The Arbour


               November 15, 1971

               The house is decorated for a party. The furniture has been
               pushed to the sides to create a dance floor. There are
               several couples dancing, including David and Emily.

                              It's hot in here, stuffy. A
                              birthday party for twins makes
                              for quite a houseful of guests.
                              Do you want to go outside for a
                              few minutes? It's mild today,
                              above freezing. It's not snowing
                              for the first time in a week. I
                              think we should take advantage of

                              Sure, I'd like that. We haven't
                              had a second to ourselves since
                              you got here. I really miss you,
                              David. With you on a different
                              shift every other week, and me
                              going into semester finals, I
                              hardly get to see you at all!

               They stop at the back door just long enough to get on coats
               and boots. They go outside.

                              Let's go to the arbour at the end
                              of your back yard. The pines look
                              so nice with the snow on them.
                              Like christmas trees. We can sit
                              and talk for a bit, catch up on
                              all the news from school and
                              home.I see there's a path to the
                              arbour. we won't have to wade
                              through the snow.

               They walk off the patio into a path that has been dug
               through two feet of snow.

                              I've been helping mom and Judy get
                              ready for the party all day.Dad
                              and Kyle must have dug this out
                              some time this afternoon. I
                              wonder why?

                              Actually, Kyle and I dug this path
                              today. I aked him to help me,
                              because I needed a quiet private
                              place to talk to you tonight. I
                              know you've always loved the

                              It's true, I have always.loved it,
                              no matter what the season.

               They walk down the path and enter the arbour through a
               lattice archway intertwined with thick vines that are now
               without leaves or blossoms. There is a long wide marble
               bench with a spruce hedge directly behind it.

                              Why is the duvet cover from your
                              bed on the bench? Does your mom
                              know about this?

                              Mom doesn't know, but I don't
                              think she'll mind. The marble is
                              freezing to sit on. I want you be
                              comfortable when I talk to you.
                              It's really important, and I
                              don't want you distracted by a
                              frozen butt.

                              Okay, I'm really intrigued now.
                              What are you up to?

                              You'll see, have a seat.

               David kneels on one knee on a fresh bed of pine needles that
               have been recently spread in front of the bench. He takes
               both of her hands in his, and gazes lovingly up into her

                              Emily, I love you. I have always
                              loved you, and I will always love
                              you. Past, present and future. My
                              love for you is embedded in my
                              heart and soul forever. It would
                              make me the happiest man alive if
                              you would marry me.

               Stunned, Emily stares at him, speechless for a moment. Tears
               of joy roll down her face. she leans forward as he turns his
               face up to hers.

                              Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!! I
                              love you I love you I love you I
                              love you!!!

               They kiss long and passionately. He is still kneeling, she
               leans forward from the bench. He takes a tiny satin covered
               jewel box from his pocket.

                              I love you Em. More every day.

               He opens it to reaveal a gold ring with a yellow topaz and
               opal in the middle, surrounded by diamonds. Her birthstone
               for November, and his birthstone for October. He puts the
               ring on her finger. It's perfect. He gets up off the ground
               and they snuggle and kiss for awhile.

                                     (admiring ring)
                              I've never seen anything so
                              beautiful! Did you design it?

                              I knew I wanted both our birth
                              stones, but mom suggested the
                              heart shape of diamonds around
                              them. It turned out pretty well.
                              Kyle borrowed one of your rings
                              from your jewellery box for the

                              So only your parents and Kyle
                              knew, that's good. At least I get
                              to surprise somebody about it.

                              uuuhh... your parents know too. I
                              asked them for their blessing to
                              marry you.

                              I'm assuming you got it.

                              Oh yeah, they were thrilled. Your
                              mom hugged me and cried. Your dad
                              shook my hand and then hugged me.
                              That was weird. I've never been
                              hugged by any man but my dad.

               Emily throws her arms around him and they kiss some more.
               Suddenly they heard some loud whistling coming down the
               newly dug path. The whistling stops several feet away


               Come out come out wherever you are. Emily, if you don't come
               in soon, Joanie's going to cut the cake without you!

               David and Emily stood up and straightened their clothing as
               best they could and walked out of the arbour through the

The End

13 comments about this work Feed