"Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence." ~ Audre Lorde

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)
1 month 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)
1 month 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)
1 month 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)
1 month 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)
1 month 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.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 month 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.

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Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
29 days ago

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

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Most Voted Comments

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8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in ...
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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4

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be ...
  • 4 months ago by Leena Auckel

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4

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale – and with a good moral ...
  • 5 months ago by Fuji

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4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, ...
  • 6 months ago by Fuji

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3

A Magical Tour

Lovely story, Leena. There really is nothing more magical than ...
  • 4 months ago by Carrie OLeary

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3

Afterlife

Beautiful Emilia, my eyes are a little misty after reading ...
  • 4 months ago by Sandra James

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3

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read ...
  • 4 months ago by Lyric The Great

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2

A Paranormal Pandemic

Well done Emily on getting First – Eric.
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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2

Traffic Jam

Your story really reflects on the world today, so many ...
  • 2 months ago by Carrie OLeary

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2

A Paranormal Pandemic

I agree with all the other comments, Emily. This is ...
  • 2 months ago by Fuji

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2

A Paranormal Pandemic

Love this Emily, nice and tense throughout, culminating with that ...
  • 2 months ago by Carrie OLeary

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2

Crimson Rose

I like this haiku Katy – always they question what ...
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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2

Endure and Sing

I’m really glad to hear that! Leena Auckel did an ...
  • 3 months ago by Katy Bizi

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2

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to ...
  • 3 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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2

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller ...
  • 3 months ago by Christer Norrlof

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2

Where She Belonged

Don’t we all find refuge in a good book and ...
  • 3 months ago by Leena Auckel

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2

Where She Belonged

You took an all-too-common painful occurrence and gave it a ...
  • 3 months ago by Susan Giles

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2

Where She Belonged

I like the concept of home here. Well crafted ending.
  • 3 months ago by Susan Dawson

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2

Where She Belonged

At times all we need is a corner in our ...
  • 4 months ago by musing mind

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2

Where She Belonged

Great story, all that negative intensity of an unhappy home ...
  • 4 months ago by Jay Vaananen

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