Happy Anniversary

Doug Laird


It was a rainy day as Darrin Stephens looked out his window at the city streets forty floors below from his office at Tate, Stephens, and Stephens. As President of the second largest advertising agency in the country with his old buddy Larry Tate as Chief Executive Officer, he was very busy at the top end of the company. Still he missed the old hustle and bustle when he was the McMann and Tate's chief account executive. His daughter Tabitha, also a partner, and other younger employees were in charge of handling the clients and their accounts. Darrin felt a little bit left out as he looked out the window. Today was his thirty-fifth anniversary. He had been married to Samantha for more than half his life. Even with his success in business, his good health and two wonderful kids, something was still not right. He was in the evening of his life and he knew that his wife and kids would be here long after he was gone. For the first time in his marriage, he felt the limitations of being mortal, though he offered no apologies for it. He had always stood up against whatever his magical in-laws had done to him because he had his pride and a wife who stood up with him. Since it was a very special day, he decided to head home.

"Betty, cancel my afternoon staff meeting. I'm finished for the day," he said over the intercom.

"Good night, Mr. Stephens,” Betty replied.

As Darrin drove up to his home, he couldn't help but think back to their first home at 1164 Morning Glory Circle. Both of their children were raised there. Now they had a big five bedroom colonial in Stamford. The house was very empty with the children having moved out. Tabitha lived alone in an apartment in the city. Adam preferred being a warlock and lived in the other realm working as the booking agent for the Cosmo Cotillion. Darrin no longer had problems with his in-laws and their magic after the children had grown up. Since Samantha’s relatives hadn't aged and they had somewhat accepted the mixed marriage, they had stayed away and went on with their own witchy lives. On the other hand, Samantha made herself look the part of the aging wife and still kept house for her husband and loved every second of it. Darrin and their children were her life and her greatest love.

Sam greeted Darrin as usual at the front door. Even though she did have a live-in housekeeper. She always was there to greet him when he returned home.

"Hello, darling. You look tired. How was your day?" asked Sam giving him a quick kiss.

"Oh, Sam, I don't know. Work just isn’t the same with Tabitha and her co-workers the doing all the REAL work. I guess I wasn't cut out for sitting at the top of the heap. I'd love to roll up my sleeves and really get back into the game. But the firm has to have new fresh blood to keep up with the times. I guess I'm just an old dinosaur," sighed Darrin.

"No you aren't sweetheart. Besides if you want to start all over again you know how we can," teased Sam with a twinkle in her eye.

Darrin put up his hand to stop her. "No, that's quite all right. We don't need any extra hocus-pocus in our lives. Besides I wouldn't change a thing. Well, a few things that I went through I have done without," Darrin said a little softer. "I love you, Sam, I just am sorry I won't be around to be with you much longer."

"Now STOP talking about that," she said looking quite serious. "Today is today and we will continue living one day at a time. Just like we always have. Remember you have two wonderful children and a wife who love you more than anything. And if it will make you feel any better, there hasn't been a bit of hocus-pocus or any visits from any of my relatives for over three months now except for Adam and he drove here from the city. Now you go rest up. We're going out to dinner. Thirty-five years together is something to celebrate."

"All right, sweetheart. I'll see you later," Darrin said. He went into his home office and laid down on the couch.

On another astral plane, Endora was sitting in a lounge smoking a hookah speaking to her grandson Adam.

"I have always said you had more sense than that whole family. At least you didn't turn your back on your heritage," remarked Endora as she took a deep puff.

"Remember, Grandmama, that's still my family you're talking about. I did find it advantageous to be a warlock, but then I am half mortal. What have you been doing lately?" asked Adam.

Endora replied looking very indifferent. "I was thinking about going to Argentina for the llama races, but they were such a bore last year. Maurice, your grandfather, did invite me to Paris for the opening of the opera season, and I just may put up with him and go. And then I may not. How is your mother, my dear boy?" asked Endora.

"She is just fine, Mother dear." Samantha replied popping in next to her.

Endora’s eyes lit up. "Samantha, my dear child. How are you? I haven't seen you in weeks. And how is my dear granddaughter and, you know who, what's-his-name?"

Samantha let out a disgruntled sigh. "DARRIN is fine. And Tabitha is fine, too. She has been working very hard and we are both very proud of her." said a glowing Samantha.

"Hi, Mom!" said Adam waving slightly.

"Hello, dear. You will be home later, before your father and I head out tonight, won't you? Your father's feeling down and really needs a our support," said Samantha.

"I never miss your anniversary, you know that," explained Adam. "I've been booking new acts for the Cosmos Cotillion. If Tab sees anything new, please tell her to let me know."

"Well, it's probably better if we don't try mixing the mortal and witchy world. You better keep looking around here. Mother, you aren't going to try anything, since this is our thirty-fifth anniversary together?" asked Sam.

Endora replied, "You don't have to worry about me. I grew tired of that ten years ago. I'll just let time and tide take care of him. Speaking of time, do you have to keep putting on that...that old crone face? You look like my grandmother! That is positively revolting. No one in my side of the family EVER looked so decrepit!”

"No, I don't have to look like your grandmother, but I do have to look like their Mother. Besides I like the look. Darren and I still make like a cute couple. Good-Bye, Mother. Remember...no tricks! Bye, Adam dear. I will see you again later," said Samantha. She kissed them both and popped out.

Samantha popped into Darrin's study and gently kissed her sleeping husband. It had been a wonderful thirty-five years, but how could she make this night extra special? Darrin started to stir and saw his beautiful wife looking lovingly down at him.

"Feeling better, darling?" she asked.

Darrin gave her a crooked smile. "I'm not as tired, but the old aches and pains are still there. I know you're only as old as you feel, but it still takes getting used to... I'm ready to go and take my best girl out and celebrate." His voice trailed off. "Sam, I just can't keep thinking about what your mother said years ago. Here I am late in life and you're still a young vibrant witch. You deserve more in the years ahead."

"Darrin, I married you for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. You're the one I love, you're the one I married, and you're the one I am going to stay with, period. I loved you thirty years ago and I will still love you for the rest of my life. And with two beautiful children you are loved and you will be loved for a long, long time. Now, go get ready for our date and don't dawdle. I still have some pretty young ideas about you," explained Samantha as she sent him on upstairs.

"Why should I really worry?" thought Darrin as he finished checking himself out in front of the mirror. "I am still living a fairly normal mortal life, considering I haven't been turned into a toad or a dwarf in a long time. I just have a family that is going to outlive me. By centuries! What's so normal about that? Why can't I shake this feeling? I know why. Because I never know when one of my nutty in-laws will be around the corner. And through all this I do have Samantha, who gave up her whole enchanting life just for me. She does love me. If she doesn't mind me looking seventy, then I shouldn't mind. Despite all the aches and pains and father time looking me in the face, I will put on my best face I can and we will celebrate."

Darrin finished and headed downstairs.

At the bottom of the stairs stood his whole family, wife Samantha, daughter Tabitha, and son Adam each looking as young as they really were.

Darrin hurried down the steps without a huff or a puff and was surprised when he looked in the mirror. He saw his old self not more than forty years old standing up straight and tall.

"Sam, what the..." started Darrin as Sam but her hand over his mouth.

"Not another word, dear. Not one word. You once said that before we met you were looking for magic. I just wanted to show you that the magic was still there, whenever you want it or need it. So for just tonight, darling. Happy Anniversary!" Samantha said quietly looking at adoringly.

Darrin gave her a sheepish grin saying, "Thank you, Sam. I always loved you. Happy Anniversary." And he gave her a passionate embrace.

Hugging Tabitha and Adam the entire bewitching Stephens family went out to dinner together.


The End


DISCLAIMER: All characters in this story belong to Columbia Pictures.

© All literature found on this page was produced by Doug Laird.


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