You said, ‘Tell me a story?’

‘What sort of story?’

‘A story about love,’ you said.

‘Ah, but I know nothing about that.’

‘Nothing?’ You moved closer, your breath warm on my neck. You whispered, ‘please.’

So I told you about my grandmother’s letters. How we found them in a parcel beneath folded linen.

After we’d read the first we regretted our intrusion. But we read the rest regardless.

They were addressed to her but written in her own hand and signed with the initials she’d had before she married. Your love forever, C.S.

My Grandfather, though his surname was Hansen, had the given names Charles Stanley. A blacksmith by trade, he never learned to read or write. He’d had her write his love letters to her. ‘Imagine that. Sitting together across a table dictating your affections.’

When I finished telling Grandma’s story you said thank you. You kissed me and asked if I’d tell you another the next day. Each night you repeated the request. I fear one night no story will come. But more than that I fear the night when you no longer ask for a story the next day.

 

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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