"I bought you apples."

She breezed in from the garage where we keep our wheezing second refridgerator packed with beer, milk, fruit, sourdough starter and the occasional tub of slow-rising dough. Her skin radiated sun and clean sweat and a field of heat from her five-mile walk, tan arms against a neon-green tank top, tight in all the right places.


I was clueless, as usual -- at the computer trying to figure out why my pages didn't validate.

"The apples in the outside fridge. I bought them for you. The Fujis. Have you had any yet?"

"Oh yes. Had two last week. Yummy. Fujis. Thanks."

And that was that.

Until today, a few days later at work, during my lunch hour, escaping under a cluster of live oaks. As I take my third bite of one of these apples, the juice spraying and dripping down my chin, it hits me: this is what a life together is like.

She was at the store. She saw apples. She thought of me. She bought them.

I bought them for you.

I see then that perhaps this is what well-aged love becomes. Gone are the days of extravagant gifts, high-impact vacations, passionate weekends. Three children, a live-in mother-in-law and multiple jobs have inked their way in to once-nonexistent planners. We communicate primarily through emails and sticky-notes.

We find the time in the granular moments of opportunity presented to us. For now, these are the only ones we have.

I rub her feet. She calls me from work to get me up in time to run before work. I have dinner ready and her pajamas out for her after she's worked a gnarly double. Sex is as infrequent yet dazzling as meteor showers. And of course, she buys me apples.

She will deny this, of course.

"I only got them because they were cheap."

"Well, then you got a bargain."

"I know."

Whether she means the apples or me, she'll never tell, but either way I win.

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