Chapter 8: The Architect (cont.)

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After three dates all centering around dark venues, I was left with this gnawing feeling that I HAD to find out how old The Architect was. I insisted on meeting him in the daylight. He eventually gave in and invited me to his house for lunch.

I was more cautious than ever this time and covered all my bases just in case I was never-to-be-heard from again. My self-defense instructor would have been proud of the precautions that were in place. I truly couldn’t wait to see The Architect with the sun on his face. I hoped that his house had a lot of windows.

It did. As soon as I walked in, my expression must have given me away. The gray hairs amongst the black ones gleamed in the sunlight, the wrinkles shifted around his eyes as he tried to guess my thoughts. The quote that kept coming to mind was from Red Riding Hood, “Ah…better to see you with, my dear.” Luckily I didn’t say it out loud. The other thought I had was my friend saying that I was going to be pushing a stroller with one hand and his wheelchair with the other. I don’t remember much about the lunch because I knew that it would be the last time I would ever see him.

As he walked me to my car, I turned quickly and finally said, “So. How old are you? Really.” He paused for a deep breath and a long drawn out exhale. “I feared you might ask me someday,” he confessed. I waited for him to continue. “Darling, if it doesn’t matter to us, then who cares what other people think? It’s not their life anyway, right?”I continued to wait silently. He looked at me and finally answered, “I just turned 40 last month.”

As I drove away from his beautiful home on the river, I wondered how old he REALLY was…

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