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In Due Time


by David James


Almost every weekend I'd ask Henry to go out with me and Marge, telling him we could double and, hey, maybe he could bring Ellen, who he dated a while back, who still asked about him. I'd suggest such things as going to a movie or out for a few drinks to reminisce about our college antics. Henry would always just shake his head “no” and say things were just too boring at our ages — and besides, since his neighbor, Mattie's husband, Jinx, died last year, he spends all his free time reading to Mattie, driving her around and visiting Jinx's  grave.

She must have been in her mid-eighties and I admire Henry for being so loyal to her, but to cut off the rest of the world like he had was weird. It was as if he'd romantically bonded with her.

Last weekend, Mattie had a stroke. She died on Tuesday. Henry called and asked that Marge and I be there for the grave side services on Saturday and we agreed. We went, but traffic held us up and we got to the cemetery a bit late. When we got there and as we were walking over to the grave-site we saw Henry — with Ellen. 

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