In my day job, I had the privilege of coming across one of the best love stories I’ve ever heard or read.
And as a romance reader and writer, I’ve heard and read a lot.
But it would never sell.
It’s a December/December romance with no back story, which makes it so amazing.
Think of “The Notebook” without the back story, but the couple are in good health – such good health they roller skate nearly every day.
At ages 74 and 89, Carole and Russell skated at the same roller rink. Carole was reeling from the sudden death of her husband and although her balance was bad, she always wanted to take up roller skating, so she did.
And she got good at it.
Her locker at the roller rink was next to Russell’s. She found him easy to talk to, but she had no interest in dating anyone.
They worked together to serve coffee and donuts to the “skating family,” and went out after skating sessions with the group for lunch.
Carole enjoyed spending time with Russell so much, she asked him out.
Russell hesitated. He liked her – a lot – but he knew she suffered a terrific loss with her husband, was aware of their age difference, meaning he would likely die before she did, and wanted to spare her another round of grief.
But he took her out for a hamburger, and let her know that he had no intentions of getting married again. He’d lost his first wife in the early ’80s after 30 years of marriage and his second marriage failed.
Carole told him she didn’t have any plans to marry again either.
So they dated and skated.
And on the wheels of love, they grew inseparable.
Russell wanted Carole to go with him to a reunion of the World War II veterans who served aboard his ship. He joined up when he was only 17 in 1945.
Carole told him she would go with him, but not as his mistress.
“She made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he said.
So they got hitched, moved in together and skate together four times a week.
And they are in love. She calls him “honey” with a twinkle in her eye, touches him often, and really laughs at his jokes.
It’s the real deal.
And it would never sell.
And that’s just a damn shame.