“Yes” by Doris Dembosky

Years after handing her heart to a boy who had died in The Battle of the Somme, Mildred still felt the loss of a life’s companion.

Driven by the thought that ‘time and tides wait for no man,’ she wrote a short advertisement and pinned it to a church notice board in the next village.

Her ad read: “Spinster, 62, wishes to meet a mature, tender man who loves books and doesn’t mind cat hair. Phone 372- 3037.”

The following Sunday, standing at the back of the church, the collection plate in his hands, Malcolm read the notice.

He noted her use of the word “spinster” and the bit about the cat hair. He liked the fact that she was forthright. Already he could see cat hair on his trousers and a stray cat hair in the broccoli.

Despite worries that someone might listen-in on the party-line, Malcolm phoned. “Hello. My name is Malcolm. I saw your note… on the bulletin board… at St. Anne’s.”

The following week, sitting in a teashop, Malcolm asked Millie if she would like a cream cake with her tea.

Millie said, “Yes.”

In May, Malcolm asked Millie if she would brave the wagging tongues and join him at Sunday service.

Millie said, “Yes.”

In July, Malcolm asked Millie if she would like to take the train to Brighton.

Millie said, “Yes.”

After dark on the shingle shore, Malcolm slowly unbuttoned Millie’s blouse. There was no need to ask: the surf was whispering, “Yes!”


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Filed under Doris Dembosky

16 responses to ““Yes” by Doris Dembosky

  1. randalhoule

    Nicely done. The form pulls us right up to that final yes.

  2. guy

    I like the contrast between the naked lust at the end and the halting delicacy of their courtship.

  3. The repetition in the end makes everything sweet become much more intense. Loved this.

  4. Deborah A. Upton

    Doris, I found your “shingle” shore to be an interesting use of a word. Also, in my mind when I read: Millie said, “Yes”, I was reading “Yes, I would”, “Definitely, yes”, and “Oh, yes” which helped build up to your “climax” sentence: There was no need to ask: the surf was whispering, “Yes!”

  5. Such a sweet tale. I especially liked how repeating ‘yes’ set a pace that you then tempered with ‘in May’, ‘in July’. Beautiful finish, as well.

  6. Love this, sweet and then, a little naughty. I’m so happy for Malcolm and Millie ;^) Peace…

  7. Nice mix of tender and playful (naughty) in this one, Doris.

  8. loved it. this was adorable.

  9. I loved this! I loved the telling and how long it took to get over the handing of the heart to a boy… Sensitive handling too! Thanks.

  10. Doris, this is a beautiful story just the facts are a bit odd. The telephone number seems to be American. Then Malcolm asks Millie to take the train to Brighton, which is in England. From America to Brighton by train? How romantic!!!


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  12. Michael

    Oh, this is beautiful! The ending repetitive structure of the sentences truly make this small work shine! On top of this, I loved the sweet and tender manner in which you treated and described your characters, with such humanity. It seemed to speak volumes about each character, as if we had known them for years.

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