My eyes moved from the box to catch his gaze. His hair was graying on the sides and he really did look the twelve years older than me that he was. His eyes were a grayish blue. Very kind-looking. I felt like I was sitting across from my father. And I started to cry. Tears of confusion, tears of appreciation, I’m not sure which. I had never had anyone other than my father tell me I deserved anything. God knows I had never heard those words from my ex-husband, or any other boyfriend. They all seemed to feel that they as men were the ones entitled to things.
“Jennie, if I were twenty years younger, I’d be chasing you all over town. But I’m too old for that and just want to have the joy of giving you a very special summer,” he told me. “You have gotten the short end of the stick in lots of ways, but you get up every morning and work every day to improve the lives of not only your kids, but all the kids you teach. You are a beautiful person and have the opportunity to get back a little of what you have given.”