A shadow trudged down the dark street with a sack dragging behind him. Under the light of a street lamp overhead, that shadow turned into a man, an old one at that. His gray beard fell just below his chin and his eyes were blue with gloom as if the twinkle that had once graced his eyes ran off one day to find a happier soul.
This man looked around for a moment and then squinted at the house in front of him. After a final glance at his hand where an address had been carelessly scribbled, he walked up the untamed grassy hill to the small brown house that sat on top.
"I'll trade it all," he muttered under his breath, "I don't need any of it now."
The porch creaked as he walked up the steps to a wide front door. The house itself was odd: Its door stood a bit too wide, the windows sat a bit too high, and a small part of the roof had fallen in. No matter though, he knew that he would find her here.
He knocked three times. The only sounds were his nervous breath and rustling as he straightened his brown suit. He placed his sack beside him and went over what he had practiced saying all the night before.
The door opened. The woman who opened it was small and pale. Her cheeks were wrinkled and her lips sat thin and pursed on her face. She wore a faded yellow sundress and a bracelet of dandelions on her wrist.
"Jonathan, what a surprise..." Her soft voice quivered slightly.
"Ms. Tabitha, how are you this evening?"
"A bit warm in this August heat but nothing an old woman can't handle. Is there something I can do for you?"
Jonathan examined her face. He saw the lines on her forehead and a dark spot that had begun to form on her cheek. Her skin that once glowed golden was now pale, but even with age he thought her still the most beautiful.
"Well, Ms. Tabitha, I have come to give you something."
"And what might that be?"
The man kicked over his sack and pieces of love spilled out, scattering across her porch.
Ms. Tabitha stood in awe. "What in God’s name are you doing?" she shouted. She waved her hands as she yelled.
"Well, my dear, you have constantly refused me at each of my attempts to love you. The first time was at the park when I picked you a lily during our walk around the lake. Do you remember how you left it on the bench and asked me to let you be?"
Ms. Tabitha did not speak but cautiously eyed the pieces scattered by her feet.
“The next was when I asked if you would go dancing with me at Josephine's. You said you don't dance and are certain not to dance with fools."
Jonathan paused. He had gone off script but pressed ahead, "And a fool I am to be here today. An old fool with nothing left to offer an old grouch but his love."
He picked up a piece from the porch. It glowed bright in his palm.
"This is all I have," he said.
Before she could stop him, Jonathan gently plucked up Ms. Tabitha’s hand and pushed the piece of his love into her fist.
The love vibrated in her hand and left her with a small tickling sensation. It made her smile. He smiled too.
"So, what do you say, Ms. Tabitha?" Jonathan asked mischievously, "Will you take my love?”
She thought for a moment. Ms. Tabitha was not sure she would ever be prepared to love again, but she also could not leave this mess on her porch.
"Jonathan, you fool," she said. "Help me pick up the pieces so that I can bring them inside."