They were sitting on the rooftop of his flat, the view of the city traffic from five floors above was a fascinating one. They watched the cars move almost like in a silent film. The sound was minimal at that height. They sat with their feet dangling from the parapet, hands entwined, a glass of wine on each side of them. Their silence that evening was blissful.
After a while she rested her head on his shoulders, her eyes shut. He felt nice and snug too, although by now he was itching to go down. The thought of the two of them, both a few glasses down, sitting on the parapet, was making him a tad uneasy. The neons around the city came on at that instance, coinciding with the goodbye of the evening sun.
He had been waiting for this moment for a while now. Maybe a little over six months. How does one propose? Where? When? Why? Of all these questions the only answer he had was to the last one. He knew she was the one. After nearly half a dozen broken relationships he finally met his dream woman. The one he wanted to wake up in the morning with, for the rest of his life. They had been together for just about a year but it was enough for him to be sure. How to go about it, was the tricky complicated bit.
He loved the smell of her hair as she perched herself a little more snugly on to him. He put his arms across her bringing her closer to him. She sighed and murmured something and he saw a slight smile of satisfaction run across her closed lips.
He didn’t want to shift an inch at that instance. They were perfectly poised on the roof that summer evening.
“How do I? How? How?” He kept wondering. As always he had a hundred plans hovering around his head regarding how to go about it. Maybe a trip to Paris and then as they walked across the Shakespeare Book Shop, he could pop the question. Or maybe while walking by the embankment in London, holding hands looking into her eyes. On his knees with a ring in his hand, in a remote Greek island seemed like a great idea to him too. Then of course a cursory glance at his bank balance changed all that. His apartment rooftop and cheap port. That sounded perfect.
His thoughts made him smile and he gave her a slight squeeze. She stirred a bit and then looked up at him. Her brown eyes half-closed half-opened, her hair slightly ruffled and that smile a bit broader across her luscious lips. Her eyes were twinkling as she looked at him. The city was lit up and appeared brighter when she smiled. The noise of the evening home-going traffic had increased significantly. He kept staring at her beautiful face as the surrounding neons gave it an ethereal glow.
“Will you marry me?” he asked simply.
She kept looking at him, smiling. He was beginning to get tensed as he had expected a quicker response from her.
She looked at him for what seemed like ages and finally replied.
Now there are some definite amswers and some expected answers one guesses to a proposal. “What” certainly isn’t one of them.
He kept looking at her not knowing what to say. She smiled at him and said “I’m way too buzzed now, so you have to speak up louder honey”. She rested her head on his shoulders once more, this time putting her arms around his neck for support.
He kept looking at the evening cityscape all lit up and glowing. He got off the parapet carrying her in his arms. She snuggled more comfortably in his lap as he began to climb down the stairs to get to his apartment.
He knew he had to wait for some more time before he could muster up the courage or plan the right time. Again.
“And no port next time”, he promised himself as he gently lay her down on the bed.
Copyright (c) Pratik Majumdar