Though the idea of growing old with a significant other has long been romanticized on the silver screen, the reality of spending decade after decade with the same person can get a little lonely. Eventually, the children stop calling, the neighbors stop visiting, and all that’s left is the familiar glow of the TV set. If that sounds depressing—well, it is.
But luckily, for one elderly couple in Italy, the police are on call not only to solve the occasional domestic dispute, but to cook a little dinner when you’re feeling dejected.
According to Mashable, officers responded to a call last Wednesday after a neighbor reported hearing shouting and fighting coming from the apartment next door. When the officers arrived, however, all they found was 94-year-old Michel and 84-year-old Jole.
Married for roughly 70 years, the couple was feeling lonely and upset after watching a number of depressing stories on the evening news—headlines detailing terror attacks and child abuse. To help take their mind off the tragedies, the responding officers decided to cook the couple pasta for dinner.
A Facebook post about the incident from Rome’s police headquarters reads like a poem when translated.
"It's so much that no one comes by to say hello,” the police wrote, describing the couple's loneliness. “It is not always easy life. Especially when the city is empty and the neighbors are away on vacation. Sometimes the loneliness melts into tears."
Whoever runs the Questura di Roma Facebook account must be a hopeless romantic at heart, as the post goes on to detail the couple’s love for one another, as well as the impending reality of old age.
"Jole and Michele they love each other,” the post continues. “But when the loneliness is a burden on the heart, it may happen that they lose hope."
Moved by their situation, the officers asked for permission to go into their pantry. They then cooked the couple a hearty bowl of pasta with butter and cheese.
"Nothing special. But with a precious ingredient," the post reads. "[A]ll their humanity."