They married the day after he was de-mobbed, seven years to the day after they had become engaged. The day of their engagement was tinged with sadness, as on one hand she placed the ring which betrothed them to each other, and yet with her other she waved him off, not knowing if or when they would finally exchange their vows. They didn't meet again for almost five years, whilst he spent that time at the request of His Majesty fighting in the war that followed the War to end all Wars. They marked their seventh anniversary with a new one, the start of sixty more.
"Sixty years we've been married", he tells us. "Not once has she listened to anything I have to say." His wicked grin was met with a sharp tongue.
"Shut up, Den!"
The pain had kept her up all night. The effects of the tablets she took wearing off before they'd even reached their peak effect. Eventually she could take the pain no more, and reluctantly agreed for the ambulance to be called. When we arrive, she's sitting in an armchair, trying for all the world not to show us that she's suffering. The colour of her face and the fine beads of perspiration on her forehead tell us more than we need to know.
"How long have you been in this much pain?" Seemed like a good place to start.
"Well", starts Den, "It's been getting worse all night. She didn't want me to call, but in the end I don't really think I had a choice!"
She glares at him. "Shut up Den! I can talk myself you know!"
"Oh, I know all right..." He mutters, just loud enough for us all to hear.
I try to hide the smile.
"It's not too bad now. It was much worse before. Keeps coming and going. I think I'll be fine if I just get some sleep."
"You've been like this all night, love, and I can tell it's not getting better. Why don't you let them help you?"
"Shut up Den!" she retorts. There's a clear theme developing.
"Lets have a proper look at you", I suggest, and reluctantly she agrees.
Her observations are mostly unremarkable, just an increased pulse suggesting once again that despite wanting to hide her ailment, the body will always give its secrets away. She can't help but admit it now. The pain is becoming just too much to cope with.
"How about we give you something for that pain then?"
"Good idea", ventures Den. "You could do with something stronger than those tablets!"
"Shut. Up. Den!" she growls at him, rests her head back on the trolley-bed and briefly closes her eyes.
"Maybe I could do with something. It is coming back a bit."
A few moments later, as the morphine courses its way through her veins and works its magic, the relief starts to show. Her whole body relaxes, the colour, so drained before, returns to her face, and the beads of sweat fade away.
"Much better. Thank you."
"We're going to take you to hospital so they can find out a bit more about what's happened. Hopefully stop it from happening again."
"That's fine. Suppose I could do with a check up."
Den shakes his head, one part frustration to ten parts relief.
"One of these days, you'll realise that I do talk sense sometimes!"
"And one of these days", she shoots back, "you might just be right!"
Her voice softens, they smile at each other, and Den reaches across the ambulance to pat her on the hand.
"You know", he starts, "it IS my name on the front door! You would do well sometime to remember that!"
"Oh, do shut up Den!"
She rests her head back on the bed, and for the first couple of minutes of the journey there's a calm silence. I start the paperwork, and they look at each other, holding hands like they were still love-struck teenagers.
"You know what, Den? You're right. It is your name on the front door!" There's a sudden glint in her eye that wasn't there before.
"Just don't forget that the sign with your name on it is on the outside!"