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Going the distance



Miranda loved the coastline of New England, while her husband, Charlie, preferred the wide-open spaces of western Nebraska. After a relatively short discussion about where they’d spend their retirement years, an agreement was reached. Half of the year would be spent on the New England shoreline, and the other half of the year would be spent on the New England shoreline.

After three years of quiet repose to the sound of seagulls and surf, Miranda passed away. A week following her funeral, Charlie booked a flight to Omaha and then rented a car. Six hours later he reached Alliance, a small town located on the high plains of the far Midwest.

Shortly after arriving, he bought a modest house a dozen miles out of the center. He felt he had finally fulfilled a long time dream as he sat on the porch watching the sun set on the far horizon.

In time, Charlie joined the senior center in town, and during a bean supper on a Friday evening, he met Sandra, a fellow septuagenarian. Not long after, he fell in love with her and proposed. To his great satisfaction, she accepted, and they began life in her larger house on the outskirts of the business district.

Life was better than Charlie ever thought it could be, until a revelation by his new wife on their first month anniversary caught him off guard.

“I’ve always dreamed of living close to the ocean. Maybe right on the beach,” confided Sandra. “I’m not sure I’ll ever feel fulfilled unless I do.”

Realizing that her deep-seated yearning would most likely have a negative impact on their life together, Charlie decided to take action.

“Darling, you know I want us to be happy, so I bought you something I think will guarantee that,” said Charlie, handing his wife an envelope.

Sandra opened it excitedly, but when she saw what was inside, she was confounded.

“It’s a single one-way ticket to the East Coast.”

“Exactly,” said Charlie.

###

There is something curiously boring about somebody else’s happiness.

– Aldous Huxley

This story was written by Michael C. Keith. Michael C. Keith teaches college and writes fiction. Click here to check out his website >>

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