Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Palo Verde and Cassandra’s love for each other remained true, even while time altered both.
When one loves another’s true essence, then, even when the outer form shifts and changes, love remains and may even grow. For the memory of altered beauty, those “rosy lips and cheeks” that the Reaper’s sickle harvests early, blends with the sweetness of the present form: the traces of joy and sorrow that etch the face, the silver hair, richer than yesterday’s chestnut, the frame that stoops just to straighten once again.
Palo Verde and Cassandra spent their last morning together sipping granny smashes at the outdoor bar after the kids left for high school.
They talked of all the old times.
“Remember the first time I met you? There you were, tending the Rattlesnake Bar like you owned the place.”
“And there was that other woman, PV, trying to get your attention!”
“Oh, her! She wouldn’t give me the time of day! She dissed me at my young adult birthday party just the day before! She was just jealous that I only had eyes for you!”
“PV, do you remember, on our wedding day, before the wedding, how I said I was nervous about getting married? About a lifelong commitment?”
“Sure, baby. But it’s never worried me. You’ve always been free as a bird.”
“Well, I still feel that way. I’ve always felt that way. But what I want to tell you is that in spite of this, I’ve stayed. I’ve never once wished to leave. I’ve never once wished to be apart from you. And you’ve been so respectful of my need for freedom.Thank you, Palo.”
“Cassie, I just count myself lucky for every moment I get to look at you, for each second that you’re by my side.”
The secret to the success of their relationship, aside from their being head-over-heels with each other, has been the freedom they’ve given each other to pursue their interests. Cassandra has become an accomplished painter. PV is known throughout Simdom as The Royal Llama Tamer, and his stand-up routines are legendary.
PV learned early on to hold Cassandra with an open palm, not to proclaim his undying love, though he felt it strongly inside, but to just look upon her with his wide open, happy-faced grin.
On his last day, Palo Verde seemed as if he had endless vitality. He practiced his comedy routines, preparing for the promotion that was due at his next shift, which would bring him to the top of the entertainer career.
Then, as evening approached, while Willow napped after school, Ironwood completed his homework, Princess ate taco casserole, and Cassandra worked on a fiddle song she was composing, the Reaper came with his sickle.
PV looked up towards the sky, said a few lines from his “I wanted to be an astronaut” routine, and lay down, saying, “Sul, sul. Sul, sul.”
Cassandra tossed down her fiddle and rushed in to plea. Her pleas were in vain.
Not to be.
Sul, sul, Palo Verde. We’ll always remember you. You were a one-of -a-kind Sim, beloved by all, truly the one and only Royal Llama Tamer. Cassandra loved you deeply “even to the edge of doom.”
PV and Cassie, with open palms and lightly held bonds, keep each other in lasting love.