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  • I was barely 21, thousands of miles from home and really experiencing life for the first time. I was a student in another country and I had no idea I was about to have my heart stolen. He worked in the deli on campus and I blushed every time he smiled at me. I could hardly believe it when he asked me out for a drink.

    At a pub I can't remember the name of, we sat in a booth and flirted our way through introductions. He started humming along with a song that was playing softly in the background. It was "Lady in Red." I smiled and commented that I liked the song. He asked me if I wanted to dance. I looked around the nearly empty pub--there was another couple secluded in the back corner and three people at the bar chatting with the bartender. I shook my head, saying there was no room. He laughed and pushed our table out of the way to clear a space. I blushed and felt my ears burn when he stood and tried to pull me to my feet. I just knew that everyone would be staring if I looked around at them. He leaned down and whispered in my ear, "Don't worry about them, just dance with me."

    I let him pull me to my feet and once he took me in his arms and we started to slowly sway with the music, my embarrassment slipped away. I barely knew this man but in his arms, I felt safe and peaceful. I closed my eyes and let him guide my body in that gentle dance until I felt a hand tap my shoulder. We stopped swaying and I looked up.

    There was a woman in front of us with tears in her eyes. She had blonde hair, streaked with grey. I recognized her as one of the people from the bar. She smiled despite the tears in her eyes. She told us about her late husband and said that they'd danced to that song together once too. She said that they'd been married for 17 years before he passed away the year before. She thanked us because we'd reminded her of when they were young and in love. She said "If you can make each other half as happy as he made me, you'll have a blessed life." Then she walked back to the bar and sat on her stool to finish her pint.

    Even though my first love and I didn't stay together, I will always remember that dance and that sad woman who shared her bittersweet memories with us.
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