Bob Fogarty had run his crabber out of St. Verlaine for as long as anyone living there could remember. Everybody liked Bob. He always had a story, and when the whisky was flowing good, most likely a song or two.
Then there was May Fogarty, like chalk to Bob’s cheese she was. Always rubbed folks up the wrong way. Never had a good word to say about anyone or anything – most especially not her Bob. But it didn’t stop them having their ten kids, didn’t stop them staying together while other families drifted apart. Deep down they just loved each other I suppose.
Rik and Val met at Art college – got married in the spring of their freshmen semester. Val fell pregnant with their twin boys soon after; Rik earned just about enough between his paintings and job at the Deli to keep the young family together.
Forty years on from that first stolen look across a crowded cafe they’re still together. Rik forever entranced by her innocent beauty – the silken blond locks, the playful smile on her lips. His increasingly clumsy brushstrokes can never truly do her justice, but these days it’s all he has.
‘Happy Valentines, my love,’ he whispers, as a single tear falls from his cheek.