Hello and good day!
Opal sat in a diner booth with her niece and nephew.
Danny Dwane was a three-year-old spark plug, wearing overalls, with purple pie filling all over his face.
Connie Sue was a shy, sensitive, five-year-old sugar plum, in a white dress, with dainty curls in her hair.
Opal sat with Connie Sue on one side of the booth.
Danny Dwane sat alone on the other side.
Connie Sue never left home without her beloved dolly Betsy.
And Danny Dwane never stopped scheming a way to snatch Betsy from his older sister's hands.
The diner was built inside an old train car and was filled beyond capacity.
Folks were chatting and the sound of coffee mugs banging on tables and cutlery clanking against plates was in the air.
It was the best place in town to get pie and coffee and more and more people stuffed their way in. It was so packed that people were standing in the aisleway waiting to be seated.
Opal's sister Valore was working the front of the house, seating new customers as fast as she could, bussing tables, and flying around taking orders. Valore's husband, Vic, was in the back of the house, in the kitchen, doing the cooking.
Opal had been living with Valore and Vic for a little over five years.
She moved in to help out with the kids so that Valore could go back to work, running the diner with her husband.
Opal had been married once, when she was much younger. The guy walked out on her though, after less than a year of marriage, convinced by his evil mother to do so.
She didn't mind being single and she loved taking care of her sister's children.By then, the kids were more hers than anybody else's.
Opal tried to wave her sister over, but Valore didn't see her. Either Valore or Vic was supposed to give the three of them a ride home.
Opal didn't have a driver's license.
She didn't mind taking a public bus back to the house. She was good friends with the bus driver Al.
One way or another, she needed to confirm the plans because the kids were getting restless. "Stay here kids, I'm going to talk to your mother," said Opal.
She got up and squeezed her way down the aisle, bobbing in between the bodies of waiting people.
When Opal made it to the other end of the diner, she grabbed Valore's arm to get her attention.
"Valore, I need to get the kids out of here," said Opal. Valore put up a finger to her customers to request a second.
"Wait just a little longer," said Valore.
Just then, a loud wail came from the other side of the train car.
"Waaaaaaaaaa! I want my Betsy!"
Connie Sue was screaming because Danny Dwane had snuck under the table and snatched Betsy out of her hands.
"We've got to go Valore," said Opal.
"Wait at the park. One of us will be right over."
"You sure? We can take the bus."
"I'm sure. Wait in the park on the bench under the big oak tree. One of us will be there soon."
Opal fought back through the crowd to the table. She pulled Danny Dwane out from the booth.
"Give me that doll," said Opal.
Danny Dwane gave it up and Opal returned Betsy to her mother, Connie Sue.
"Come on kids. We're going to the park."
She and the kids climbed down the small flight of three wooden stairs that led up to the diner's entrance. They walked through the gas station next door and down two blocks of middle-class residential neighborhood. They came to a big grass park off to the left.
There was a long, grey, cobble stone path running through the bright green grass, leading up to a lone oak tree in the middle of an empty field. The field was surrounded by forest all around the outside.
It was a hot summer day that was still shining bright and hard into late afternoon.
Danny Dwane and Connie Sue took off running into the park, jumping and skipping and rolling in the grass.
Opal walked along the stone path to a wooden bench that was placed in the shade underneath the bushy tree.
After thirty minutes or so, they heard a honk from the street.
Opal looked up and saw Vic's older brother Walt sitting in his car. Walt lived in a trailer behind the diner and did freelance carpentry work.
Nobody saw Walt too much because he was reserved and worked all the time.
Walt got out of his car and came walking into the park. He was tall and lean and quiet. The kids came running towards him and he scooped them up, carrying one in each arm.
"Hi there Opal," said Walt. "Hi Walt. You taking us home?" asked Opal.
"Vic asked me to come. It's still packed in the diner."
Walt carried the kids to the car and buckled them in the back seat. Opal sat up front. They drove through the neighborhood to the highway.
Walt didn't say a word and neither did Opal.
Opal lived with Vic and Valore on a big piece of rural property about three miles from town, on the side of the road.
Walt pulled into the driveway.The kids jumped out and ran towards the house.
Opal unlocked the door and the kids hurried in.
"Thank you, Walt. That was very kind of you."
Opal turned to walk in, but she stopped mid turn because Walt cleared his throat.
"Opal? Can I ask you something?"
"Sure Walt. What is it?"
"Opal, can I pick you and the kids up from the park again tomorrow?"
"How come Walt?"
Walt wasn't too good with words, and he didn't know how to tell her that he'd been in love with her since the first time he saw her five years earlier.
"I'd like to see you again Opal, that's all."
"You would Walt?"
"I'll be waiting for you on the bark bench Walt. Same time tomorrow."
Opal went in and Walt drove away.
Walt picked up Opal the next day and every day after that for a year.
A year later, they were married, and Walt built a house for them in town.
From then on, instead of going home or to the diner after school, Danny Dwayne and Connie Sue always went to Uncle Walt and Aunt Opal's house.
I'm a sucker for a love story.
You never know how two people might fall in love.
Thank you so much for time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
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