Margaret looked in the mirror and sighed. Her wiry brown hair was impossible; her coke-bottle glasses didn’t help either. She never bothered with makeup and wore old corduroy pants, a small print shirt and a light sweater. Totally boring, she thought. Not that it mattered anymore, at fifty-two. No-one ever looked at her twice.
Nine people arrived at seven for the weekly Bible study, and the sole guest was new to her. He was a pudgy man, a little older than Margaret, balding, glasses, and a mischievous grin.
“You must be James. Come in, make yourself at home.” They shook hands.
“Thank you, very kind of you. What a lovely home you have here!”
Margaret took pride in the home she had designed, a trimmed log structure set in a grove of cedar and maple trees.
“Thank you. After the meeting, if you like, I can give you a tour.” Why was her heart beating faster?
During the Bible study, Margaret kept glancing at James, and each time, he was looking at her in a most peculiar way. He showed himself a keen Bible scholar as well as a compassionate man who hadn’t had an easy life. After prayer time, the group gravitated to the dining room table and the snacks, coffee, and hot chocolate. James came up to Margaret and touched her elbow.
“I’m ready for that tour whenever you are.”
Flustered, Margaret felt herself turning crimson. She looked up at him and found herself drowning in those pale blue eyes.
“Uh. Of course.” Smiling, she led the way.
It was a small house and a short tour. James admired the art on her walls, her décor, style of furniture. Just as they were returning to the group, he asked, “Margaret, can I ask you something?”
“I’d very much like to take you out to dinner on Saturday night. Will you come with me?”
Margaret blurted, “I’d like that very much,” before she even realized the words were out of her mouth.
James took her hands and squeezed them gently. “Me too. I’ll pick you up at six, then.”
One dinner out led to another. Margaret could hardly breathe around James. He had an ascerbic sense of humor that had them both laughing over their meals, and was easy to talk with about anything, no matter how personal. When he brought her home that night, he asked if he might kiss her. Margaret had poo-pooed stories of fireworks going off when people kissed, but that night, she realized they were absolutely true. Feeling his lips on hers, his arms around her, she felt more complete than she’d ever felt before.
She could not deny, after a month, that she, a virgin, was panting to have sex with him. One evening in her home after a particularly steamy session on the sofa (clothes on,) he said to her, “Margaret, I think something’s happening between us.”
Ten minutes later, they were engaged. And naked, in bed.