Things have been pretty tough lately, I thought. With Zachary gone off to college and with the other boys living so far from home, the house had gotten empty fast. John was away on a business trip. He never listens to my pleas for him to retire.

Then again, I couldn’t really come between him and what he loved.

I missed the pitter-patter of children’s feel and even the ridiculous arguments of teenagers, but none of the boys even had steady girlfriends as far as I knew. No chance of grandchildren anytime soon, not that I had any intentions of admitting I was old enough to be a grandma.

There was a knock on the door and I perked up, maybe it was those new neighbours to introduce themselves!

“Oh,” I said seeing a man standing in a courier’s uniform. Trying to keep the disappointment, I asked, “how can I help you?”

He had a letter for me. Closing the door again, I leaned against it examining the envelope. Well, actually, it was more like the envelope was the card, shut with coloured thread wrapped around a delicate brown button. The paper was a different texture that would’ve been expected, more like it was hand crafted, or like material.

The entire effect was simple beauty. No frills, or bows, or ribbons, just subtle, child-like beauty.

It was an invitation to Elia and Quincy’s wedding! I should have known. Like the card, Elia herself had a subtle beauty and a devilish twinkle in her eye which betrayed her inner child as she smiled.

‘Reply before Saint Valentine’s Day’. How could I miss it? I headed straight to the phone to see if Zachary would come.

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