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Chapter III: In Celebration

Monday, February 14th, 2157 CE.

7:16pm, Pacific Time (GMT - 8:00)

Victoria, British Columbia Province, Dominion of Canada, Earth

“Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.”

--Anonymous

                                                                                                            

Scene 1: The Question

It was the kind of kiss that sent the fireworks flying and the tingles in the spine, the cliché Hollywood stuff. Well, not quite – only for a second. Because soon, Preeti brought her attention back to the question, that was hanging there like a mistletoe as their lips touched.

“Well, that was… unexpected,” Preeti said, smiling; although her lip gloss didn’t have as much glow as it did before – half of the glitter was on Lewis’ lips.

“Unexpected, yes. Great, definitely,” Lewis commented bluntly, with possibly a hint of relief from both successful kiss and avoidance of the sensitive question.

“That it was,” Preeti paused and looked at Lewis, as she rubbed the corner of her lips, indicating the smudge of red on Lewis’ face. He embarrassedly wiped the lipstick off, and smiled shyly at her. I should ask now. I need an answer.

“So Lewis…” Dammit, it’s coming. The fateful question was on the tip of her tongue, the words ready to dive off it one by one.

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Scene 2: Upstairs

He was relieved he had bothered to clear the second floor, the day before. George had gotten rid of the unreliable ladder (something Liz had been telling him to do for God knows how long), the dusty boxes with tacky decorations, and the huge pile of newspapers and the stack of antique jars he liked to collect. He’d mopped the floors clean and glossy, instead of using that “Robo Clean-Up: Smaller and Tidier!” piece of equipment, which he, despite his chagrin with such devices, had accepted gratefully as a gift from his brother-in-law, Henry.

“Cindy, can you tell Liz to come upstairs when she gets outta there, darlin’?” George asked sweetly.

“Sure thing, boss.”

George proceeded upstairs, and surveyed the floor. It wasn’t the top of the Eiffel tower, or a gondola in Venice, but it was coming from the heart. His “opening dance” with Liz downstairs, had set the mood, and the butterflies in his stomach were beginning to fold their wings and settle.

George had planned for it to be done in front of all his guests, so that the cheers would circulate around them as they shared an affectionate kiss. Much to George’s dismay, the teenage boy who sat at the bar, drinking exorbitantly, worried him. He did not want the intimate moment to be ruined by a snide remark on Biff’s account, and George was definitely not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

He could feel the case in his hands and rubbed the velvet. An enlivened grin marked his face as the alluring sound of Liz’s heels became louder. He quickly shaped his hair, regretting not having looked in a mirror before and pressed play on the stereo, his hands now behind his back. Violins began to play and Liz approached the last step, smiling at him, recognizing the tune that echoed in the background.

She opened her mouth to speak, but before she could comment or begin a conversation, he broke the silence, “Liz, I love you. You know that. And I can feel it all the time; I think I smile in my sleep because of you, and every time I breathe, it’s as though I’m saying thank you for making my life worth living. So…”

George was an old-fashioned man. He did not follow the new trends of having the question written in pretty font on the scrawlpad of his girl, or going to a fancy restaurant, where the table would shoot up with the words written on a plate with melted chocolate. No, instead, George’s knee touched the squeaky clean floor, and his hands came into Liz’s view – a burgundy velvet case of maybe the size of the portable cameras. Her eyes widened, and they glistened with joyful tears, which she held back so her man could finish.

“Would you please be my Mrs. Humphrey?” He asked gloriously, his voice shaking for a split second from the uncontrollable elation. Liz took a deep breath, gulping her tears down audibly, and closed her eyes – a grin looking strenuous enough to be causing her jaw pain, although she made no hint of discomfort.

“It's about time! Yes, of course!” Liz exclaimed in utter ecstasy and irrepressible love for the haggard looking man she was kissing. However, his haggardness was outshone by indelible jouissance that stroke his face, and sent a thrilling quiver in every part of his body, mind and since this was real love, his soul.

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Scene 3: Downstairs

How can I ask this more… craftily? So that there’s no way he can get out of—Cindy looked foxily at Preeti, He asked! Preeti looked at her friend disbelievingly, and Cindy nodded reassuringly at her.

“Come on everybody, to the stairs!” Cindy announced, ignoring the half-drunken customer’s demand for another pint. No one followed, despite Cindy’s expectant look at the few guests.

“George’s getting married, you eejits!” She said, her eyes wide, beckoning them to get their asses moving.

“Let’s go, Lewis. George has been waiting forever for this day.” The two got up, the aftermath of their kiss curtailed by the announcement. This place sure is a lot more romantic than it looks! People made their way to the bottom of the stairs and cheered with a “whoo” here and there, and a “George and Liz forever”. I wonder if I’ll ever have that… Lewis beamed at the soon-to-be-married couple and then faced Preeti. He gazed at her black hair, the ends slightly damp from the rain.

He’s looking at you, you know. He sure wants a piece of you! Cindy chuckled to herself, as Preeti turned around to give her a glare. I could say the same about Sam! George and Liz laughed shyly, but they were obviously enjoying it. Biff poured himself a glass from behind the counter, and shook his head in disbelief. Fucking straight people. Honestly.

“Oh, stop your snoggin’ George!” Sam cried, laughing.

“If you and Cindy will stop doing it in my kitchen – I’ll think about it!” George retaliated, cheerfully.

Everyone chortled, the mood was lively again and soon people made their way up the stairs, and Cindy changed the music to an upbeat number, as some danced happily whilst others admired Liz’s new ring, a small quarter-carat diamond that had not yet lost its shine.

The End

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