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Stepping towards forever- Part 2
He puts the keys in the ignition and presses down on the gas pedal. The light of the bright object in the sky was fading slowly as he drives towards his destination.
The radio is on and she sings along to the songs as the wind blows her hair into a mess around her face. Her hands clasp around the silver necklace around her neck and she toys with it between her fingers. She was too busy singing to notice how he was marvelling at the way her face lights up when she smiles.
The aged institutions of the education quartier fades as the bright neon lights of downtown billboards come into sight and she misses the tightening of his grip on the steering wheel as he thinks about where he’s taking her.
“Where are we going?” She asks curiously. She expects him to stop one of the small diners where they usually go, or back to their apartment to order take-out, but he was cruising through the streets of downtown, out of the area where they usually go.
He turns and smiles mischeviously, “It’s a surprise.”
“Oh come on.” She groans. She could never really get anything out of him that he didn’t want to tell before the time is right. She hates waiting.
“Now now, patience is a virtue,” He chuckles, “You’ll see in a minute, we’re almost there.”
“I’m not patient. I dislike waiting.” She announces rather whiningly. He just smirks because he’s heard it a thousand times before and knows that she has no choice but to take his word for it. She pouts for not getting what she wants and mock-glares at him from beneath her lashes. He chuckles again at her immaturity and leans over to plant a quick kiss on her lips. She can’t resist smiling, its not like she could ever really get mad at him.
He pulls into a parking lot and they both get out of the car. She’s still a little confused as to where they were. He then walks around to the other side of the vehicle and takes her hand.
“Come on,” He says, “Let’s go.”
She follows him obediently, eager to find out where they were going. They walk around the building and she finds herself in front of a particularly fancy restaurant and she gasps before turning to him. “We’re eating here?” She was awestruck.
He looks at her for a second and says, “Yeah.” Like it was no big deal.
“But...but, it’s so fancy!” She is kind of intimidated, “I’m not dressed properly!”
He laughs, “You’re in a dress, that’s fancy enough. Don’t worry about it.” It was only then that she notices he’s wearing a dress shirt instead of a usual t-shirt. Huh.
“But-!” She looks up at him with eyebrows furrowed, he leans down and kisses her, “Don’t worry about it.”
She stares back into his eyes for a few seconds before nodding, “Okay”. Her eyes grow wide as he leads her inside, her eyes turning this way and that, fascinated by the decorations. The sound of cheerful music that reminds her of the street musicians in Paris invades her ears and she spots a live band playing at one side of the room. She feels self-conscious when she sees some of the formal attired worn but she’s relieved, however, to find that there were people less formally dressed and that makes her feel better.
“Table for two.” He says to the waiter at the door and they’re led to a quiet little table with comfy cushion chairs. The wooden furniture with a shiny finish made her feel special. She has always wanted to eat at one of these places.
She gives a little gasp as she sees the glass vase of flowers as the center piece, “awww”, she regards them affectionally, “There’s a rose!” She is excited to find. She longs to have one but she doesn’t think its right to take it from the table.
He pulls out her chair for her like a true gentleman before sitting down opposite her. Almost like reading her mind, he takes out a red rose from the vase on the table and hands it to her, “Here.”
Her eyes grow big and she looks at him pointedly, “Don’t do that.”
He holds her accusing gaze, then sighs, pulls out his wallet, and places a ten dollar bill on the table. “There, is that better?”
She rolls her eyes. She’s not used to his way of spending either, she’s been taught what she likes to call “bargain-shopping” and this high-hand spending from him makes her a little nervous. But she’s to trust him, nevertheless.
He is still holding the rose out to her, so she takes it and smells the delicate flower. Mmm, her favourite. She turns it in her hand this way and that, examining it from every angle and taking it in before tucking it behind her ear and smiling at him gazing at her. His soft smile makes her heart skip a beat.
A waiter interrupts the moment by coming by and handing them a set of menus. She looks down at the dishes, “It’s in French!” She was in awe for a good few seconds. He laughs at her expression, “Yes, because we’re in a French restaurant.” Her head shoots up, “Really?!”
He stares back at her with an expression of disbelief and amusement, “Yes, really.”
“Awesome!” She announces, ignoring his sarcasm, and beams back, then puts her head down and studies the menu in earnest. He merely shakes his head at her antics.
For several long minutes she eagerly deciphers for herself the meaning of each dish with him commenting every so often a little arrogantly when she gets stuck. Eventually she decided to just pick something “safe” and regular and they order.
When the waiter came over, he greets them in French and then English. He gestures for her to order first, and then places his own. He then proceeds to have a conversation with the waiter. They speak in rapid French and she looks between the two men back and forth in confusion. She hears the words “La musique” repeated and the waiter smiles understandingly, but the words were too fast for her to catch the entier conversation.
“Bien sûr, pour vous. Anything.” She hears the waiter say. “Excellent.” He replies back with a satisfied look. What’s going on?
The waiter leaves with their orders and she asks, “What was that about?”
He looks back at her innocently, “Nothing. I just asked him to do something for me.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Oh how she hates those words.
“I said, don’t worry about it.” He waves her question away, “So, how was your class?”
She narrows her eyes at the obvious change of topic, but decides to let it go for now. “You’re not getting away with it that easily. I’ll bug you later. Class was fine, but obviously not as interesting as yours.” She teases.
He stops for a second and then laughs nervously, “Ha, yeah...Can you believe we’re graduating soon?”
She shakes her head, “No, it’s so surreal. But I’m glad to be done something!”
Conversation continues as they wait for their meals to arrive, and settles down as the food arrives. The food is delicious but she wants to savour the food because it’s not often for her to eat in a fancy restaurant such as this. He finishes his plate quickly and she looks up in surprise. She can never get used to how fast he eats...
After they finish, the waiter swings by again to take their orders for dessert. He takes the time to talk to the waiter again. She sees the waiter nod several times and she becomes really curious.
“What’s happening?” She demands after the waiter leaves.
“Waiting for food, why?” He replies feigning innocence.
She refuses to buy it and glares at him. Then she cocks her head to the side because she is suddenly aware of the increasing volume of music. She turns to see the live musicians from the other side of hte room coming closer towards them, playing a soft and slow tune.
“What’s going on?” She asks again.
“Wait and see.” He tells her.
Partly satisfied that she doesn’t have to wait too long now, she conceeds, “Fine.”
She gasps as he pulls out a bunch of roses, she sees a blue rose in the center surrounded by a ring of red ones, making it stand out. The blue rose was a symbol for them, mysterious, mystical, rare, and fantastical. He hands it to her with a smile. She gaps at him for a few seconds before gingerly accepting the bouquet and smelling them.
Mmm, he always knew how to blow her away.
Then she looks back at him, “They’re beautiful,” She smiles, “But can you just tell me what’s going on?”
He just raises his eyebrows, pretends to consider the request, and looks back at her, “Nope, sorry. Nothing before its time.”
She sits there in silence, disappointed and curious.
Seeing her dejected look, he starts to say, “Well, I guess I better say this now before I choke...”
She perks up at once and looks at him with interest, waiting eagerly for his next words.
“...Nah, it’s okay.”
Sighing, she feels herself sinking back into her seat. “Tell me.” She complains.
“Fine.” He agrees. She looks a little surprised and wary that he would agree so easily. “...i got a job at the main hospital downtown.” He announces with a grin.
Her eager hopes were dashed once again. Lies, she thinks in her head, the bouquet of roses still in her hands. She knew what he was planning to do, they’ve talked about it so many times before as graduation nears. The hospital didn’t come in to those plans. Sure there was a chance he was telling the truth, but it didn’t seem very possible.
“Liar.” She calls him out.
He grins at this like he expected it, “Yeah.”
“So will you tell me already?
What’s going on?” She’s getting impatient, what’s he hiding?
He inwardly sighs at her persistence and tries very hard to control his beating heart. It’s beating irratically and he can feel the heat in his body. It’s now or never, don’t back out now, he scolds himself. This is something you’ve wanted for so long, don’t stop now.
He takes a deep breath, stands up from his chair, and walks towards her. She turns her body so that she’s facing him, her eyes never leaving his, wondering what he’s up to.
He reaches for her hand, which she gives to him willingly, and then he gets down on one knee.
Her eyes widen and her breath hitched as she regards him right in front of her.
He pulls out a box from his pocket, opens it up, and looks her straight in the eye, hazel to brown, and says, “What do you say we make forever our reality. Will you marry me?”
It was silent as the wheels in her head turn at top speed, trying to comprehend what exactly just happened. She is speechless and shocked. Her gaze moved from his eyes to the ring tucked neatly in the red velvet box and then back to him again.
He looks up at her intensely, tentatively waiting for a response. Oh, what if she says no? Did he do this worng? Is this too fast? He can hear the blooding pumping from his heart loudly.
Tears start to run down her face and she gasps for breath. He panics for a second, and then he sees a huge grin spread across her face through the tears. She lets out a little laugh and he’s put at ease.
“I’ll take that as a yes?” He asks hopefully.
She nods, “Yes, I will.” And her smile became even wider.
He slides the ring onto her finger and jumps up to scoop her into his arms. She rises quickly from her chair and throws herself into his awaiting arms. She winds her arms around his neck and he pulls her close by the waist.
“I love you.” He whispers before kissing her soundly. He can hear the music become upbeat and congratulatory, and then a round of applause broke out around them. Guess they had an audience.
He savours the taste of her in the kiss. No matter how many times they kiss, it still makes his heart beat faster everytime and something feels like its being put right again.
She pulls away to say, “I love you too,” before capturing his lips in another kiss. Then he wraps his arms tight around her and she presses her cheek to the crook of his neck, her arms tightening around him as well. A rush of euphoria runs through both of them. They stay like that for several long seconds and broke apart eventually to the sound of a second round of applause. Around them, faces were grinning and he sees a few thumbs-ups.
Beaming beatifically, she holds on to his hand and leads them both back to their seats. He couldn’t keep the huge goofy grin off his face and he didn’t want to let go of her hand. He moves his chair so that he’s sitting right beside her and she leans over to kiss him once more.
The same waiter came by with their desserts and turns to grin at him, “So I’m guessing it went well?”
The happiness was evident on his face as he smiles blissfully, “No, it went wonderfully.” He responds.
The waiter laughs, “Wonderful. Congratulations.” And they both thank him.
He turns to her, now his fiancée. He smiles to himself, he can’t believe that’s reality. Fiancée, he repeats in his head. Huh, it sounds really good. He turns to her eating her dessert and just watches her, trying to take in every second of this. She has a huge grin on her face, and as if she senses his gaze, she looks up from his plate and smiles widely.
“I love you.” He mouths to her, and then grins as he watches her smile grow.
“I love you too.” She tells him.
Yeah, forever is on the way to becoming their reality, and he can’t wait.