In Ray Bradbury's "A Story About Love", a young man in his 30's, Bill Forrester takes up the acquaintance of an elderly woman, Helen Loomis who is in her 90's. They meet in an ice cream shop and Bill tells Helen that he was in love with her once. She doesn't know what this means. Helen invites Bill to join her the next day. Bill goes to Helen's on a daily basis and she tells him stories about far away places that she has traveled to. In their minds, they are able to "travel" to these places together.
Bill eventually tells Helen what he meant when he said that he was in love with her once. He had seen her picture in the newspaper and thought she was pretty. He was going to attend a ball that she was at but found out that the picture was many years old and she was actually an older woman. The last day that Bill went to see Helen, she was writing a letter. She told him that when he gets the letter from her, she will have died. Two days later, he received her letter.
He and his friend Douglas went back to the ice cream shop where Bill met Helen and ordered the same ice cream he'd ordered the day they met. I loved this story. I found the relationship between Bill and Helen to be so sweet and refreshing. I'm sure I'm in the minority when I say that.
It seems so unacceptable for an older woman to be in a relationship with a much younger man. Vice versa, for whatever reason, it is socially acceptable. Even knowing that Helen was 95 from the beginning of the story, I didn't picture her as that old. I pictured her the way she was in the photo that was published in the newspaper. I found it so endearing that Bill and Helen were able to "travel" the world together. They may not have physically gone anywhere, but in their minds, both of them were wherever Helen was describing.
The one thing I didn't like about the story was when Helen told Bill that she didn't want him to live for too long, that she wanted him to die before he was 50 so they could be together. I found this to be quite selfish on Helen's part. Bill deserves to live a full life, just as Helen did. Maybe if the story were being told from Bill's perspective, he would feel the same way and it wouldn't seem so selfish.
However, the way it's written, Bill's perspective is never shown. Ray Bradbury really had a way of drawing me in and giving me a visual picture of all the details in the story. I felt so enmeshed in the era and wanted to soak everything in.