Last Love

" It's never too late - never too late to start over, never too late to be happy. Jane Fonda".

I was in my early 40's and alone. I had been married twice and divorced twice and pretty much given up on another relationship. But, somehow while I was sleeping, everything changed.I realised that I still had a lot of love to give, and that I missed having a partner, so I joined a few internet dating sites. Great in the short term with plenty of sex involved, but no love.

I cancelled that option and rationalised that if I were to meet someone special it would simply happen, without me even trying. But sometimes it's all simply right in your face. My second wife, Anne, had introduced me to a wonderful family in the country who lived on a farm. Anne was very close to these people having lost her own parents when she was young. We would often visit, sometimes on a weekend and then on holidays. It was so comfortable there that we could stay for a week at a time. They really liked me and I really liked them, so I maintained a close relationship.

The farm was owned by Fred, a reasonably elderly gentleman. And a gentle man he was. Fred had three daughters, His eldest was Josie, aged about 35, Maria who was 31, and Frankie aged 29, Josie lived on he farm as did Frankie. Maria was married and lived in town with four dogs, a cat, and her husband. The other two were unmarried. Father Fred was keen to have the opther two married off and producing grandchildren. Frankie had been in several relationships, but nothing had eventuated. But she was keen. And under her father's urging she came on to me in a big way,. I wasn't attracted to her in that way, but thought often about her sexual advances and the possible experience.

I took holidays from my work in September and wondered where I would like to go. I rang Fred and he welcomed me with open arms. I spent almost two weeks there, and they were the most important weeks of my life. At the farm, Fred tried to get ne to spend as much time as possible with his youngest daughter, Frankie. I did, and it was fun. But increasingly, as I got to know the family better, I craved to be with the eldest, Josie. I ensured that we went shopping together, did chores around the farm together, and had time to just sit and talk. I fell in love.

Josie was a confirmed spinster,. Never wanted to get married, and didn't want children. I knew all this but it didn't seem to matter. I loved her.

In the final week of my holiday I spent a lot of time with her, much to the annoyance of Frankie, and the frustration of Fred. Just before I was scheduled to leave there was a country dance event at the town hall. We all went along. I danced the barn dance, where you move from one partner to another, and my heart literally sank when I danced with Josie. We sat down and talked. She was amazingly intelligent, so confident and strong, involved in so much in the town and theefore so well respected. I felt blessed to be in her company.

Fred's sister, the girls aunty, approached me and asked if she could have a word. She asked me if I realised that Fred was so keen for me to hook up with Frankie. I told her I knew that but I said “ that's not who I'm pining for. She asked for a name, and I hesitated of course. Then my head and eyes turned to Josie who was sitting acrtoss the hall with another man, Frankie and her father. Aunty Betsy immediately understood. She told me that the man sitting next to Josie, Bill, was a long-tiume friend and that there had never been anything romantic in their relationship. Then she walked over to them, spoke in whispers to the three of them, and walked away. Bill immediately moved on, as did Fred, and suddenly Josie was sitting alone. Aunty Betsy summoned me over.

I sat beside Josie with no idea what I would say. Fortunately Josie speke first, “So, you think that you love' me” she said, looking deeply into my eyes. “Yes”, I replied, “I actually think I'm in love with you”. “So what do you want to do with that?” she said. I replied that I wouil;d like to marry her and have children with her. “Surely you have to ask me first”, she said. I stuttered uncomfortably befor bluirting out “Ok, would you marry me?” My god, I had asked. She looked away, stared at the ground for what seemed like and endless time, turned, looled me in the eye, smailed, and said “I'd liove to”..

When we told Fred and he immediately put a stop to the music and announced our engagement to the room. People clapped and embrasced us. Frankie left the hall.

Josie and I have been married for ten years now. Live on a farm, and are delightfully happy. We have three beautiful children and they are our joy. I wrote soemthing for Josie yesterday - “I will never say I don't love you anymore, because I love you more each day”.

" Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. " - CFL

Geoff Mooney