Patricia Holley was sitting in the entryway of a restaurant, in downtown Ajijic, expecting to meet her perfect match. Friends had set her up with a widower who they thought could possibly be her “One.” She picked up the current copy of the Ojo Del Lago and chuckled at an article written by the late Jim Tipton. A very tall, silver-haired man entered and smiled, extending his hand as he approached.
“You must be Patricia. So glad to meet you. I’m Howard Melton.”
Patricia returned the smile and, taking his hand, said, “Please to meet you, too. You’re punctual. I like that in a man.”
“Ah, yes. I was a Boy Scout too and am always prepared. Shall we go inside?”
Patricia rose from the bench and he was surprised to see how compact she was . . . a dumpling of a woman with rosy cheeks.
As they approached the dim interior, Howard asked, “Shall we sit here, my dear?”
“No, let’s go back towards the corner, out of the flow.”
The waiter helped her with her chair and took their drink orders, leaving the menus for them to review.
“I love their rare flap steak and loaded baked potato. Do you know what you’d like to order?” Howard asked.
“I’ll have their veggie lasagna and I brought my own herbal tea.”
Howard placed their orders and said, “Okay, then. Let’s get to know each other a little. I’m from Texas and love to hunt and fish.”
“Oh, my. I couldn’t take another’s life. I even capture spiders and take them outside for freedom. I read a lot, do you?” Patricia said.
“Yes. I think I’ve read every Lee Child and Clive Cussler. What is your preference?”
“I abhor violence and read Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts, and the like.”
Howard then asked, “What about movies? I’ve been waiting to see The Joker and the new Bad Boys movies.”
“Ah, no. I would enjoy Little Women or Frozen II. Do you dance?”
“Oh, darling, you’d be embarrassed to see me on a dance floor. It seems I have 16 feet going in different directions at once.”
The waiter politely served their meals and retreated. Howard immediately knifed up huge portions of juicy red meat, while Patricia delicately selected small portions of her salad.
“You can call me Howie. That’s what my friends call me.”
“Thank you, but I prefer to call you Howard. And please don’t call me Pat or Patty, I prefer Patricia.”
“Alrighty then, Patricia. I guess I’ll be blunt and tell you I’m 71 years old and with the help of Little Blue, enjoy regular sex.”
Patricia gasped, coughed, sputtered, and a wad of lasagna flew across the table and landed in the center of the table. The waiter suddenly appeared behind her, prepared for Heimlich heroics.
With tears trickling down her pink cheeks, Patricia said, “Goodness me. It has been so long, I don’t even know if it would be possible for me, and of course it would have to be with the right man.”
“Sorry to surprise you so, but I believe in being honest.”
“Well, being honest, you have a blob of sour cream on your goatee,” Patricia said.
“Oops.” Howard laughed while dabbing his chin with the linen napkin.
“What about riding? I still keep a small spread in west Texas and enjoy my horses and the fresh air. They’re very well trained, by the way.”
“You’d need a forklift to get me up on one of the beasts and a fireman’s net when I get off,” Patricia joked.
At the proper time, the waiter presented the check, received payment with a generous tip, thanked them for their patronage, and requested they come again.
At the exit, Howard bent over and lightly buzzed my cheek.
“Same time next week, darlin’?” Howard asked.
“Yes, Howie, that will be fine.”
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