Wednesday, February 14, 2007
So far, Daniel’s plans had gone smoothly; so smoothly, he began to wonder what bit of bad luck was going to rear its head to ruin the day.
His opening move was unexpected, the teddy bear and balloons he had delivered to her office, and couldn’t have been better. The timing was flawless—she wasn’t on the phone or in a meeting—and her counter-move was anticipated—her call to thank him and tell him that she loved him.
She looked beautiful when he arrived at her house this evening with a dozen red roses and a small gift-wrapped box. The roses are a traditional gambit but the box caught her by surprise. It contained a music box that plays Fur Elise, proof that he’d been paying attention on that day two months ago when they’d gone window shopping. It was a brilliantly subtle move.
They’d gone to their favorite restaurant for supper; it was perfect, as usual. They’d talked and laughed and held hands. Then he’d taken her back to his place and made love to her tenderly, showing her with each touch that she was the most important thing in his world. She thought the game was over but Daniel was planning one last move and he was beginning to worry. Chance was fickle and this was a chancy move.
“It’s still early. Why don’t we put on some music and snuggle up on the couch? I’ve set up Carcassonne on the coffee table.” They often ended an evening with a quiet game but tonight she might say no. Please, Fate, don’t be cruel now.
“Welll….only if you open a bottle of wine and I get to be blue!” She smiles a dazzling smile and slips out of the bed.
The tiles were set up as usual, two stacks on her side of the table and two on his. Nothing suspicious or out of place. But this time one of the tiles is special and Daniel can barely concentrate as he waits for her to choose the 10th tile in the second stack. His tension increases every time she reaches for a new tile and he keeps count of the times she draws from the second stack.
Seven…Eight. He’s paying almost no attention to his moves and his score shows it.
“I’m kicking your butt, Daniel. You don’t seem to be paying much attention to the game tonight. Should we call it quits?”
“NO! I mean, no, I’m just overcome by your presence tonight.”
“Uh-huh. If you think sweet-talkin’ me is going to save you, you’re seriously wrong. This is going to be the one game of Carcassonne you’ll never forget.”
You don’t know how right you are, Baby, he thinks to himself.
Nine…Ten! Daniel unconsciously holds his breath as she pulls the tile and turns it over. A small square of post-it note has been stuck to the tile face and on it is written: Will you marry me?
Daniel watches her face, reading the emotions that chase each other across those lovely features. Time seems to stop. He’s satisfied that he’s played his best but it’s her move now.
Happy Valentine’s Day