It was on one of my frequent walks through the neighborhood that I happened to meet the new arrivals, a pair of dusky beauties. I lifted my hand to them in greeting while strolling past; the younger of the two smiled happily and waved back, while the older woman gave me a skeptical look before her grudging acknowledgment. Thus I dubbed them Bliss and Prudence. I've since learned their actual names, but they are not as flattering, or, frankly, as descriptive, so I continue to employ the nicknames I gave them on that first meeting.
Bliss spent a great deal of time tending the flowerbeds in front of her home, so we exchanged many friendly greetings over the next few days. Prudence's job kept her away during the day, so our encounters were infrequent and altogether less cordial, although she seemed marginally less hostile over time. Perhaps Bliss convinced her I was a harmless old man taking his daily exercise and not a worthwhile target of scorn. Which could not have been further from the truth, as I'd already decided to host both ladies as special guests at my summer island retreat.
The initiative began with a slight ruse, as these things tend to do; at my age, a bit of deception is usually required to gain admission to a nubile young woman's abode. Bliss might have been the singular exception, as she projected a welcoming disposition to me from the moment we met. And I'm quite willing to admit that she charmed me from the start. Her brown skin, perfect smile and bouncy ponytail conspired to steal my affections before I was even aware that such a trick was still possible. Our neighborhood is hardly bereft of attractive young women, most of whom are happy to smile and wave as I pass by. But none of them ever lingered in my thoughts beyond the moment, whereas Bliss had taken up permanent residence.
So it was that I strolled up to the front door of her home early one evening with a small gift-wrapped package in hand. That was the ruse, and it was all the more deceptive as the box contained only a fist-sized rock to give the box some heft. I had no concerns about offending Bliss, as she wouldn't have the opportunity to open it.
A short time after I rang the bell, Bliss opened the door, slightly out of breath. She had literally skipped through the house to see who her visitor was, apparently never once considering it might only be a solicitor or the old fool who's always walking around.
"Hello, sir!" she exclaimed. "Don't you look nice, all dressed up!" It was true, I had donned a jacket and tie for the occasion and even ran a comb through what was left of my hair.
"Good evening, my dear," I replied. "This is long overdue on my part, but I've brought a belated housewarming gift for you and your lady friend," I said as I handed the box over to her.
At that, her smile widened. "Oh, you didn't have to do that!" And she leaned forward and kissed my cheek, as you would an uncle or grandfather. I nodded, hoping that my blush would appear as embarrassment and not something inappropriate. "Won't you come inside?"
"Thank you, how kind of you to offer," I said, and stepped into her home. She closed and locked the door behind me, then led me into the living room. This was the point at which it would have been proper for me to tender the invitation to my private retreat. Instead, I opted to present my case in terms she could not refuse.
Bliss, as one might imagine, was by turns first confused, not quite believing her senses, and then somewhat taken aback by my forwardness. Within moments she offered a vigorous counterargument. Her points were entirely valid and she made them with all the strength she could muster, but I remained patient and let my argument speak for itself, knowing that time was on my side, not hers.
After some spirited back-and-forth, the lady finally came around to my way of thinking. Her change in attitude was gradual at first, and she continued to offer a measure of resistance even as irrefutable logic chipped away at the last of her resolve. Ultimately she was rendered speechless, blown away by the force of my presentation. All she could do in the end was nod her head in silent agreement, acquiescing fully and completely. She was every bit as gracious in defeat as she was in her daily greetings to me, and I knew I'd chosen at least one agreeable travelling companion.
Shortly thereafter, the sound of the garage door motor engaging announced Prudence's return home. Upon entering the house, she called out for Bliss, who understandably didn't respond. She came to the living room, saw the younger woman resting comfortably on the sofa, and went to her, presumably to discover how she had achieved so perfect a state of relaxation. Gladdened by her interest in the subject, I moved out of hiding and shared the secret with her.
She too expressed disbelief in the initial going, and did her level best to remain ignorant of that which I strove to impart to her. But as before, patience was the key. Gentle but firm insistence that she accept my tutorial wore her down by degrees. Before long, Prudence discovered she had no choice but to take instruction and joined Bliss in silent repose, although not without a final sigh to indicate her reluctance.
Although the ladies were in no position to argue further, I realized the time would come when they might feel compelled to make their case again, so I presented them with tangible reminders of my argument in order to preserve the peace. They wore them well, and we all breathed easier knowing that the time for discussion had passed.
Later, as we crossed the open water en route to the island, I found myself eagerly anticipating the moment when they would regain their voices and the metaphorical battle would once more be joined. Which suited me perfectly, as I have long enjoyed such impromptu debates, due in no small part to the fact that my argument always prevails.