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Story Of The Week

A Split Second Decision

by Jenna Stoneley

It was a Friday night and it was our second date.  He was ten years younger than me, and I was nervous because he was my co-worker.  He had been asking me out for a while, but I held no interest in dating a younger man.  Though I found him very attractive, I was bothered by the age difference.

I finally consented after he sent me two dozen roses and a menu to one of the most fabulous restaurants in town.  At work, I was teased daily by my co-workers because he made it known that he was “smitten” with me.

That night, over dinner, he held my hand and looked directly into my eyes, while we talked.  He seemed genuinely interested in me and who I was, and I soaked in a new experience.  I had been married twice, and they had both been to older men, so at that moment I was on a page I’d never been on before.

We sat talking and staring into each other’s eyes until we were the last ones left in the restaurant, and I found him to be so enchanting that I hated for the evening to end. As if reading my thoughts, he asked if I’d like to go for a long ride in the country, and I quickly said yes.  It had been months since I’d had a real date and the last one was still a sore memory. 

It had ended abruptly, immediately after we left the theater when my date claimed he had to get home to a previous engagement.  He dropped me off at a nearby cab stand and didn’t look back.  He never called again, and I didn’t expect him to.  After that incident, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I had done to cause such a negative end to the date. 

However, this time I was at a different place.  I felt beautiful and desired. It was a warm summer night and as we rode under the stars he told me he loved me and that he wanted to take care of me for the rest of my life.  When I informed him that I was ten years older than him, he didn’t flinch.  He stated that my age didn’t matter to him because he believed I was his soulmate.

Then suddenly, he pulled over to the side of the road, into an orchard of dense trees, and my heart stopped.  My fear was replaced by excitement when he pulled me into his arms and stroked my hair without saying a word.  When he finally spoke, he asked me to marry him and suggested that we drive at that very moment to Vegas for the weekend.

As I sat staring at him with my mouth open, I quickly pulled my life up on the screen of my mind.  I had never been married.  I was 38 years old, and my heart had been broken so many times I couldn’t count. I had never had a man say he loved me before, nor had I seen myself in a man’s eyes the way I did in his.  In a split-second decision, I said yes, and we drove off toward Vegas.  We were married two days later.

 It was the most wonderful experience I’ve ever had and the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, but it was the best decision I ever made.  That was three years ago and we’re still happily married, with two children.

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