She blinked. The lake gleamed from the streaming sun, while a gentle breeze carried the sound of birds chirping in the distance. She sighed. The book in her hands topple over onto the grass between her outstretched legs, while she tipped her head back against the trunk of the tree. How long had she been sitting out there? An hour maybe? Then again she was early…and he was late – as usual. She sighed again and yawned, stretching her arms up and arching her back. With a sigh she slumped back against the tree trunk and waited… like she’d waited back then. She smiled as she thought back to that day.
She’d been waiting where he’d told her to wait – at the balcony close to the banks where standing on the rails of the balcony allowed you to overlook the small stage area. A throng of people moved either up or down the elevator, heading towards the ATMs – a typical occurrence at end of the month. They’d been “together” for a while now, though not in the sense that she was used to; they were not dating per se but their friendship had progressed further than she’d imagined. And then he’d approached her father – ” with intentions”, her father announced with an intermingled sense of joy and grief. The words, however, had set an uncontainable smile across her lips even as she fought to keep reserved. So when he’d asked her to meet him at the mall, she did and she was anxious about it. She hoped they would eat too – she was starving.
A band was setting up, she noticed, and her heart suddenly thumped faster in her chest – he’s going to propose with a band!? Her eyes scanned the musicians; she didn’t recognize any of them. Would she though? He might have hired them for this. Wait what if he’s not going to propose. She breathed out slowly, calming herself down before she hyperventilated and passed out right there. How embarrassing that would be – she grinned at the thought only to realize that she was grinning alone and that people might think she’s crazy. With much self control she breathed out again and watched people going by, wondering when he’d get there.
The band was playing – the music drifted softly through the speakers in a familiar tune. By now her patience was also running a bit thin. She pulled her phone from her handbag to check the time; he was 15 minutes late. Okay that’s not too bad. The band was playing louder now – an upbeat tune. She was tapping her foot to the music when everything around her stopped. Just stopped. People stopped moving. The escalator stopped. The only thing going was the music. Shock settled around her mind like a blanket as she looked about to find that even the kids on the toy cars had stopped moving. Her mind was reeling. Thoughts questioned the possibility of mutants and she could already imagine Professor Xavier’s voice cutting through her panic seized mind to tell her all is well – as illogical as that all seemed – and then an old man in a grey jersey and black pants stepped out of the frozen group and waltzed through them, taking the hand of an older woman who came to life at his touch. They danced to the music and with each person that they danced past they would reach out, touch them and the new couple would join in to dance; it was magical. Soon the entire mall was dancing and it was then that she recognized the song playing and her heart in her chest leapt. A tap on her shoulder had her whirling around and coming face to face with the bright hazel eyes that had so long ago captured her heart. And they danced.
They ate – thankfully. The people in the restaurant were laughing and smiling with them or at them. A complimentary dish had been served by the restaurant in celebration of the event. She was staring at the ring on her finger with increasing joy, like a well had opened up in her chest, releasing fantastic feelings of joy and happiness. She wanted to scream in joy! Exclaim to the world the joy that was in her! Yes! Yes! Yes! – and he was grinning madly at her too. They ate with a renewed sense of excitement, it bubbled out of them in conversation, in the people around them and in just about everything.
She opened her eyes. From under the shade where she sat she could see the path on the other side where he would come from. She reached for her phone from her pocket. He was fifteen minutes late. She laughed at the memory – he’d always been a hopeless romantic. Movement caught her eye from the path and she lifted herself up from the tree trunk only to see it was another couple. She sighed but then movement caught her eye and it was another couple. The third person or rather people to show up however, was her kids along with one of the young girls from the church who would normally babysit them. Concerned she stood up to face them. Her boy ran up to her; he was a replica of her husband, even in the way he tilted his head when he was thinking. Her daughter followed next, long brown hair flowing from her shoulders. She stood watching them, waiting for them to get to her when the kids stopped moving. The breeze that swept through swayed her daughters dress but other than that there was no movement. It took a moment for all of it to register but by then a young man was already walking in, an acoustic guitar in his hand playing a song that was all too familiar for her. She noticed that the couples around her were already dancing to the music, slowly swaying in tune to it and when one of the couples got to her kids, they too joined hands and began to dance – though fits of giggles and large grins had taken over their faces. She knew what was coming next, of course and she was not surprised as she felt a tap on her shoulder and she turned to come face to face with her hazel eyed husband. She wrapped her arms around his neck while he placed the basket and flowers down. They smiled at each other.
“Happy anniversary” he said – they kissed.