“Do you remember when we got married,” Deborah asked as she burrowed under the quilt.
“I believe they call that an anniversary, dear,” Jacob said without looking away from the book he held at arm’s length, refusing to put on his glasses.
She grabbed the book of sonnets with one hand, cupped his chin to face her with the other. “You believe you’re going to make it to your next birthday, don’t you, old man? I’m trying to be serious here.”
“Funny, I thought you always were.” He kissed her forehead before she could protest. “Yes, dear, I remember. My brother, the witness, Mrs. Helen our guardian. And our parents refusing to talk to us for more than a month.”
Deborah glanced at the dog-earred page, a pet peeve of hers, yet kept her silence. “I don’t think I ever felt so scared in my life, aside from the day I thought I killed you, I mean.”
“Knocked me off my feet before then,” he whispered as the winter winds howled on the other side of the walls. “What brought you back to-?”
“I’m afraid of forgetting. Sure, I give you grief for making me look for your glasses or wondering where I wrote check number 214, but… Joel, there are days I can’t remember what happened the day before.”
He hugged her tighter. “Considering we’re keeping track of three kids, two parents and a stubborn aunt and uncle, it’s any wonder we remember who the other one is anymore. Don’t worry, though, love. If you go senile, I’ll walk along that path with you. Then we can both watch our memories vanish in the sands as the waves wash over time and again.”
Deborah smiled, relieved and tired. She didn’t have the energy she used to and couldn’t help but wonder how she expected them to keep up with the grandkids, too. “Want your book back?”
Jacob shook his head, reciting the sonnet instead, his soft voice lulling her into a sweet sleep on the sofa, in his arms.