Sixty Years, Together

This is a short story I wrote on the theme of "Celebration"....it should be exactly 500 words. It's about a couple celebrating their diamond anniversary

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1. Sixty Year, Together

Eileen looked out onto the garden and sighed profoundly. It was the second of June, and it was a very special day, not only for her, but for her country, also. Flags of red, white and blue were strung up over the houses of the street. Flowerpots were filled with geraniums and pansies, all in the same patriotic colours, lined the flowerbeds. This made Eileen smile. It was a long time since there had been a day like today that brought back so many happy memories.

Eileen slowly raised herself off of the chair in which she was sat, wincing at the pain shooting up her hip, and went upstairs to find Anthony. He was still fast asleep. Of course he was. It was still extremely early morning. Eileen had wanted to be the first to be awake on this special day.
Eileen was eighty-five years old, although she didn’t usually tell people this. She preferred for them to guess how old she was. Anthony, her husband, was eighty-seven. Eileen had recently undergone an operation on her hip-it had needed replacing. This worried Eileen-what happened if she was first to go? Who would keep Anthony company then?

Eileen pushed these depressing thoughts to the back of her mind. She wasn’t going to think about that today. Today she would celebrate, with all of the people in her street, and with her family, who were coming down to celebrate with her. She was looking forward so much to seeing them all again. Altogether, she had six grandchildren, ranging from the ages of one to seventeen. Her youngest daughter had had children late, concentrating on work before becoming a mother. Eileen hadn’t worked at all throughout her life-she had been a full time mum and wife, and she had enjoyed it. She had always been there when her children had needed her, and even now, as adults, they still came to her if they had a problem. There were some questions she hadn’t particularly wanted to answer, but she always had, as truthfully as she could. Eileen thought back to this day, exactly 60 years ago. She looked at the clock. By now, she would’ve been just waking up, and doing last minute practice on her wedding vows.

Three hours later, Eileen’s family and friends were crammed into her tiny living room, watching the box TV that sat by the woodstove. On the screen was her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, sat watching horse racing at the Epson Derby. This time 60 years ago, she would’ve been getting into her wedding dress, having her hair styled, and make-up applied. Back then, make-up had been for special occasions only, and to Eileen, it still was. Today counted as special, so she had put on a little earlier. At first, when her oldest granddaughter, Megan, had started wearing make-up every time Eileen saw her, she had thought that Megan considered visiting her special occasion. She only found out the truth when Eileen’s son, Michael, had asked advice about Megan growing up too hastily. She glanced at Megan now, who, instead of watching the TV, was fixated on her mobile phone, texting some recent boyfriend of hers.

Eileen was now in the kitchen, frosting some cakes her daughter-in-law had made. It was almost time-in an hour; she and Anthony would celebrate exactly 60 years together, whilst, at the same time, Queen Elizabeth would celebrate precisely 60 years on the throne. She and Anthony had ties the knot at the exact second that the crown had been placed on The Queen’s head. They hadn’t known at first that they would share their wedding day with the Queen’s coronation-it had all been arranged a year before. When King George VI died, on the sixth of February, Elizabeth had been in Kenya, one of the commonwealth countries.  The whole country had been deeply upset by the death of the King. He had been fantastic, leading our country through the terrible events of World War Two, especially as initially, he hadn’t wanted to be King. Eileen remembered leaning on Anthony’s shoulder and crying when she first heard the news. However, neither of them had been prepared for the shock of Elizabeth having chosen the day that they were due to be married, out of the 365 other days she could’ve picked.

The whole street had gathered to celebrate Anthony and Eileen’s anniversary. They were counting down to the exact minute…
“Five, four, three, two, one…Happy Anniversary” they all bellowed. Anthony kissed her, just like he had on their wedding day. He looked quizzically at Eileen.
“Penny for your thoughts?” he asked her. Eileen smiled at him.
“I’m just thinking, there could not be anything in the world that could make me happier.” She replied.

And she wasn’t lying.

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