The Net of Years
Olivia K. Goode
Spring stretched and flexed itself that night, reaching out its long
fingers through every bud and blade of grass in
Central Park. Its breath was sweet with the scents of
magnolias and cherry blossoms. Its sighs were the song of young frogs
and the first crickets.
A gentle, loving hand - disguised by powerful muscles and thick fur -
reached out from the edge of a black cloak. It twined about a hand
composed of great strength and staunch courage - one deceptively
concealed behind a dainty, feminine façade.
“It’s been an ideal night for a walk, hasn’t it, Vincent?”
“Yes. I’m so very glad that you suggested it, Catherine.”
As they returned to the drainage tunnel, Vincent’s head turned toward
the small grove of white pines on the edge of the woods.
“That’s new.” He gestured that direction. “There never used to be a
“It’s a lovely location for a bench, though, nestled in there among the
trees. I think it must overlook the little stream and the footbridge.
Let’s go take a closer look, shall we?”
He smiled as he turned their path back up the softly rising hill. “I am
always agreeable to any suggestion of yours, Catherine.”
They paused in front of the bench just as the moon slipped from behind a
cloud. A sliver of moonlight illuminated the small silver plaque mounted
to the top rail on the back of the bench.
“Catherine!” Vincent’s jaw gaped slightly as he first caught sight of
it. “Catherine, how…?”
“The park has this program…something they started several years ago. You
can adopt a bench. They’re willing to place it almost anywhere you like,
and they let you inscribe it however you choose. Then the park will
maintain the bench, just as it is, forever and ever. Isn’t that lovely,
“And so you…?”
Catherine nodded, a sly, knowing smile playing on her face as she led
him to the bench. She sat down, and after a gentle tug, he joined her.
“I knew you were up to something - something that was making you feel
very pleased with yourself - but I never would have imagined this.” He
angled himself so that he could better see the plaque. One clawed thumb
pad traced over the engraved letters. “It’s wonderful. Thank you. A
place of our own, hidden here within a little grove of pines.”
“A new vantage point, now that we go to the apartment so seldom.”
Further discussion was postponed as he now caressed her bottom lip with
his thumb, as if reading a message that was written there only for him,
in a tongue only he, of all the men of the world, could understand. He
bent his lips to hers to speak his thanks wordlessly.
A while later, they walked back down the gentle hill toward the drainage
tunnel and home. They paused and looked back at the bench once more.
“The children will be able to enjoy that bench nearly as much as their
“It’s a wonderful gift. Thank you again.”
“No, Vincent. Thank you.
Every moment since that night, I’m reminded what a gift life is. What a
gift this happy life is!”
Behind them, moonbeams glinted off the silver plaque.
True Love Stories Never Have Endings.
Happy 10th Anniversary.
Ever yours, C.
“True love stories never have endings.” ~Richard Bach