She had been waiting for him for almost two hours; he’s late again. The trees around the park gave her the shade she needed to let the heat of her annoyance cool off. This morning, she received a call from him asking her to meet him on the park where they usually meet; he said he needed to tell her something really important.
She checked her phone for the time; it’s already five thirty. She shoved her phone back to her bag. “Where is he? What’s taking him so long?” She uttered in sheer annoyance and irritation.
“Hello,” a man came up behind the bench where she was sitting. “How long have you been sitting here?”
“Long enough,” she replied. “Wh—”
“I am so sorry it took me this long,” he said, walking around the bench and kneeled before her.
“Excuse me?” She was confused, puzzled. Her heartbeat went a bit faster than normal. “What are you doing?”
“I know this place may not be the most appropriate setting for this, but just hear me out.” He did not answer her question. “It’s been a long time since we started seeing each other. There are things that I cannot and may not be able to give you; I do not own everything in this world, but please hear me out.
“There are things we have planned that have been rearranged, there were dates that turned disastrous, there were sweet moments that turned into arguments, there were kissing and smooching that turned into fights, but I want you to know that I regret not even a single episode of those.
“If I were to make all this a perfect moment for a girl like you, I would do this in front of your family, but that seems impossible—they are half-way around the world . . . ”
Her heartbeat was racing. Her breathing almost doubled. “I have no—”
“Shhh . . . let me finish.” He interrupted her. “I wish we could let your family see this.” He held her right hand and press it closed to his cheeks, and kissed it.
Her hand trembled. Her body felt cold. She shivered. There were tears in her eyes.
He pulled out a ring from his shirt’s pocket. A simple ring: silver, outlined with thin gold lines, three small crystals—maybe Swarovski—lining up the middle of the design. “This . . . this is my mother’s. My dad gave it to her during their engagement. She said I should give this to the woman of my dreams, the one who I would choose to be my wife.”
He slipped the ring to her fingers. “I actually tried to come up with some elaborate words to make this scene even more romantic, but I can’t think of any. So, Mary Elizabeth Blanchet, would you do me the extraordinary favour of being my wife?”
She broke down to tears. She was shaking. “This was nice and all, but two things . . . ” her voice was trembling. “I am not Mary Elizabeth Blanchet, and I don’t know who you are.”
“there he is!” A voice boomed from a not-so-distant distance.
Her eyes followed the sound, and she saw a band of men in white running. Maybe four or five. Her head was swivelling for her to see and think clearly. All she knew was one of the guys was carrying a taser, the other was carrying a straight jacket, and the others were carrying some boxes she was not familiar with.
That was perhaps the most shocking and terrifying afternoon of her life while waiting for her always-late brother. At least, she would have a tale to tell the generations that would follow.