We get a lot of strange looks when we go out in public. Carson is a solid ten years older than I am, and sometimes he looks every day of it. When we go out to lunch, waitresses will try to figure us out. I’m too old to be his kid, but too young for us to be in a relationship, surely. Most of the time, Carson and I find it funny. There are days when it just drives him crazy. Today was one of those days. He never got angry. Carson never really gets angry, per se. But, he would get quiet, chewing on the side of his lip like he was thinking hard. We were driving home from the restaurant, and Carson hadn’t said a single word, so I finally asked, “Whatcha thinking?”
“I’m not thinking anything,” He answered, almost automatically.
“Yeah, okay,” I said in a tone that clearly said I didn’t believe him, but I would drop it for now. We rode on in silence for another five minutes before Carson spoke again.
“Lilly? Do you regret marrying me?” He asked very carefully.
“Not even for a second. Carson, what in the world would make you think that?”
“Well,” Carson started sheepishly like even he knew he was being silly for thinking what he was thinking, “I mean, the way all those people look at you in public. It’s like they are saying, what in the world is that hot little thing doing with an old fart like him.”
“One, Carson, I am thirty-two years old. No one would refer to me as a hot little thing anymore. Two, you are forty-two years old. You barely qualify as old, let alone an old fart. Three, I don’t give a damn about what anyone else thinks, and you know that. I love you more than anyone can imagine, and that’s all that matters.”
“No ‘yeah but’s, Carson. I have one question. Do you love me?”
“With all my heart and soul.”
“Okay then. Every day, people are divorcing people their own ages because they never actually loved each other. I don’t care how old you are, as long as you still love me.”
Carson reached over and put his hand on my knee. “Don’t you worry, Lilly. I will love you to the day I die. But, I want you to know, that I will never hold it against you if you love for me changes into something less romantic and sexual than what we have right now.”
I knew Carson well enough that assuring him that would never happen would be of no use. He would just call it a ‘heat of the moment promise.’ So instead, I just placed my hand on top of his hand and smiled. “Less romantic and sexual my ass. Let’s get home so I can show you just how romantic I find you.”
With a grin that would look right at home on a twenty-year-old, Carson pushed on the gas just a little bit harder.