Wrinkles Don't Mean You've Aged, They Mean You've Lived.

May 2, 2011
Sitting in his old, velvety, emerald green chair, the photo album spread openly across his lap. His nimble, aged fingers flip the pages, his eyes taking in every moment frozen in time, when something catches his eye. Somewhat hidden, a folded corner of a memory so long forgotten, peeks out from under another picture. John pulls out the folded picture and quickly draws in a breath. Annie.
It was the first day of spring, and it was warm. The kind of warm that comes along after it’s been cold for so long, it seems to thaw out your body even if you didn’t know it was frozen in the first place. The sun was peeking through John’s window and tickling his eyelids, waking him up almost forty-five minutes early. Instead of getting upset about the situation, John decided to get up and grab breakfast. He wasn’t getting much sleep these days anyway. Expecting the cold of winter, John grabbed his coat and hat and headed out the door. As he waltzed down the sidewalk, head held high, enjoying the surprising warmth and beauty of the day, he smelt this fantastic aroma coming from a little store. Entranced by the scent, he entered the pastry store. A petite blond with her back turned was standing at the counter and yelled, “I’ll be with you in a minute!” As John was surveying the croissants and assorted muffins under the glass counter, the blond turned her attention from her previous activity and towards John. With a bright, beautiful smile, she simply asked, “what can I get for you?” John was immediately blown away. He had seen some beautiful girls in his time, but none compared to her. As he ordered, they held some playful conversation and John was on his way. As John was leaving he knew right then and there. He had to have her. Throughout the day, she was on the only thing he could think about. The next morning, he woke up early and went to the pastry shop and did so for the rest of the week. Every day they held little, insignificant conversations that would mean nothing to a normal person, but to John they meant everything. By the time the week ended, she had agreed to let him take her out.
By mid-spring, John and Annie had become inseparable. They were always moving, picking flowers in the fields, dancing on Annie’s grandmother porch, or swimming in the lake, they were always together. From the second John started learning things about Annie, such as her grandmother owning the pastry shop they had met at and her dreams of becoming a famous actress, he had this urge to learn more. Not just the big things, but also the little things. He wanted to know everything. She was incredibly light-hearted and could make John laugh with such a force. She would always tease that she would have to stop or else he would get pre-mature wrinkles. By this time, John had fallen deeply in love with Annie. Her voice, her freckles painted sporadically across her nose, the way her blond hair blew in the wind, wild and free. . Everything about Annie in some way moved him. Her laugh had become a question he wanted to spend the rest of his life answering. She had made him the happiest he had ever been in his life and as the seasons slowly started to interchange, John found it impossible to imagine a life without her. Until, he had too.
Like the day they met, the day Annie left was also clear as crystal. At the end of August, Annie had heard about auditions out west to be in a movie. This being her biggest dream, she wasn’t going to miss it for anything, even John. With bags packed and in the car, she said her good-byes to her grandmother, the old town she would hopefully never have to see again, and John. As the car pulled out onto the road, John felt his heart being torn out of his chest and dragged, all the way out west. Time went by, but nothing changed. He longed to hold her in his arms, to kiss her one last time, to run his fingers through her untamed hair. He would write letters almost every day, but with no address meant no destination.

John never forgot about Annie and the way she made him feel, as if he was flying. The feeling that he could conquer the world with one hand, as long as she was holding the other. Whenever John looks in the mirror, he sees Annie and the time they enjoyed together, written like a story right on there on his face in a language only they would understand. The laugh lines she carved along his lips with her great sense of humor, the wrinkles from the sun from picking flowers and swimming in the lakes and of course, the wrinkle she left on his heart that will always remain.

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redeemed_love said...
May 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm
Wow. It's beautiful.
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