so I guess it’s okay.”
He could still see her that day with her thick, bushy, brown hair and horn-rimmed glasses, so unlike most of the other women with their long straight hair, tailored clothes, and aristocratic air, who looked as if they had just stepped out of an advertisement in Seventeen or Glamour. She wore a flowery skirt that fell below her knees, a baggy green turtleneck sweater, several rows of a beaded necklace, and sandals. She looked more bohemian than Ivy league. At that time, he had no idea where that moment would lead.
Max poured the water into Rosie’s yellow mug then glanced over at her sitting at the kitchen table, staring out the window, her chin resting on her hand. What was she thinking about? What was she trying to remember?
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