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A love story
Dedicated to The one I love - Gary
Submitted by Carolyn
The Gift to Paradise
They were seated at a table set for two. The linens were white damask, the silver polished and the crystal goblets glistened in the light of the single candle nested in a silver holder. She fussed with the napkin in her lap the maitre d' had so recently unfolded for her. Across from her a man was smiling at her discomfiture. He knew she was unaccustomed to the pomp and circumstance. They didn't eat out often, but this was a special occasion. So he had over-rode all her protests to make a dinner herself. On this occasion he wanted his wife to be served, waited on and treated like the queen he always thought she was.
He reached for her had to stop her fussing. His gentle touch quieted her fluttering actions. Her blue eyes rose to meet his brown ones. A smile broke across her face. No words were spoken, none were needed. She was beginning to feel like royalty and he was her knight-in-shining armor. Their eyes held, locked, silently adoring each other. His thumb smoothed the skin on the back of her hand, quietening her further. "Ok," she said quietly as though it were a code. She dropped her eyes demurely to his hand holding hers. This was their special night and she would allow herself to enjoy his gift of the beautiful surroundings and dinner at this extravagant place. Her acceptance of the gift was only one of her gifts to him. She smiled to herself, hugging the secret to herself.
She was dressed simply in a full, flowing, print skirt with a three quarter length jacket. A string of freshwater pearls adorned her neck with pearl studs in her ears. Both had plain wedding bands. His was wider than her, but both showed signs of wear. He continued to caress her hand. She gave a slight tug to remove her hand from his clasp when the waiter came to serve them. Her effort was slight and she acquiesced when he didn't release his grasp. His eyes turned to the waiter. He ordered a wine and the waiter left while they glanced at the menu. She laid hers down first and studied the man. He still had a full head of dark brown hair, trimmed neatly with a bit of grey at the temples and flecked throughout. His grey wool blend blazer fit his broad shoulders well. His white shirt was pulled taunt across his muscular chest. In her eyes he was the handsomest man in the place. He let go of her hand to rub his trimly bearded chin.
"What have you decided?" he asked.
"Whatever you have, dear. You order for me." She replied. She was acutely conscious of the fact that the menu did not display any prices and she was always the one to worry about their finances.
The waiter returned with their wine. He discussed various menu options and decided on salmon. He knew she liked to eat it but did not like cooking it herself.
Throughout the three course meal, little was said. Their comments were confined to the beautiful presentation of the food, the ambiance, the quality of the service. They left the daily routine and concerns of their lives behind tonight. Their eyes embraced each other. They might have been alone in the busy restaurant for little distracted them. The way they gazed at each other said volumes. They adored each other. She was obviously beginning to enjoy the experience and he was happy to see her enjoying the experience.
Coffee was served, when she reached for her purse. It was the first time he had frowned all evening. She was busy pulling on a large envelop. "I will take care of the bill," he said through tight lips.
"I know you will," she replied smiling even more brightly. He visibly relaxed. She wasn't going shove money at him like she usually did.
"I have something for you." She said. He visibly tightened again. "Well, us, actually." I entered a contest by writing a love story. It was about us. Happy 25th anniversary, Sweetheart."
His face cleared immediately. His eyes opened wide. She had really done it. He dismissed the contest at the time. Romance and writing were certainly not his forte. But his beautiful wife had done it. She had written a love story and won the trip. He grasped her hand, squeezed it and raised it to his lips, "And to you, my love." He had an inspiration. "Will you renew your vows with me."
"I will." She chuckled as she smiled enthusiastically. A second wedding and a honeymoon in Hawaii. She could hardly wait. It would be paradise.