Love for life

Written by Wim Beunderman, posted on tuesday 12 february 2019

Holding Hands by Mores345

Sunlight flooded the room and enveloped nineteen year old Katrina and her grandmother in a golden hue. They were sitting at Grandma’s dining room table browsing through one of her old photo albums, when Katrina pointed out a faded photo of a young girl and boy holding hands.

“Aww, they’re too cute,” Katrina remarked. “Who are they?”

A smile appeared on Grandma’s face as she leaned forward to take a closer look.

“Hmm,” she sighed wistfully, “that’s me and Billy Hansen.”

Katrina could not help but notice Grandma’s moist eyes.  

“You look like you were a little more than just friends,” she said with a gentle tone.

“Yes, we were. People said it was puppy love, but to us it felt so much stronger,” Grandma explained with a melancholic smile on her face. “We were childhood sweethearts.”

Jack Johnson Were Gonna Be Friends (The White Stripes)

“Wow, Grandma. That’s so sweet. Please tell me some more.”

“Well, let’s see now. I must have been six when Billy moved with his family to a house about half a block away from ours. Not long afterwards, we both went to first grade. We used to walk to school together every day. It was love at first sight and before long we were inseparable.”

Katrina smiled.

“All the other kids accepted it. It wasn’t until high school that everything changed,” Grandma continued with a sad look in her eyes.

“Oh, what happened, Grandma?”

“That was when jealousy reared its ugly head.”

Katrina laid her hand on Grandma’s hand. Comforted by this gesture, Grandma continued to tell her very own love story.

“No one could help but notice that our love was strong. My mother once said that together we shone like the sun.”

This brought a smile to Katrina’s face.

“As our love grew, so did our desire to spread love into the world. In hindsight, we were naive, I guess. We imagined we could bring about change so the world would be a happier place where everyone could live in peace and harmony.”

“I don’t think that was naive,” Katrina interjected.

Grandma smiled at her.

“That’s because you get your craziness from me, sweetheart.”

Jack Johnson Imagine (John Lennon)

“Anyway, it didn’t matter in the end, as it appeared that not everyone was able to let themselves be touched by love. One boy in particular, called Kenny, was so envious of what we had. When we were seventeen, he became so determined to destroy our relationship, that one day, he planted some cannabis on Billy. It fell out of Billy’s bag when he was unpacking it at the beginning of the lesson in full view of the teacher. One thing led to another and Billy was expelled from school.”

“Oh, that’s terrible, Grandma,” Katrina said as she brought her other hand to her mouth.

“Yes, it was, my child. We were heartbroken. After eleven years of seeing each other every single day all day long, we were suddenly separated. The local school authority forced Billy to go to another school nearby, but he couldn’t take it. Every recess he would come to my school in the hope of seeing me there. I saw him as often as I could, but eventually the principal called the police to have Billy taken away. That was the final blow. Billy no longer went to school. In fact, he ran away from home and I have never seen him since.”

Tears rolled down Grandma’s face as she talked.

“Let it all out, Grandma,” Katrina spoke as she consolingly lay her arm around Grandma’s shoulder.

“So, now you know my story,” Grandma said when she was done crying.

Suddenly, Katrina jumped up from her chair.

“I’ve got an idea,” she cried in excitement to Grandma who was looking at her in bewilderment. “Why don’t we go back to your old elementary school and see if we can find some clues to where Billy could be now?”

Grandma shook her head.

“I don’t know about that. It’s been more than fifty years ago since Billy ran away.”

“Trust me, Grandma, I’ve got a hunch it’s going be a lot easier than you think.”

“Oh, why not. I’ve got nothing to lose. Besides, Brooksville’s only just down the road.”

Lavender by MireXa

Morning recess had just started when Katrina steered her parents’ car into the school parking lot, and the schoolyard was filled with the cries and laughter of the children.

“Well, look at that,” Grandma said, smiling. “Nothing’s changed much.”

“Are you ready, Grandma?” Katrina asked as she placed her hand in Grandma’s.

“Ready as ever,” Grandma said with a nod.

Grandmother and granddaughter got out of the car and began walking to the entrance of the main building. As they walked, Katrina let her hand brush the lavender that was growing in a neat row by the footpath. Then Grandma noticed something from the corner of her eye. She stopped to take a closer look and what she then heard sent her heart racing.

“It’s been a long time, Diane!” an elderly man spoke with a warm voice and a big smile on his face.

“Billy,” Grandma gasped as she could barely believe her eyes. “Is that really you?”

Billy said nothing. Instead, he calmly walked over to Grandma and Katrina, gently held Grandma’s face in his hands and kissed her tenderly on her lips. Katrina smiled through tears of endearment as she then saw Billy and Grandma embrace. The two lovebirds did not know whether to laugh or cry, so they did both.

“Welcome back, love of my life,” Billy said when they had finished.

“Welcome back, to you too,” Grandma said, smiling.

“It’s such a coincidence, you two meeting each other here after all those years,” Katrina said.

“Yes, it is indeed,” Grandma replied.

“Well, maybe,” Billy said. “Still, I believe it was our destiny.”

Grandma looked at him with an inquisitive look in her eyes.

“Come,” Billy beckoned to her and Katrina, “let’s take a stroll to our spot by the lake and I’ll tell you about it.”

When the party of three arrived at the lake, Billy and Grandma were surprised to see that the old jetty had been replaced and that a pavilion had been built.

“Let’s go and have some refreshments,” Billy suggested.

The two ladies gladly accepted his invitation and before long they were sitting on the verandah together drinking tea while Grandma and Billy exchanged stories. It turned out that after running away, Billy had travelled the world. He told Grandma and Katrina about the exotic places he had visited and the intriguing people he had met. Despite all of the distractions he had never stopped thinking about Grandma.


“Actually, the older I grew, the more I thought of you, my sweet Diane,” Billy said as he slid his hand around Grandma’s hand.

Grandma answered with a radiant smile.

“Then, last night, I had the oddest dream.”

Both Grandma and Katrina pricked up their ears.

“In my dream I was six again and walking hand in hand with you by the main building of our school. As always, you let your hand brush the lavender, filling the air with its strong scent. And when I woke up this morning, I knew I had to go back.”

Billy’s recollection of his dream gave Katrina goose bumps.

“I brushed the very same lavender just before Grandma and I met you,” she said.

“Now I understand what you meant by destiny,” Grandma said with a warm feeling in her heart.

“Yes, exactly,” Billy replied.

“You know,” Grandma continued, “I thought about you every day too, but I never thought I would see you again. In fact, in the beginning, it was a struggle to carry on with my life.”

Billy smiled understandingly.

“What we had imagined together about a more loving world seemed so beyond reach until this morning when Katrina and I looked through an old photo album of mine and spotted a photo of you and me holding hands.”

“What we imagined is taking place right now, Diane,” Billy said with hope in his eyes.

“He’s right, you know, Grandma,” Katrina added. “You two and many people like you are setting an example with your love for life. With the smallest of dreams, love will grow and turn the world into a happier place.”

With these words, the three of them held hands around the small table, and the love that flowed between them was so strong that all of the people seated around them could feel it. Whether they were aware of what had taken place or not, their lives would never be the same again.

Bellamy Brothers Let Your Love Flow


‘Holding Hands’ by Mores345 on Pixabay

‘Lavender’ by MireXa on Pixabay

‘Alberta’ on Pixabay

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Archived in the category: transformation, personal growth, heart, self insight, awareness, love, short stories, storytelling

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  • Ganesh Nagalingaiah

    Geplaatst op vrijdag 8 maart 2019 om 17:14 uur

    Fantastic love story

  • Wim Beunderman

    Geplaatst op vrijdag 8 maart 2019 om 17:33 uur

    Thank you very much for reading and for your compliment, Ganesh. ;-))

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