I walked up the stairs, the cool air greeting my face, my wrinkled hand brushing along the railing, picking up dust from years before my time. My eyes, I could feel, held tears in them, but she had told me…made me promise…that I wouldn't let them fall.

As I walked leisurely up the stairs, I could picture her doing the same, her fragile fingers touching the same railing I was, a smiled tugging at her soft lips. It had been the first time I had brought her up there, only the first of many, and enchantment had never ceased to exist on her features as she had gazed around, admiring the view.

It was true; everything up there was breathtaking, from every flower tip to green stem. It was breathtakingly beautiful…just like her.

I gazed around the garden roof top as I ended my flight up the stairs, memories never abandoning my mind, nor the roof top itself. They filled every pot up there, every nook and cranny. For each time I brought her up there, she left her mark, just the way she did on me.


"Sh…" my hand covered her eyes, the other placed tenderly on her shoulder.

"God, what is it? You know I've been up here a thousand times…and what's with this? How late is it? T…"

"Surprise!" I lifted my hand from her face, turning ever so slightly to catch the gasp of excitement rise to her cheeks. And at the moment, she seemed even more beautiful than the sunset in front of us…

"Oh Troy…its-it's…" she sighed and leaned back so her head could rest on my chest. "Thank you," she whispered.

I simply nodded, taking in the moment. I wished and hoped we could be there, in each other's arms forever…

End Flashback

I looked up at the sunrise that was now settled on the horizon, noticing that every ray seemed the same as it had years ago.


"What are you doing here?" she seemed worried about me as she made her way up the stairs, a frown on her tanned face.

I looked at her, doing my best to imprint her image in my memory, "Thinking," I said.

"About what?" she smiled, walking over and sitting beside me on the bench. She leaned in, kissing my lightly on the cheek, sending chills shivering throughout my body.

I grinned, "You." She seemed taken aback by the answer, but then it settled in. I could see the slight smile that graced her lips, but I didn't say a word. Instead, I waited for her reaction.

"I see…" she glanced down nervously.

"Gabriella," I grabbed her hand and waited as she turned to face me again. As I looked deeply into her eyes, I finally said it, what I had been waiting to say from the moment I met her, "I love you."

It was as if she knew it was coming…as if she had hoped the moment would finally arrive. She didn't even hesitate. And before she kissed me square on the lips, she answered, "I love you too, Troy."

End Flashback

And then I remembered that moment, the moment I waited and worried about for years after college let out, the moment she dreamed about for ever since she was young…

I was glad it had been me to ask her that question, for I wouldn't have been happy any other way.

I smiled, thinking of it, nearly fifty years before. We had been on the roof top at that moment as well, I having brought her up there to bring back those memories…


I closed my eyes, running the lines through my head, playing the moment as I hoped it would go.

"Troy?" her voice reached my ears, calming my nerves.

And then I had swept her up in my arms, hugging her tightly. "Troy?" she giggled, her nose buried in my neck, "What are you doing? You know, I think all of these exams have gotten to you…I mean, college is almost over and you're acting awfully jumpy," she pulled away, a smile on her face.

"Gabriella," I said, holding a grin back with all of might at the sight of her smile.

She bit her, her eyebrows furrowing, and a smile still on her lips.

"I-I," and then I knelt down and I could hear the gasp escape her lips, and I saw a glimpse of her hands, shooting up to cover her mouth. I looked up, grinning, "I-I…" cutting right to chase I said it, "Will you marry me?"

I stood up, seeing the shock ghost her face. It mad me slightly worried, and I reached for her "Gabr…"

"Y-yes…" she answered.

And at that moment, I probably smiled the most I ever had in my life, wrapping my arms around her torso and looking her directly in the eye, I said, "You know, I was only gonna tie my shoe…but then…"

"Shut up and kiss me," she grinned, punching me playfully in the arm. And I did as she asked.

End Flashback

I smiled fondly at the memory. Yes, it was the happiest moment in my life, besides the wedding day, and besides the days our children were born.

And then, I heard the familiar pitter patter of footsteps coming up the staircase, and I awakened from my memories. Maybe I had secretly wished for her feet to be the ones making the noise, but then I nestled back down on the bench, realizing she would never again smile at the view.

"Grandpa Troy?" a small, high-pitched voice sounded from behind the concrete of the staircase. I grinned at my grandson's nervousness, and beckoned him to come out of hiding.

"Charlie," I smiled, waving him over.

He smiled childishly, and ran over to me. Before he sat himself down on my lap, he chuckled wistfully, "He goes right, he goes left, he shoots, and he scores!" he tossed his hands up in the air, showing off perfect form just as his father had done before him.

He grinned to his five year old self, "Daddy said you'd be up here."

I nodded, knowing that Mike, my son, would have thought so, for it seemed as if my life was still on the platter it had been on in high school. I shook my head of the thought, realizing Mike too would have fallen to that fate, and eventually Charlie would as well.

Charlie must have seen my eyes wander, for he pulled on my tie, "Grandpa, is Grandma Gabi in Heaven?"

"Yes," I muttered, coming to terms once again with her fate…a heart attack at the early age of 71…

"But Grandpa Troy…what's Heaven like?" he seemed sincerely interested with the question.

I thought about the question for a moment, pondering the question that had lingered in my mind since her death. And then it came to me, "Like kindergarten…just like kindergarten…" I smiled thoughtfully.

Charlie frowned, concern crossing his face, "But Grandpa Troy, that's what grade I'm in…Grandma Gabi isn't my age…"

I simply nodded, "Yes, Charlie, it's just like kindergarten…"