The prompt from Willow at Magpie Tales this week:
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‘Get out your dancing shoes, babe, we’re going to have a night on the town.’
Jane found the shoes in the back of the closet while spring cleaning, and sat on the floor, her mind going back to that day seven years before. She remembered Jock’s words, his cocky grin, the sparkle in his eyes.
They’d been dating for a few months, but this was a first. Being poor students, their dates had been walks in the park, picnics, coffee houses, evenings studying together in the library, outings with the College and Career group from church, the occasional meal or coffee in the cafeteria when their schedules allowed.
And she didn’t own dancing shoes – duty shoes, sneakers, a pair or two of dress pumps to wear to church, yes, but nothing that would be suitable for dancing.
A shopping trip was in order, not just for shoes but for a suitable outfit as well. Jane had agonized over exactly what to buy. Whatever it was to be needed to be something that she’d be able to use again. The soft turquoise shift, with a coordinating tie-dyed scarf seemed to be just the answer – but the shoes were much harder to find. It took 10 stores before she saw them, the little silver sandals with just a tiny heel, dressy, not gaudy, comfortable enough for dancing.
The evening arrived, and Jane quivered with excitement and a little fear that she would be over- or under-dressed. When Jock arrived in a blazer and tie, she relaxed some. But he’d refused to tell her where they were going, and still teased her with ‘you’ll see’.
They walked out of the student nurses’ residence and turned left down the street. Jock held her hand and made small talk about his day. Without Jane realizing it, there were in front of his apartment building. When she started to ask about his plans, Jock just put his index finger against her lips, and kissed her forehead.
They got into the elevator, and Jock pressed the button for the top floor, even more curious as he lived on the second floor and usually took the stairs. Getting out of the elevator, Jock led the way to the fire exit – and went upstairs to the roof.
There, on the roof, was a table set for two – a white tablecloth, candle, flowers – and a picnic basket. Jock had arranged for a local deli to prepare a wonderful cold meal of sliced meats, salads, and a bottle of sparkling juice. He was full of apologies that he couldn’t take her to a fancy restaurant, but Jane was delighted with it all. It was enchanting! Jock pressed the start button on a tape deck, and soft music filled the air around them as they ate.
After the main course, Jock suggested they dance before dessert, and changed the tape to dancing music. As they swayed in each other’s arms, Jock whispered in her ear of his love and plans for their future. Jane hardly noticed him fumbling in his pocket with one hand as he held her close with the other arm. Then, stilling and drawing a little apart, he closed her eyes with his fingers, and slipped a ring on her left ring finger. Jane’s eyes flew open, and she held up her hand.
‘Will you marry me, my love?’ Jock asked.
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