The Promise

The Promise by Dan Walsh Read Free Book Online

Book: The Promise by Dan Walsh Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dan Walsh
Tags: FIC042000, FIC027020, Married people—Fiction
looked at his watch and said, “We’ll wait here for about twenty minutes in case anyone would like to climb the steps and take pictures. There’s a beautiful view of the Piazza di Spagna from there . For those lacking the energy to make such a climb, you might enjoy taking pictures right over there by the fountain.”
    With that, the tour group began to break up.
    â€œAre you up for climbing the steps?” Jim asked.
    Marilyn looked to the top. She wanted to, but they had already been walking for hours, touring the Colosseum and the Roman Forum before lunch. After this they were supposed to tour St. Peter’s Basilica. Clearly, her four weeks of training on the treadmill were not nearly enough. “Remember that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond , the one where they took the Italy trip?”
    Jim thought a moment, nodded his head, and smiled. “You mean the one when Raymond was standing at this very spot and asked, ‘Where is the Spanish Elevator?’”
    She nodded. “Do you mind? I can wait here if you’d like to go up.”
    â€œI’m sure the view is great, but I didn’t come here for the view. I came here to spend time with you.” He led her to one corner of the steps and positioned her in front of a beautiful azalea bush.“I’ll stand back here so I can get an angle with the steps over your left shoulder. Then maybe we’ll get a few pics by the fountain.”
    â€œAfter that, do you mind if we sit on the steps for a little bit?”
    â€œNot at all, I could use the break too.”
    Marilyn still wasn’t used to how flexible Jim had become. She loved it, but it was so unlike the man she’d married and lived with for so many years. Jim would have insisted they go up the steps and take in the view. “We’ve come all this way,” he’d have said. “Let’s just push it.” Or at the very least, he would’ve run up there on his own and left her here at the bottom.
    Another couple in their thirties watched Jim taking her picture by the azaleas and volunteered to take one of them as a couple, which was great. Jim stood behind Marilyn, put his arms around her, and drew her close. After, Jim offered to take the couple’s picture, an offer they happily accepted. “Do you mind after this,” he said, “if we do the same thing over there by the fountain?”
    â€œThat would be great,” the husband said. “That’s one of the problems of going on these trips. Most of the pictures have just one of us in it.”
    â€œWell, how about we fix that?” Jim said. “We can do this throughout the rest of the trip if you’d like, as long as we’re near each other. That way we’ll have plenty of pics to take home with us as couples.” They shook hands and introduced themselves to each other. The younger couple’s names were Brian and Amanda. Brian gave Jim his camera, then he and his wife struck a pose in front of the azalea bush.
    Marilyn’s cell phone rang. “Jim, it’s Michele.” She and Michele had been missing each other on the phone ever since they’d left Florida.
    â€œWell, you can go ahead and take it. I’ll be here for a couple of minutes. Then I’ll take the pictures of them over by the fountain.”
    Marilyn answered the phone as she walked a few steps away to a quieter spot. “Michele, good to hear your voice.”
    â€œGood to hear you too, Mom. Can’t believe how far away you are.”
    â€œIs everything okay?”
    â€œEverything’s fine.”
    â€œHow is Doug doing? Have you been able to check in with him?”
    â€œAllan and I had him over for dinner last night. He seemed just like Doug. You know how he is, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to open up. But he seems fine. We’re going to have him over every other night until you guys get home.”
    â€œThanks so much for doing

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