Gems

Danny arranges the teapot and cups, tries to smooth his unruly hair. She’ll be here soon, and his life hangs in the balance. He’s a sailboat without a breeze; she is his tailwind.

He peeks at his watch, frowns. Five till four. She’s going to be late. His frown deepens. She’s not coming – not now, not ever. He’s falling into a bottomless pit. He stares at the minute hand ticking away his empty life. The hand reaches twelve; the front door slams. She flits into the room like a bright butterfly. He’s soaring, flying, leaping tall buildings. He tries to say hello, but can’t speak. His vocal cords are frozen.

He puts on the kettle, practicing in his head. Dearest Caitlin, would you do me the honor … Too formal, not her style. Honey bunch, how about ... Too casual, not his. He still hasn’t said a word. No matter. She’s been chattering away – something about her second cousin Violet and the jeweler. He hasn’t been listening, too intent on asking The Question.

Caitlin pulls a small box from her purse and tosses it to him with a brilliant smile. He opens it, and stops breathing. A man’s wedding band, twisted silver. The larger version of the ring in his own pocket. He looks at her in astonished silence. Suddenly all the color drains from her face. She’s drowning, going down, down, down. Oh no! I thought … but Violet said .. if not me, then who?

He pulls her from the waves, fights off the sharks, tames the angry sea.

Of course it’s you. His voice is sunrise and sunset, white bridal gowns, three a. m. feedings, summer vacations with the twins, admiring her first grey hair. It was always you. It could only, ever be you.

They rush into each other’s arms. Crowds are cheering, old men dancing. The sky is raining pink and red camellias.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
4 months ago

This is a really sweet story Juma. Wish my proposal was half as romantic. Lovely descriptions of the uncertainties and the joy when they realised that they were both of the same mind. Very uplifting.

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary (@emily-oleary)
4 months ago

I love this Juma! Such a roller coaster of emotions that you portrayed so well!

I love the contrast between them – him, all anxiety and flutters. Her, so casual and bold.

It’s such a sweet story!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
4 months ago

Beautiful story, Juma. I love the way both are deeply in love and yet uncertain if their love is reciprocated. The paragraph with their life together compressed into one single sentence is exquisite!

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
4 months ago

The angst Danny is feeling in your opening paragraphs is palpitating Juma. Coupled with Caitlin’s roller coaster makes for such an emotional story. I loved the descriptions you give to their changing emotions which bring the story alive. Truly heartwarming.

Lydia E Atzemian
Lydia E Atzemian (@lydia-e-atzemian)
4 months ago

You know while reading i recalled so many books i’ve read. Not in a sense that it’s basic but it is such “book” material, I could easily be reading a random page from a beautiful pink book in a bookstore.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
3 months ago

I love the beginning, it is bouncy and has a tempo that leads you into each personality. They seen so different, but are really both the same. I enjoyed this read, well done Juma.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
3 months ago

A beautiful story, Juma. It had me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath… until a very satisfying ending 🙂

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

I also love it, Juma! As I am reading it, my heart is jumping with joy and excitement. I love how they both are in love with each other, but the feeling is up and down. Nice work. A nice love story.

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