Margaret Johnson was eighty-years-old and lived in an assisted living facility. She was in good shape for her age except for thick glasses, and she had a secret. She was madly in love with Sy Silverman, a seventy-five-year-old newbie who’d arrived only two months before. Sy was actually not quite as spry as Margaret, he had to use a walker to get around, but he had the two essential characteristics that she liked in a man: an infectious sense of humor and a ready smile.
Margaret wanted to feel young again. Go to the park and sit on a bench holding hands or maybe drive down to the beach and do a little snuggling while hearing the pounding of the ocean waves.
“How about we get out of here? “ she said to Sy one morning at breakfast. “Let’s just jump in my car and head off on a mini-adventure.”
Sy grinned. “That sounds wonderful, but you know that monster Fred will never let us out of his sight.”
Fred was the tough-looking nursing attendant who stood at the corner of the dining room with his tattooed arms folded over his chest.
Margaret leaned over and said with confidence, “Oh, let me handle Fred.”
Sy’s eyes brightened. “Work your magic, my dear. I’m up for some fun.”
Five minutes later, Margaret was whispering in Fred’s ear. His scowl turned first to a quizzical look and then to a smile. Shortly after, Si and Margaret were headed to the parking lot escorted by Fred.
Margaret got her wish to feel young again. She drove Si down to the local beach and he gently held her hand as they chatted and gazed out at the waves. They even bought ice cream.
When they returned at the agreed-upon hour, Fred was waiting to walk them back inside. After getting them settled in their chairs for dinner, Margaret quietly handed Fred her keys, which he slipped in his pocket and then walked away.
Si shook his head in disbelief. “Are you loaning that guy your car?”
“His teenage daughter Sherry works here on weekends. She told me she needed a car to take her driving test. Her dad only has a truck with a stick shift. I suggested this morning that maybe we could work a trade.”
“Impressive,” Si said, “I love an enterprising woman.”
“Be careful. There’s more where that came from.”
Si chuckled. “Bring it on. Don’t let that walker fool you. I promise I’m 16 in here.”
“Well, that makes me 21,” Margaret said, squeezing his arm. “I think at least one of us should be legal.”