I was nineteen, fresh out of secretarial school, and just hired on as secretary to an old family friend who sold typewriters. I’d been top in my class, and been luckier than some in finding a job. I was completely full of myself, confident in my abilities as only those who are just starting out can be. I was determined to be successful. I was never what they called a “looker” so I supposed that I would grow into an old spinster, living with my sister in our family home. I hadn’t planned to fall in love.
I met Horace at the post office, where he worked as a clerk. I couldn’t take my eyes off him as he waited on the customers ahead of me. He was so earnest and patient with each, even the old woman who took five minutes digging through her purse to find enough change to pay for her stamps. By the time it was my turn, I knew my boss would be wondering what had happened to me, but I couldn’t make myself rush as I normally would. I was fascinated by him.
It was his eyes—the hint of carefully hidden pain that had never properly healed. Truthfully, I think that’s why I was initially so drawn to him. I wanted to cure his sadness. I suppose that’s common enough, I wasn’t so unusual.