I’d been with my boyfriend for a long time now, and we were deeply in love. Justin was always really sweet. Tonight we were going out for dinner.
“Hey sweetie,” I said, kissing him.
“Hi hun, it's nice to see you.” He kissed me back.
“What's wrong?” I asked. He looked slightly pale.
“Nothing. Just have a bit of a cold. Hope you don't mind my germs.”
“Not at all sweetie. Let's go. Our table’s waiting.”
As we walked to the restaurant, the wind blew lightly around the trees. It began to rain.
“Hun,” he said, “we’d better get inside. You don't want to wreck your dress.”
“Good evening,” said the waitress as we entered the restaurant. “What can I get you guys?”
“Water for me,” said Justin as we sat at our table. He glanced at me. “And you, honey?”
“Water is fine, thank you.”
Justin reached across the table and grasped my hands. “So, Rach, what have you been up to lately?”
“Nothing really. Just been really busy with med school.”
“Hi Rach!” My old friend Jena came into the restaurant, holding hands with her boyfriend, Ryan.
“Jena. What brings you here?
“Same as you, I expect. Good food and romance. Have fun, sweetie.”
“You too, hun. Maybe we can meet up later for drinks, or just talk ”
“Sure,” said Jena. “Hey, Justin. You kids behave yourselves, right?”
“Yeah. Right,” said Justin. “And you and Ryan do the same, you hear.” He turned back to me. “Where were we hun? Ah yes, med school. Don't you work too hard.”
The waitress arrived with our waters. “How about we take our drinks and join Jena and Ryan at their table?” Justin suggested.
“Sure hun, if you want to.”
“Ittchoo!” he sneezed.
“God bless you sweetie. You okay?”
“Fine, thanks. Jus...fi…Ah-itthoo!”
“God bless you again. Seems like your cold’s getting worse. Do you want to go home?”
“I'm fine, sweetie, really. Let's have those drinks with Jen and Ry.”
I shook my head. “Uh-uh. I think I should tell them you’re sick.”
He sneezed loudly: “Ahh-itchooo! I’m fine, I really am.”
“Bless you hun. And no, you are obviously not fine. I think we should cancel our reservations and go home.”
He sighed and rubbed his nose with the back of his hand. “Ok, honey, you’re the boss…Ittchoo!”
I didn't bother to bless him this time. I guessed he was going to be doing a lot more sneezing, and I decided to save my “bless yous” for later.
“Nothing. I just wanted to say that you look really beautiful tonight.”
“Thanks honey. You look great also.”
“Aww. Thanks too. Ah-ittchoo!”
I had to bless him this time. He looked so adorable. “God bless you, sweetie! Let’s get you home right away!”
By the time we got home, he was looking very pale, and I was a little worried about him.
“Ittchoo! Ittchoo! Itchoo!”
“Let's get you in bed. You do look sick.”
“Okay. Like I said at the restaurant, you’re the boss.”
I got him into the warm bed. “You feel better?”
“Yes. A lot warmer. And thanks, honey. You’re wonderful for staying here with me.”
“Oh, it's nothing. I just want to see you get better.”
“I’d really like to make love. But I don’t want you to catch my cold. Ah-itttchoo! Ittchoo! Achoo! Achoo!”
“God bless you!”
“Thanks,” he said softly.
“You’re welcome, sweetie.”
He sat up in bed, put his arms around me and kissed me passionately.
“Hold on sweetie,” I said.
“What's the matter, honey?”
“Nothing…” I pulled away and stifled a sneeze in the crook of my elbow. “Itchoo!” I looked at him, my eyes watering. “I’m fine now. Okay. Really I am.“ I sneezed again: ”Itchoo!”
“Bless you, honey,” said Justin. Then he turned away and covered his mouth with one hand. “Ah-ittchoo! Itchoo! Itchoo!”
I tried to say “God bless you”, but sneezed instead. “Hah-itchoo!”
“It seems you have caught my cold,” said Justin. “So we don’t have to worry about that now…What do you want to do next?”
“I’ll get into bed with you, and we can make love…Have a real nice ti…ti…Ah…Ah…Achoo!”
“Bless you, honey. Sounds like a great idea.”
“I love you,” I breathed.
“And I love you too…”