Short story from Doug Hawley

Ageless Love 
The two teens were walking home along a forested country road.  She looked at him and said “Duke, your fly is open.’ 
After looking around and not seeing anyone, he zipped up. 
“Sandra, you’ve got pine needles on your skirt butt.  I’d be pleased to wipe them off.” 
They had made a slight detour on their way home to a place in the woods which they thought of as their spot. 
As they approached her place she asked “Do you suppose your parents know?” 
“They either expect or know, but I’m pretty sure they don’t mind.  My mother made sure that I respected girls and very pointedly insisted I carry condoms after she heard some of my end of our phone calls.  I don’t know what I said that clued her in – mothers are mysterious.  My father saw us together once and said ‘That Sandra is a fine girl.  You couldn’t do any better.’  What do your parents think?” 
“My mother gave me the talk too.  I mentioned that you had been walking me home.  She gave me a look, but didn’t get nosey.” 
As Duke dropped Sandra off at her place, the parents made a big deal of inviting him in for a coke.  Despite the seeming innocence of the treat, he felt like he was under a microscope. 
An old man woke up in his sickbed from a beautiful dream mumbling “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine” and first looked over at the picture of a young couple on the headboard at the opposite side of the double bed, then at the medicines lined up on his end table. 
“Sandra, I had another one of those dreams.  This time we were in high school a few years before we got married.  People thought we were too young, but we raised two fine children and stayed together until death did us part.  I should have been the one who parted, I miss you so much.  It isn’t the only dream.  Sometimes I dream about us watching one of Jeff’s baseball games, or Betty’s dance recital.  I give you most of the credit for how they turned out.  We must have been good models; they now have fine families of their own.  The grandchildren don’t mind hanging out with granddad, or if they do they hide it well.” 
“Some of the dreams aren’t as good, but I always wake up from ones in which you start to show symptoms.  That was hard enough to take the first time around.” 
“The kids try to fix me up with someone from time to time.  I know they thought they were being kind to a lonely old man, but the memory of you is better than any woman.  When I did go out a few times, the dates were driven off by my talking about you.” 
“The dreams have helped me survive.  I took up painting and have gone to community college classes.  I volunteer in the local park, run a wheel chair at the hospital and teach a class on writing so I don’t feel completely useless.” 
“The hospice people say we won’t be separated much longer.  Expect me to join you in about a week.”