The River

In spring and autumn they walked down to the river bank, watching the changing colours of the trees and the stream of human life that passed them by. Summer was best left to the heat and the tourists; the winter weather too cold for their shrunken frames. They sat in companionable silence for hours on end, sometimes with books but often just hand in hand. They watched the world but there was no one else. ‘For better or worse’ and ‘ for richer or poorer’ had been and gone. Now all that mattered was the time they had together.

The house was full today. It was not their choice, too much fuss and bother, but the children had wanted to do something. The grandchildren had pleaded for a party and who could deny them that? They sat, hand in hand taking in the congratulations from all around; so many people, some who had travelled from so far away. The applause died out and the music started. The song was unfamiliar but they moved together as they always had, their wrinkled hands joined together, looking into each others eyes. Today was a day for others but tomorrow would be theirs, down by the river.

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