Two people were seated on a wooden bench in a leafy park, a scene straight off the pages of Forrest Gump. The only difference being Forrest Gump wasn't there of course, and there was no epic story of running to tell. But nonetheless the story transpired between them were interesting enough to worth a mention.
On the left was a tall man in his seventies with wispy white hair and whose thin fragile body was decked in a homey olive coloured cardigan. We should call him John.
On the right was a young energetic cheerful guy of just twenty three. Wearing a checkered shirt and baggy shorts, he was whistling to the tune of the newest song by a band the old guy never heard of. And we should call him Ashley.
"Having a happy day 'er young man?" enquired John when Ashley paused to get his breath.
"Yes. In a matter of fact, old man, I just got engaged."
"Congratulations! Ah, this called for a celebration. Here's a toast to your happiness." with that, John raised an imaginary wine glass in his left hand and drank to the health of his young acquaintance.
"Why thank you." managed Ashley, a little taken aback.
A few moments of silence ensued, as they both enriched their senses with the chirping of magpies, the sweet smell of the morning dew and the blossoming flowers of spring.
"Aye, you bought back memories of the courtship of ma missus," John reminisced, breaking the silence. "It was such a sweet time. Got her a stalk of rose for forty nine bloody days before she said yes."
"She was a hard nut to crack, ma Gladys. Hard to please," he continued. "Spotted her on the counter of the grocery store when I was your age. Head over heels I was. Took me three days and ten candies before I mustered the courage to speak to her. And it took me another three years before she said yes."
"It must be an arduous three years."
"Far from it, ma boy, far from it. It was the best three years of ma life. I woke up each day planning and scheming how to win her over. It was exciting. I stole a kiss off her once, made her blush. Still remembered when I sneaked her off under the very nose of her dad to a dance party. Ah.."
"Anyway, I guess you have enough listening to an old man rambling. How's your love story?"
"Well, actually I only seen her in person once. We met six months ago while I was holidaying in Alaska. Got her MSN and had been chatting online ever since. Called her once or twice per week. Found out we clicked. Popped the question online last night after a couple of drinks and she said yes!"
"What?" a look of horror swept through the face of John. "You got engaged to a woman you only seen once?"
"Why not.Everyone seems to be doing that nowadays..."
"But..but...but..." John was left speechless. He picked up his newspaper resting on the bench and stood up. "Well goodbye my friend. I hope your marriage goes well."
"Stupid new generation" he muttered under his breath after being out of earshot. "Didn't know what they missed." With a resigned shake of his head, he continued his journey home to the fresh scones oven baked by his beloved Gladys.