A Valentine Story

“I yield upon great persuasion.” Yes I know that you, my readers, wanted to see an actual story for Valentine’s on my blog today, not a link to a link to a link… 🙂

So here it is. A story for those who have loved, lost, and loved again. Now, you may think I protest too much, but I must give assurances to certain interested parties that this is a complete work of fiction and has no basis whatever in reality.

Please enjoy:

    A New Beginning

​”That’s that done then,” Mary Williams said quietly as they walked into the house together.

​It was half past nine that morning before they could even get in to see John’s lawyer. Mary figured there were forms with fill in blanks all set up for divorces, she had no idea everything had to be written out so painstakingly for each and every case. There were also separate forms to be filled out because the marriage was conducted in America, not the United Kingdom from which the divorce was being sought.

​By the time they were finished at the solicitor’s office Mary was completely exhausted, despite a full night’s sleep. She was trying to wean herself off the pain medicine today as her doctor advised and only had the one dose after breakfast. She had to sit carefully in the plush chairs at the lawyer’s office to be able to get back out of them. Mary had to rely on a whole other muscle group to protect the one cut during her c-section delivery last week.

​Given the early afternoon hour when they finished at the lawyer’s office, they decided to stop in at Owen’s for a late bite of lunch. Even though John Stewart had known Owen since their school days, and Owen never repeated any of John’s’ secrets, John still didn’t share with him anything other than the news that they were off to see their baby at hospital right after lunch. John regaled Owen with all of the dramatic details of Catherine’s early arrival Thursday morning.

​While taking their order, Owen spotted a freelance reporter taking pictures of the couple and feverishly scribbling notes for tomorrow’s big story. The reporter was standing just inside the door, using a zoom lens and doing his best to read the couple’s lips, not wanting to get too close and give away his intent. Owen Fitzgerald never allowed the trash press in the doors of his establishment: he was always on the look out for their kind, especially when his celebrity friends patronized. He excused himself from the couple and quickly walked over to the reporter to depose of him as quickly and quietly as possible.

​The hospital was the couple’s next stop. Catherine had already gained half a pound. The doctor and nurses were thrilled with her progress. “If she keeps this up, she’ll be out of the PICU a full week ahead of schedule!” Dr. Jordan exclaimed. “I’ve never seen such quick progress in a premie.”

​”Such long lashes we’ve never seen on a baby before,” the head nurse on duty said to the couple as they admired their daughter. She then looked at Mary carefully. “Might have known! The baby has her mother’s eyes.”

​”Doesn’t she just,” John agreed beaming at both Mary and Catherine, the two most perfect angels in the whole world and they were his.

​From the hospital the couple went to the local post office. They were about to mail the large stack of legal documents to Mark when Mary remembered something. “I really should include a note to him,” she said softly.
​John found her a small sheet of stationery and a pen for her to do what she felt she must. He wasn’t going to tell her not to, this had to be her doing the whole way. John was grown up enough to accept that she still loved her husband, and likely always would, even though their relationship was now completely at an end.

​John smiled at her as she sat in her new rocking chair. “Aye, that’s that done. Are you alright, my love?” he asked concerned about the seemingly sad look on Mary’s face.

​”I am more than alright, love,” she said looking up at John with a growing smile.

​He felt the little blue ring box in his pocket as he sat down on the foot stool in front of her. John grabbed it before they headed off to see his solicitor so that he would be ready when the moment presented itself. He hoped he was right that now was the time.

John leaned forward and gently held Mary’s face. He stared deep into her bright hazel eyes and softly said, “I love you. I’ve been in love with you since the very first day we met. I waited, hoping this day would come, and now it has.” He pulled her close for a tender kiss. “Marry me, my love. Make me the happiest man in the whole of the earth,” he whispered over her lips.

Mary’s heart started beating as if it would jump out of her chest as she stared into his gorgeous brown eyes when he began. Hearing that she had his heart from the very start absolutely melted her inside. She never expected to see this day. She didn’t expect to survey the delivery of their daughter, but now that she had, her life was becoming the fairy tale she thought was only reserved for the very famous.

With the papers on their way to her soon to be ex-husband she was so happy she could now answer this question–the question she wanted to answer since the first day they met backstage after his performance–that she lost her command of vocabulary. All she could do was breathlessly whisper, “Yes,” over his lips reaching for another tender kiss.

​”Really?” John asked, pulling back to look into her eyes. He expected, well hoped, well dared to dream, that she would say yes, but it was still a surprise hearing her actually say yes, without hesitation.

​”Yes,” she said louder placing her hand gently on his face and pulling him toward her for a passionate kiss.

​John let go of her lips and sat up, then reached into his pocket and pulled out the little blue ring box. He tenderly grabbed her right hand and turning it over, gently placed the box into her hand.

She opened it very slowly. Inside was the most beautiful engagement ring she had ever seen: a heart shaped diamond solitaire framed by smaller round diamonds and all set in white gold.

John carefully plucked the ring from the box and taking her left hand, lovingly slid it onto the third finger.

She stared at her hand then looked up into his eyes.

​John was smiling widely with the tip of his tongue at the roof of his mouth. “I bought it this past summer,” he said softly. “Remember when we danced at the pub?”

Mary nodded.

“This box was in my pocket that night.” She stared at him in disbelief. “I told you from the beginning. Our relationship would progress at your pace. When you told me you loved me the day before I thought you would be ready, so I made sure I was, with a ring.”

​Mary’s heart was swelling with such love she couldn’t comprehend it. John leaned forward again gently holding her face with his hand and pulling her toward him for a tender kiss. “Now then, the future Mrs. Stewart,” he whispered over her lips. “Shall we see to supper?”

​Mary loved the sound of being called Mrs. Stewart. She simply glowed all over from the love she felt for her future husband. “Oh, yes,” she whispered.

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