Zoe and her family had just returned home after her grandfather’s funeral. She got her grandmother settled in a chair.
“Sweety,” Grandma Rose said. “Please bring me my bag.”
Zoe did so, handing her grandmother a large tote bag.
Grandma Rose pulled out a photo album. “Come sit by me,” she said “Let me tell you a story. A fairy tale of a Prince and his Princess.”
Zoe quickly grabbed a chair and placed it next to her grandmother’s.
Grandma Rose opened the photo album. The first picture was a black and white of a beautiful young girl and a handsome young man.
“This was me at my senior dance.” Grandma Rose said. “I was sixteen, just like you.”
“Who is that with you?” Zoe asked
“That’s your Grandpa Paul.” Grandma Rose said. “He was seventeen.”
“You made such a beautiful couple.” Zoe said. “I love that dress.”
“I believe I still have that dress up in the attic.” Grandma Rose said. “I bet it will fit you perfectly. You can wear it to your senior prom.”
“Wow,” Zoe said. “So, you and Grandpa Paul were high school sweethearts. Show me more pictures.”
“Yes, my dear,” Grandma Rose said to Zoe, “We were high school sweethearts. I met your grandfather in my junior year.
“But,” Grandma Rose went on, “Our parents were against us dating each other. My family were hard working people, while his family was rich.”
“So,” she continued. “We started dating secretly.”
“Wow, Grandma,” Zoe said. “You were a bad girl.”
“Well, I guess so,” Grandma Rose said, blushing.
“We dated our entire junior year.” Grandma Rose went on.
“That summer Grandpa Paul’s family went away on vacation.” Grandma Rose said. “They were gone for six weeks. I cried every day.”
My mother figured that maybe I’d meet someone else,” Grandma Rose said, smiling, “But as the saying goes ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’!”
“He wrote to me almost every day.” Grandma Rose told everyone. “Every day I would run to the mailbox and grab the mail before my mother could get to it. I would run to my room and read his letter. I hid them in a secret place.”
“I still have them,” she said, reaching into the tote bag, pulling out a box. She handed the box to Zoe. “This will be yours to read after I’m gone.”
“What happened when the summer was over?” Zoe asked. “What was it like when you saw each other?”
“We ran to each other,” Grandma Rose said. “We kissed again.”
“By then my parents accepted the fact we were in love.” Grandma Rose said with a big smile. They gave their permission for us to date. His parents accepted soon after.”
“We dated during our senior year.” Grandma Rose said, “Most of the girls were so jealous.”
“He was the most handsome boy in the whole school.” Grandma Rose went on, “Some of the girls tried to get him to notice them, but he only had eyes for me.”
“But some of the boys were jealous of Grandpa Paul too.” Grandma Rose remembered. “They all tried to catch my eye, but I only wanted Paul.”
“We went to every school dance. He would only dance with me.”
“Wow,” Zoe said, “That’s so romantic.”
“Every Friday night he came to pick me up,” she said. “And every Friday he brought me flowers.”
“I bet he brought you roses.” Zoe said. “Roses for Rose, right?”
“You got it.” Grandma Rose said.
Zoe smiled and put her arm around Grandma Rose.
“Come on Grandma, tell me more.”
“On the day we graduated,” Grandma Rose said. “His family had a big party. They invited me and my family.”
“During the party,” she went on, “Paul and my father went off to talk. What I didn’t know was that Paul was asking my father for permission to marry me.”
“Did he say yes?” Zoe asked.
“Of course,” Grandma Rose said. “Then during the party your grandfather got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
“But,” she went on wagging her finger, “I didn’t say yes right away.”
“Why not?” Zoe asked.
“I wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to marry him and become just a housewife.” she said, patting Zoe on the leg. “I wanted a career too. My plan was to become a teacher.”
“What did he say?” Zoe asked.
“He agreed.” Grandma Rose said. “He wanted to go to college too. He didn’t want to follow in his father's footsteps to become a lawyer. He thought about teaching too!”
“Wow, that’s so amazing.” Zoe said. “You both became teachers.”
“Yes,” Grandma Rose said.
“So, after you graduated college, you got married?” Zoe asked.
“Yes, but let me tell you just how he asked me to marry him again.” Grandma Rose opened the photo album to a picture. She removed the picture and handed it to Zoe.
It was a picture of Rose and Paul dressed up like a prince and princess.
“It was taken on Halloween,” Grandma Rose said. “He dressed up like Prince Charming from Sleeping Beauty. I was Sleeping Beauty.”
Zoe began to cry with happiness. “It’s so beautiful.”
“He got down on one knee and asked again,” Grandma Rose said. “But this time I said yes.”
Grandma Rose reached into her tote bag and pulled out another photo album. She handed it to Zoe.
“Eight months later, we were married.” Grandma Rose said. “I was a June bride just like I always dreamed.”
The album she handed Zoe was a wedding album. Zoe opened to the first page. There was a picture Zoe had known her whole life. It was the same picture that hung in the living room at her grandparents' house.
“You were such a beautiful bride,” Zoe said. “And Grandpa was so handsome.”
“He was my Prince,” Grandma said. “And I was his Princess.”
“Our life was a fairytale.” Grandma Rose said. “We went on to have a beautiful baby girl, your mother. We were so happy for almost sixty years.”
Zoe began to cry. Grandma Rose hugged her tight. “Don’t cry, my dear.” she said. “I hope that one day you find your Prince, and he treats you like a Princess.
Grandma Rose died in her bed two days later. She was clutching her two favorite photo albums.
She was laid to rest next to her Prince.