Emma paced along the front of her house, checking her cell phone for the time every three seconds. Why was time moving so slowly?! She usually wasn’t like this. But today was different. The postman was late! How dare he be late on the one day that he had the most important package he could possibly be carrying?!
Finally Emma heard footsteps on the porch. She rushed to the door and flung it open.
“OH! Whoa there Emma, little excited today?” Frank jumped back a little bit in surprise.
“Sorry Frank! Do you have a package for me?”
“Well, yes I do little lady. You just sit tight while I dig it out of this here bag.” Frank was such a character. He had been Emma’s postman for her entire life.
“Here ya go, missy. Now ya need to sign right here to tell them higher up folks that I put it in your hands all safe and sound like.”
Emma giggled. She loved how Frank spoke. He didn’t actually talk like that to anyone else – just her. When Emma was around six she had to stay home from school for about three weeks because she was really sick. Every day she would sit in the swing on the front porch and talk to Frank when he dropped off the mail. One day he decided to talk like that and everyday since. A joke that can still bring joy after 18 years was a great joke.
Emma signed the form and handed it back to Frank. “Wait, don’t go yet Frank!” Emma said and she disappeared into the house with her package and the rest of her mail. She came back out with a paper cup full of hot chocolate (lid attached for safety) and a bag of banana bread.
“To keep you warm. From our house to yours” she said as she handed them over and placed a quick kiss on his cheek. “Merry Christmas!”
“Well shucks! Thank you kindly! I know the missus will be happy to hear y’all been taking such good care of me. Merry Christmas Emma darling!”
Back in the house, Emma flew into a flurry of activity. She had so much to do. She took the package Frank had delivered out of it’s box and wrapped it in beautiful paper and affixed a festive bow on top. It was small enough that she was able to place it in the tree and have it be supported on the branches, instead of putting it under with all the other gifts. This one was special. It was for her boyfriend, Tom.
Emma spent the rest of the day getting ready. Her family going in and out and all about trying to get ready for the holiday celebrations that were going to happen that weekend at their house. They knew Emma and Tom had plans that night to have dinner and their gift exchange by themselves, so they all were going out for a pre-Christmas dinner and a movie.
Tom arrived on time, as always. Punctuality was one of his strengths. Emma and Tom had a great evening – they made a snowman, and decorated cookies, they had dinner, and finally were in front of the tree to do their gift exchange. Emma knew she had to go first – Tom would always insist “ladies first” for everything, and tonight Emma was thankful that she didn’t have to argue with him. She was too excited.
Emma walked to the tree and grabbed the small box sitting on a branch half way up. Tom smiled and how adorable it was that she placed it in the tree. It truly reflected her personality. She walked back to the sofa and handed it to him with the biggest smile on her face.
Tom ripped the paper open and held a velvet box in his hand. “Ooooo is it earrings?! A diamond tennis bracelet?!” He teased.
“Tom! Open it!!” Emma was bouncing on the couch.
As Tom opened the box, he saw inside a beautiful silver watch on a blue velvet cushion. “Wow – Em. It’s beautiful!”
“I had it engraved!” She basically gushed. “Turn it over.”
Tom concentrated on pulling it out of the box and turned the watch over. “Yours until the end of time, xoxo Emma” was on the back of the watch face.
“Emma – I love it! I love you!” he said as he looked up and Emma was on one knee in front of the couch. Tom hadn’t noticed her moving.
Emma giggled and took Tom’s hand. “Tom, I love you. I have since our third date. You make me a better person. There is no one else I could ever love as much as I love you. Will you marry me?” tears were in her eyes as she looked up at his face.
“Emma….” it was almost a whisper, “Um….I….wow this is so unexpected. I umm….I can’t accept your proposal…..” he managed to stutter out, looking shocked and with tears now forming in his own eyes.
“Oh….” Emma stood. “Yeah…ok….right…..I um…I wow…” Emma could barely form words as she turned to walk away from Tom. The happiness and excitement she had been feeling all day has just vanished, leaving her feeling sick to her stomach. She wasn’t even able to take a step. She just stood there, silently crying.
Her back turned to Tom, he tried to get her attention. She wasn’t going to face him, not with tears streaming down her face. He called her name again. Still she wasn’t going to turn. Finally, his hand was on her wrist, soft and gentle. She used her other hand to wipe the tears from her face as she gathered the strength to turn and face him.
Emma was shocked at what she saw. Tom, on his knee, a blue box of his own, but instead of a watch there was a beautiful diamond ring. A stupid smile on his face. “You couldn’t just let me have this one? You asked me out first, you kissed me first, you told me you loved me first, then you had to ask me to marry you? Emma – you’re crazy! And I love every single inch of you, your mind, soul and body. And my heart will break into a thousand pieces, never to heal again, if you won’t let me be your husband.”
Emma sank into the couch, her hand over her mouth, tears streaming down her face, nodding yes. Tom put the ring on her finger, Emma put the watch on his wrist. They cuddled together in the light of tree, enjoying their time before Emma’s family would arrive home and they could share their big news.
For those of you just stopping by, this post is being written in participation of the A to Z challenge. No Love For Fatties will resume regular posts as of May 1st. Until then, enjoy a new short story every day of the month! If you are stopping by from A to Z, let me know by leaving a comment in the section below!