It was her birthday, he just started his new job, and he wouldn’t get paid until the following week.
“I like her Micah,” his granny said. “She’s good for you. The last time I saw your eyes sparkle like that was when granddad bought you your first set of brushes. So go with her, glow with her, and grow with her.”
Micah always visited his great grandmother in the morning as she cooked supper early and went to bed early. He knew he had plenty of time to get home and use the gifts his grandparents provided. She wouldn’t be home from work until later. Every evening he would pray that the night wouldn’t fall upon her shoulders, and she would make it home safely.
She fell asleep on El on the way home. It didn’t matter for she had nothing to steal, unless the mugger was interested in grading papers on Tartuffe, which she would spend the evening grading. All she wanted was dinner, a warm bath and a glass of wine, in no particular order. Then she wanted to curl up next to him and hear him breathe softly into her shoulder. The same shoulder he would kiss upon waking her.
As the nickname of the city implies, she fought the wind all the way to the cute little house pushed back from the row homes in the middle of the block. She struggled to open the gate and walk up the tiny steps. Fumbling with her keys at first, she managed to push open the front door to a dark house.
Shit, she thought to herself. She thought she had another week to pay the electric bill.
That’s when she noticed the spot on the floor. She went to pick it up, but it was damp. Right behind it was a tea light candle, then another spot, then another candle. She put her bag on the hook in the tiny dining room and followed the trail of candles into the kitchen. The light above the stove was on, and that was when she realizes the “paint spots” on the floor were rose petals, and she smiled softly. Like an excited child she followed them around the kitchen table, back up into the vestibule, up the stairs into the bathroom.
There were candles everywhere and rose petals in her bubble bath. She wiped the tears that started to fall from her eyes and gasped.
“Hope you’re hungry, Micah’s voice bellowed behind her. He was carrying a tray with her dinner, which was covered by a linen napkin held down by a small crystal vase, a fork, and a little black box. Her eyes widened as she glanced up to look at him candlelight seemed to be dancing in his dark eyes. He was smiling mischievously.
“Is that what I think that is?” She asked pointing to the tray.
Micah nodded like a little boy which was a funny sight to see since his stature stated otherwise.
“Yup you like my salmon? Don’t you? I don’t want the water to get cold, get in.” His suggestion made her blush as her clothes seem to come off effortlessly. She then sunk into the large claw foot tub and sighed.
Micah then knelt and fed her slowly, then turned the water on to bathe her gently. She closed her eyes and moaned slightly, “This is perfect.”
“It will be if you answer this question correctly,” Micah said. Her eyes popped open to see him still kneeling but he traded the loofa for the tiny black box that was on the tray. Inside the box was his granny’s engagement ring, a large emerald cut diamond set in silver.
“I’m not the richest man in the world, Meech, I couldn’t even afford to buy you a dozen roses, but I got you two, and painted the rest. I promise to create a world full of beauty for you. The way you make the world beautiful every day with your smile. So, with that, will you accept this ring and go with me, glow with me, and grow with me forever?”
© michele mitchell, 2013
Mystical rose petals: painting by artist Johanna Bohoy