She sat on the same bench she always seemed to rest at during her late afternoon walk along the sea front. The late summers sun, pale and weak yet still somehow bringing brightness to the world. Sent shimmering, dancing light across the gently lapping wave tops. The tide was fast going out, she thought, like her life. Unlike her though the sea would return fresh and vibrant in a few hours time, for her the tide would never come in again.

The winds chill reminded her that Autumn was not far away, she looked up at the leaves in the trees above her, fast losing their greenness, shades of gold and brown starting to appear. Even as she looked several stirred by the wind, left their treetop home and slowly spiraled to the floor.

Memorized she watched them, blown in the breeze until they landed on the pathway, like her life she thought tossed around, lost, only to end cold and lonely.

Pulling her cardigan closer round her she looked down at the garb she now wore, plain, ordinary, old.
She was old, she felt old, she looked old, like the seasons, the Autumn of her life was fast approaching. She smiled, she had not always been this way. They days she could smile and turn a mans head, the clothes that matched the brightness of the sun. Without thinking she fiddled with the single gold band that was on her third finger.

She had been alone for ten years now. The man who was the summer of her life had ended with the death of the man who who had brought the light into her life. Alone and growing old, like the leaves that fell from the trees.She was a lonely "old fart" she thought.

She had tried the clubs, the senior centers, where lonely old woman laid wait like prediters for any man who should chance into their domain. She had laughed at the antics, finding nothing that was of interest there for her. With the help of her daughter and grandchildren she had come to grips with the Internet, finding many like her to chat with on the net. There were men there, some very kind, others only after the same thing, something she had longed for herself the last few years, but felt unable to give.

She had made some very special friends, some of which she had almost let get further, some of which only distance had stopped becoming more than that.

She thought of Simon, a man she had met a few months before, who seemed to understand her so very well. She had felt a certain something from the first time his friendly words appeared in the "60's Chatroom" where she visited. The days had passed and they had both realized that there was something special between them, something they both had been looking for. No flashes and bangs, no fireworks of sexual attraction, though she knew that was there as well. Just a warm feeling like an old sweater, something warm and cosy that made them both feel contentment.

The problem had been he was thousands of miles away, to far for it to be anything more, to far away for what was there to blossom from the seed that had grown between them. She sighed.

The sun dipped it's last pale golden beams in the silver sea, like a match dipped in water, it glowed once and disappeared, leaving a feint red glow in the darkening sky. Nights stars hardly visible in the twilight sky started to shine brighter.

She looked at her whatch, it was late, time she was heading back home, she needed an early start in the morning. It was a long drive to the airport, though not as long as the flight Simon had made to be with her.

perhaps she was reaching the Autumn of her life, the Autumn of both their lives. But she knew that from tomorrow she would not be alone, it did no matter how old you were, with love you will always be younger than springtime.

© Barry Eva August 2003