“I have a question for your, Charlie.” Darla twirled a ring of hair around her delicate finger and gazed at him with bashful brown eyes that looked deeper than all the oceans to Charlie.
The boy gulped and blushed. “OK,” he said. It came out as a dry gasp, and Darla grinned.
“Do you think I’m pretty?”
“Oh, boy, do I!” Charlie blurted it out before he could even think. His face burned with embarrassment, and he dropped his head. The sidewalk was marred with cracks, and he wished he could crawl inside one of them.
Darla leaned in close and kissed him on the cheek, then whispered, “I like you, too, Charlie Franklin!”
With that, she turned and skipped toward her house.
Charlie was stunned, but he felt a silly grin spread across his face as he lifted his head and watched Darla walk up her front steps, stop to give him a shy wave, then disappear into her house.
He took a step forward, trying to get one last look at the little girl down the block, but he tripped on a raised hunk of sidewalk. He splattered across the concrete and landed on his hands and knees, face-to-face with one of the cracks.
He really needed to get that fixed.
“Are you working on the sidewalk again, dear?”
Charlie looked up to find Darla walking toward him in her Sunday best.
“No, no,” he said, picking himself off the ground, old joints groaning the whole way. “Just having a look.”
Darla pursed her lips but smiled at her husband. That man had spent a lifetime tinkering!
“Well, dust yourself off, Charlie. We’ll be late for church.” Then, casting that deep brown gaze his way : “Do you think I look pretty today?”
“Oh, boy, do I!” Charlie blushed. Sixty years together, and he still couldn’t play cool with Darla.
His wife pecked him on the cheek. “Well, I like you, too, Charlie Franklin.”
They locked arms and walked toward the church. Charlie’s joints didn’t hurt anymore, and he thought he just might break into a skip.