Charlotte Greet sat in the living room of her spacious Cape Cod Styled home, holding a long-stemmed red rose in her hand, she glanced at the calendar, a big red circle marked the date, January 14, her anniversary. She dreaded the moment every year, but she forced herself to go through the process. She looked at a framed picture on an end table, then stared down at her diamond ring and wedding band she still wore. Today would’ve marked her 30th wedding anniversary.
She wasn’t looking for love, when she walked across the college campus that autumn day. Late for her drama class, she took a detour across the lawn, as she ran to the theater her eyes shifted to an oak tree, where a guy sat underneath playing his guitar. At the time, she didn’t think much about him, but as the days turned into weeks, she found herself walking the same path, so she could catch a glimpse of the handsome student. There was something about him that awakened feelings inside of her, whether it was his long brown hair or the way he played his guitar, she couldn’t shake her feelings for him.
Not having the nerve to go up to him, she continued her usual routine of sneaking a peek as she hurried by. One day, as she left class, she turned to stare at him, and at that same moment, he glanced up from his guitar flashing a smile her way. Perpetuated by him, she fell to the ground and dropped her books. The handsome man she spent weeks looking at came over and offered her a hand. After helping her to her feet, picking up the books, and brushing dirt of her jacket, he introduced himself as Michael Green, a teaching major and avid music lover.
With nothing to do for the rest of the afternoon, Charlotte took up his invitation of having lunch at a nearby diner. Over coffee and pie, they got to know each other and found they shared common interests, both were Carolina natives and lovers of the arts, for her drama, for him music. They sat there the whole day talking right up until closing time, when the waitress informed them they had to leave.
In a matter of a week, they began dating, then within a few months, she moved into his off-campus apartment. Their days were spent attending classes, which Michael escorted Charlotte to. During the nights, when they had no studying they settled down to watch a movie or occasionally go to a bar where Michael and his band performed. Nearly a year after they first met, Michael got down on bended knee and proposed, which Charlotte happily accepted. Their parents wanted them to wait until they finished college before they married, but neither Michael nor Charlotte were a fan of long engagements, so one weekend, they ran off and eloped. Afterwards they had a small celebration with their family and friends in their apartment; pizza, chips, and beer served as part of their reception dinner.
Charlotte stared at her wedding picture, she in a white flowing gown and Michael in a plaid suit with his hair tied back into a ponytail. Then she stared at another picture of her and Michael, this one taken six years ago. He looked as handsome as ever, although his long hair cut to a more suitable short style, but he still flashed that dazzling smile she fell in love with.
As she stared at his picture, she ran her fingers through her long dark hair; the last few years haven’t been kind to her. She used to have a wonderful life, she and Michael were the picture perfect couple raising their four kids; Jack, Scott, Alicia, and Peter; in Westmore. They had dreams of one day seeing their children get married and have children of their own. Sadly that dream ended four years ago, when her husband was killed in a car crash on his way home from work, in an instant their perfect life was shattered.
The first year after his death, Charlotte was a zombie; spending most of her time in her bedroom, cut off from her family and the rest of the world. All day and night she would cry her heart out, causing stress to her body. Finally, her children stepped up to the plate and got her out of her trance like state. They convinced her, this isn’t what daddy would’ve wanted. He wouldn’t want her to mope around all day, he’d want her to go out and enjoy life. Although she didn’t want to admit it, she knew they were right, knowing Michael he’d be fussing at her behavior. Instead of staying home, wallowing in self-pity day-after-day, she finally got out and did something with her life. She owned a successful business with her best friend, and her kids, although all grown and had lives of their own, still made time for their dear old mom.
Although she was doing better and had moved on with her life, deep down she still missed Michael.