It was a cold January morning. He was enjoying his day off, hanging around the apartment. Then she called.
"Do you want to go sledding?" Jenny asked simply.
"Sure, that sounds like fun." Michael responded. "The girls should enjoy that."
"Nuh-uh." Jenny corrected. "No little folk this time. Just you and me."
"Are you serious?"
"Totally. The girls are spending the day with my neighbor next door and her kids. So, do you still want to come out and play?"
"You bet I do. I'm on my way over."
They drove to Holmdel Park. Then they got out and began walking, taking turns dragging the sled behind them.
"How far are we going?" Michael asked.
"You'll see. I know this private place where there's a big hill we can go down."
They kept walking. It was a twenty minute walk through the huge park before they got to the site Jenny had picked out.
"That is a big hill." Michael said, looking up. "And long. We're going to be here all day going up and down this thing."
"I've got nothing else to do today." she smiled. "You?"
"Let's do it."
They reached the top of the hill and, despite the cold, Michael found himself sweating. They stood for a moment, catching their breath and gazing down at
the hill, which seemed even higher and longer from this viewpoint.
Jenny gave Michael a nudge. "You go first."
"Boy, I haven't done this since college." he said, as he began placing the sled into proper position.
"I haven't done it since I was a little girl. Now go on. Show me how it's done."
"Okay, here goes nothing."
Lying on top of the sled, he pushed off. But the sled's runners sank into the snow. He slid forward, while the sled remained firmly in place.
"That was nothing, all right." she laughed.
"Hang on a minute." he said, picking himself up, then lifting the runners out of the snow. "It's coming back to me now. I just need to make a running start
with this thing."
He picked up the sled and backed up from the edge of the hill. Then he charged forward, slammed the sled to the ground, and jumped on top. He immediately
fell off, as the sled continued on down the hill on its own. Jenny burst out laughing.
"Well, go get it, Slim." she teased, pointing to the sled at the bottom of the hill.
"I'm glad you're enjoying this." he grumbled, as he started down the hill.
"I am. I really am." She smiled broadly.
He got it right on his third attempt. It was a great ride down the hill. He felt the rush of excitement coming back from younger days. At the end of the
ride, he started laughing.
"All right! Nice ride." Jenny cheered, as he made his way back up to the top of the hill.
"Okay, now it's your turn to show what you can do."
She put the sled down at the edge of the hill, got on top, and tried to push off. The sled didn't move.
"You've got to get a running start." he advised.
"But I can't do it that way. I'm afraid."
"Oh don't be a baby. Come on, try it."
She picked up the sled, stepped back, and then ran forward. She let go of the sled, but didn't jump on.
"Slick move, Clyde." he said, as the sled proceeded on down the hill without a rider. "Now you get to go down the hill and get it."
"Can't you get it for me?" she said in a little girl's voice.
"No. I got it last time. It's your turn."
"Ple-e-e-ase." she begged in a drawn out baby's voice, grabbing his coat collar in her fists. "You're a man and I'm just a girl. Retrieving sleds is your
"Whatever happened to equal rights?"
"We never got them." she said. "Oh, please. I'll be your best friend."
She gave him a quick kiss on the lips.
"Well, when you put it that way."
He trekked down the hill and retrieved the sled.
"Okay." he announced once he had climbed back up. "This time you've got to jump onto the sled."
"That's easy for you to say. You don't have breasts to worry about." Then inspiration struck her. "I know! You jump on and get it started. Then I'll jump
on top of you and we can both go down together."
Michael figured it would never work, but he was intrigued by the notion of trying. Jenny stood just below the edge of the hill as Michael made his run. To
his surprise, she managed to climb on top of him, and they made it two-thirds of the way down the hill, before Jenny toppled off, taking Michael with her.
They tumbled over each other a few times before coming to a stop, still clutching on to one another. They lay there laughing, neither of them wanting to
"I can't remember having this much fun in a long time." Jenny finally revealed. "I feel so young and alive again. Carefree. I think you're good for me,
"I mean it. For so many years, raising the girls alone, something was missing. It was like part of my life was eroding away."
She cleared some snow from his face.
"I wouldn't give up one moment of my time with the girls for anything." she continued. "But for the first time in a long time, I'm feeling like me again.
You brought back the smile."
She gave him another quick kiss, cocked her head, and smiled, as she said, "And you know what? I think I might just love you."
"Oh yeah?" Michael's reaction was filled with joy. "Well, I know I do. Love you, that is."
This time, Michael kissed her.