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Dream Life – Chapter 1

10 September 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Hey, are you in there? Ground control to Major Tom.”

“Huh? What?”

“That was a long blink. Are you still with us?”

“Who us?”

“Wow. What happened to you? I think I should be insulted, but you have me worried, now.”

Blinking again, I begin taking in my surroundings. There are several tables around me, us, mostly attended by two’s and three’s, involved in their own conversations. A few of the tables have ceased their conversations to watch me, I know not why.

After a second, I feel a twinge in my left knee and look down, expecting to catch a mosquito feasting on my blood. Instead of a mosquito, I see the planks of the floor and my knee resting thereon. In my left hand, I am holding a black velvet box. Curious about this box, I reach over and lift its lid to reveal a band of gray silver topped by a round diamond, I suppose it is a diamond, anchored in place by six tiny brackets of the same grey silver as the ring – an engagement ring. Staring at the ring for a moment, I marvel at how the light dances across and through the stone before caressing the dull silver ring. One day, I would love to be able to offer a ring like this to a woman.

Feeling my knee twinge again, something pops into my mind. A thought that I may have missed something occurs to me and I try to recall what was just said and by whom. Someone said, “…but you have me worried, now.” Wondering who had said that, after glancing around and seeing no one particularly paying me any attention, I look up from my kneeling posture to find someone looking quite intently at me.

Her face is, quite possibly, the most beautiful I have ever seen. Her hair, which appears to bounce at just above her shoulders while gently curling in on itself, is a soft auburn, but not as muted as strawberry blonde. Her cheek bones are high and her complexion is clear and fair, with only the slightest hint of a few freckles dusting her small nose. Her lips are the color of pale pink rose buds without a hint of any color application and her eyes are deep blue, like that of deep within a glacier. The deep blue eyes look like ice, but it is me that melts. Her expression is one of amusement, but there is concern in the eyes.

After taking in all the detail of this beauty before me, my focus slides out a bit and I notice that my kneeling position has attracted some onlookers, each smiling at me as I remain kneeling in front of this beautiful woman. I refocus on her face and notice that the concern behind the eyes is growing.

“Are you worried?”

“I am a bit. Are you okay?”

What an interesting question. I, for some reason, would really like to be truthful to this woman, so I take a moment and give this some consideration. Other than the twinge in my knee, which I hurt when I had a college job at a movie theatre by repeatedly slamming into a kneeling position on the concrete floor while readying the projectors for another showing, I am not feeling any pain. I am confused about why I am in this kneeling position. Perhaps I was retrieving something from the floor. Maybe the lady had dropped her napkin or fork and I had bent to return it to her.  Looking down for the dropped item, I see her dress – white and flowing. Something made of cotton and very becoming on her, with high heeled white boots that come up above her slender ankles and are adorned with several bright silver buckles. Embarrassed to have been eyeing this woman’s legs, I feel the back of my neck begin to prickle as the heat spreads up the back of my head and coming to rest on my ears and my own cheeks. Returning my attention to the floor, I can see nothing dropped, so perhaps I have already returned the item to her and she is curious as to why I am still here.

Thinking that I am intruding, I begin to put my hands down and lever my way up and out of her way when I, again, notice the black velvet box in my hand and am enchanted my the ring resting within. The sparkling stone winks up at me and the lights dance across my mind like a dream being scattered by morning’s light. A flash brings another thought to mind.

Straightening, I look up into her face and her eyes, very concerned now, more enchanting than the ring I hold. I lift the box and offer it to the woman.

“Yes, I am okay. Did you drop this?”

“No,” she says, a smile appearing at once on her face, like it was always there but was only hiding for a moment,  to match the dance in her eyes, “I did not drop that.”

Confusion, again, stretches its arms around me, “Is it not yours, then?”

“No, It has not been offered to me, yet, but I would gladly accept and treasure it, were it to be
so.”

Where a moment ago, I was kneeling and facing her right side, she turns a little in her seat so that I am so close to her right knee, although covered with her long white dress, I can feel her heat. She appears expectant, as she settles into this new position and her smooth hands and slender fingers settle into her lap.

Confused, I look back at the ring, which for the couple of times I have examined it over the past minute or two, suddenly seems familiar. Curious, I take the ring out of its box and gingerly place the box on the floor beside her white boot. My eyes linger on the boot leather and the silver buckles and they, too, come into familiarity as if seeing them for the hundredth time, instead of only the second. Looking back to the ring, held between my right finger and thumb, I catch a glint from within the band. There is something written there. Angling the ring to better catch the light, I read the inscription, “As long as the stars shine,” and another flash of familiarity arcs down my spine. Those are my words. I promised myself that I would only marry once, and it would be forever. How could my words have gotten on this ring, unless they are not my words, at all, but something I heard somewhere or perhaps I was not the only one to think of this bit of poetry?

A squeak of boot leather as she shifts slightly and I become aware of her again. Looking up into her face, but realizing that I will always remember her face and I really do not have to see her, I catch a confused, expectant, fearful mix of emotions as ripples in a small pool crash and overlap to and fro across its surface.

In a third flash, I see the scene as if from outside. I am kneeling at the feet of a beautiful woman with an engagement ring in my hand and she stares at me with an expectant, albeit confused, look on her face. There is something else there, too, her eyes portray something deeper, something magical. Dare I say it?

Her face, as if seen from memory, comes back to mind. I know that it would be the greatest joy if only I could awaken near her every day. To hold her hand and walk, to feel her heat, as I do now, and to catch glimpses of the look in her eyes would make me the happiest of men. Living a day without her, just the thought, brings moisture to my eyes. Her face comes back into crystal sharp focus and her eyes are, also, moist, whether from joy or fear, it is impossible to ascertain. I know, now, what I am here to do. At least, I know what the next step must be. I can feel the words forming. Dare I say it?

In a moment of blind fear, I look across the table, hoping to not see her date. For an instant, I reexamine our conversation and see how it could be that I am mistaken about everything. The ring box dropped from the table and I, being helpful, knelt to retrieve it and have paused in handing it back. She sits there, trying to be patient, but fearful that the expected engagement ring will come to some doom and, with it, her dreams of the perfect moment dashed. As my eyes search the table for other diners, I feel her shift, probably trying to see for what I am searching.

Seeing no other companions, I expel a breath that I was unaware of holding. At this exhalation, she tenses. With the words fully formed in my mind, I look up to her shining face. Her eyes shift away from mine for an instant then return, and only then am I aware of the cooling trail as a tear slips out and rolls down my right cheek. I take a breath but as I begin to speak, only a small squeak passes my lips. Feeling the embarrassment creeping up my neck again, I clear my throat and feel her combination sigh and soft single giggle. Taking another breath, I shine up into her face and receive the full force of her adoration, for it can be called nothing else, rain upon me and I am struck, as if slapped, that I have no idea of this woman’s, whom I love completely, name.

Leaning slightly forward, her knee brushes against me and as if suddenly lit by a supernova, her name springs from my mouth, almost as a shout.

“Kristyn! I love you. Will you marry me?”

Offering the ring toward her, she holds out a trembling left hand as tears slip from both of her eyes and trail down her cheeks. The ring slips onto her ring finger as if made to fit there, and only there. Squeaking with delight, she wraps her warm arms around my neck and begins to stand. Following her lead, we rise together, my knee breathing its own sigh that matches the collective sigh from the room, that had grown silent in the last few ticks of the clock. Rising to standing, she tips up on her toes and kisses me such that I have never before felt. The power in that kiss and the emotion behind it could move the world.

Parting from the kiss, into a hug, she cries out, “I love you, too. Of course I will marry you, Tom.”

The uproar of applause at her acceptance is completely drowned out by the rush that fills my head at the mention of my name. She had said it once before, but I had not recognized it. The whole of my life flashed before me. As it must be for a pitcher, at once content to be what it is and the next to have a universe of water pour into it, filling it to bursting and giving, or revealing, its true purpose, so it felt to me. Before the mentioning of my name, I was as the pitcher and only had memories of the past few moments. As soon as she said my name, the whole of my life, all my experience, memories, loves, hates, goals, successes, failures, and everyone in it poured into me and filled me up to this moment.

My gratitude at being refilled, chokes me as I try to speak, “Kristyn, you have made me complete. I love you even more than I did only a moment ago. Thank you.”

She did not realize, then, what I meant, but she would come to understand.

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