At exactly 8:30 a.m. every day the phone rings.
The call has been triggered by a signal sent from his heart. Following his heart-valve replacement surgery, this heart message is his daily reminder to put the cuff on his arm and install the finger clip.
Then it is time for his morning walk.
His steps are measured and slow. There are no shadows today. A misting fog obscures all but the nearby overhanging branches. The path ahead is blurred, in part due to the effect of the unearthly grey shroud but also because he has forgotten his glasses.
This is a familiar path, an old path, one he has walked so many mornings before.
For months now he has walked this path alone. Then it was hand-in-hand. Now, to steady himself, he leans occasionally, unconsciously on his cane.
Though she is gone, to have that special someone join him on this journey; to love again even in declining years; to hold her hand, delight in her conversation, to be even more tender, more attentive.
More, just more.
To have another chance.
It was on these thoughts that his mind dwelt as he reached the end of the path and returned the way he had come.
Tomorrow the phone would ring. It would be a reminder from his heart.
Then he would go for a walk. Along the same, old familiar path.