Sean invites his 83-year-old best friend, Mrs. Damon, to a candlelit dinner at his home for his 30th birthday. A loud police siren wakes him up the next morning, and all of his neighbors are crying at the front door.
Anyone who saw Sean, 29, and Mrs. Damon, 83, together felt they were from different worlds. Sean and Mrs. Damon were best friends, believe it or not.
Their friendship began six months ago, when Sean sold his late father’s townhouse and relocated to a more peaceful neighborhood. It was here that he met Mrs. Damon.
She lived next door and didn’t interact with anyone. Sean, like the others, found her easily irritable and capricious.
They exchanged vague pleasantries like «Good morning» and «How are you?» at first, then went about their business. Nothing special. Their relationship changed one day after a long conversation.
«Young man, my husband and I are lonely. Do you want to come in for a drink?» Mrs. Damon coughed as she invited Sean in. He was caught off guard. He couldn’t say yes right away, but he also couldn’t say no. Mrs. Damon, after all, had that sweet, beaming smile that would melt any heart.
Sean followed her inside and took a look around. He was a little taken aback. Sean didn’t see anyone else in the living room after she told him her husband was also there.
«Where is Mr. Damon?» he inquired. «Is he in there somewhere?»
Mrs. Damon smiled and gestured to an old photograph on the shelf. «There he is!» On rainy evenings, my husband enjoyed drinking ginger tea. It was his favorite beverage. I miss that idiotic old man! Every night, I have a drink in front of his picture and imagine him sitting next to me, complimenting my tea and croissants.»
Sean’s eyes welled up with tears when he learned of Mr. Damon’s death. Her son was too busy to pay her a visit. Sean was never able to meet him.
Throughout the days, Sean and Mrs. Damon maintained a unique friendship that surprised everyone. Even after Sean broke up with his girlfriend, she was always there for him when he needed her.
«Why do some women leave their husbands, Mrs. Damon?» Why aren’t they happy with anything? Is it really that difficult to please a woman? «I loved Becky with all of my heart and soul, but she abandoned me,» he sobbed.
Mrs. Damon smiled and nodded almost imperceptibly. «Son, a woman is not difficult to please. However, you cannot expect someone else to love you as much as you love them. Acceptance and release are sometimes required.»
That wasn’t the only time Sean sought advice from Mrs. Damon. After an accident at work, he once showed up on her doorstep on crutches. Mrs. Damon appeared to be suffering more than he was. She couldn’t bear the thought of him being paralyzed.
«Oh, dear… «How did you end up?» — she inquired, her voice trembling. Sean had apparently dropped a heavy box on his leg. He needed crutches because his fracture was severe.
Sean was unable to walk to work for a few days. He was alone at home and was looking forward to seeing Mrs. Damon. She went to church every day. Sean wasn’t particularly religious, but he wanted to make the most of his paid sick leave by getting a good night’s sleep.
He kept lifting the curtain to check on Mrs. Damon’s whereabouts. He could see her house from his bedroom window because it was only a few meters away.
«Why hasn’t Mrs. Damon returned yet?» he muttered, about to dial her phone number. “Uh-oh! I forgot she didn’t have a cellphone.» Sean dialed Mrs. Damon’s home phone number.
He noticed the door to her house was open when he looked out the window again a few hours later. Sean wanted to surprise Mrs. Damon with dinner because it was his 30th birthday. He wanted to make the dinner special for her, so he didn’t invite any of his friends over for drinks or a party.
«I’m sure Mrs. Damon will enjoy the turkey I made,» he thought as he gazed at the spread of delectable foods and desserts. Sean walked out of his house, joyous and limping, to invite Mrs. Damon to dinner, unaware that it would be their last meal together.
«Mrs. Damon… My God! I’ve been expecting you all day. Please accompany me. «I’ve got a surprise for you.» They all went to his house…
«My God… What’s the smell? «What’s the big deal about today, son?»
«It’s my birthday, Mrs. Damon!»
The older woman was taken aback and couldn’t stop crying. She hugged Sean, kissed him on the cheek, and wished him all the best in life. Sean prepared the best meal he could for his old friend. It was the most memorable candlelit dinner they had ever experienced.
«This is so tasty, son. How come I didn’t know you were such a good cook? It makes me think of my late husband. Mrs. Damon took a bite of turkey, tears streaming down her cheeks, and said, «He always cooked for me.»
«My mother taught me how to cook.» I returned to live with my father Hut after she divorced him and married her colleague. He passed away last year, and I’ve been on my own since.»
«Oh, you silly boy!» Don’t say you’re alone when you have me. Mrs. Damon hugged Sean, giving him the warmth and care he had lacked his entire life.
Sean walked Mrs. Damon to her house after a hearty lunch. She walked inside, turned, waved to him, and smiled at him, tears of joy welling up in her eyes. Sean never saw that lovely smile again.
The next morning he was suddenly woken up by a siren outside his house. He was startled and saw that there were unusually many people outside Mrs. Damon’s house. He put on his trousers and boots and went out on his crutches to look. Sean saw a police car outside. An officer got out of the car and greeted him, “Mr. Turner?”
«It’s me, officer.» What exactly is going on here? «Why are people coming and going from Mrs. Damon’s house?» Sean was perplexed.
«I’m her child. My mother told me a lot about you, but I couldn’t find the time to pay you a visit. «I’ve just been transferred,» the man explained.
«Hello, officer.» It’s a pleasure to meet you. Mrs. Damon, on the other hand, never told me you were coming to see her. And why is her house so full? «What’s the deal with everyone crying?» Sean was worried.
His heart clenched, and all of the world’s pain seemed to fall on his shoulders. Mrs. Damon had died the night before in her sleep. She called her son one more time, telling him about Sean and how grateful she was to have him in her life.
«Last night, my mother told me she is the happiest and dreams of being reunited with my father in heaven,» the officer exclaimed. «She told me she wasn’t feeling well, so I called all of her neighbors this morning to check on her.» I didn’t have your phone number and couldn’t reach you.»
As the lifeless Mrs. Damon was carried into the ambulance, Sean’s eyes welled up with tears. That day, he felt he had lost a significant part of himself.
After the funeral, the deceased woman’s son handed Sean a check, saying, «My mother told me about your accident.» I’ve always wanted to meet you and thank you for looking after my mother. You were more to her than just a friend. I know it doesn’t express your feelings for her, but it’s just a small token of appreciation for how you treated her.»
Sean had to fight back tears as Mrs. Damon’s son left the cemetery. Sean dropped to his knees as soon as the patrol car was out of sight, sobbing and pleading with his old friend to return.
«I miss your jokes and ginger tea… I miss you calling me dumb… I miss our early-morning strolls. Please return, Mrs. Damon. «I adore you,» Sean sobbed. Dandelion fluff landed on his hands and tickled him gently before flying away. Mrs. Damon appeared to have finally met her lover in the Lord’s house.