Candles, check. Red Malbec wine, check. Red carnations, check. Alfredo pasta with chicken, check. Lavender fragrance... two hisses of aerosols later, check. Engagement ring, check.
This past Valentine's was a blow in the gut. It's February 21st, a week later after Valentine's Day. 'Why?' you ask, because of a severe winter storm that the midwest had never seen before. Sure the northern states were ready for it. They had the trucks, the sanded salt, ice prevention magical stuff, and other strategies that would've been nice to have in Texas. We didn't any of them.
To add to that, our first Valentine's, three years ago, got damped by delayed flights from Minneapolis to Dallas. Our second Valentine's got canceled because of a family emergency. And whoever said third is the charm deserves to be punched in the mouth. Selling false hope mother-- anyways. Today, I am determined to make my girlfriend my fiance. Everything is in the right spot, my house is warm and cozy, ready to be-- oh shoot, the petals!
I hurry my ass up the stairs and grab one of the bags with the petals. I rip one of them open and scatter them over the room for dessert later. I grab the second bag and make my way down just to find my girlfriend standing there like a little kid seeing a Christmas tree for the first time ever. 'Improvise.' I tell myself. I rip the bag of petals and make it rain. She finally looks up. Her eyes are glazed in a thin layer of tears so I can see the reflection of the flickering candles. I keep making it rain as I slowly make my way down the stairs. I reach the bottom of the bag and as they were crumbs of chips in a bucket of water, I empty it on her. Levels of oxytocin are all the way to the roof. She grabs my face and pulls me to her lips. We embrace.
I help her with all the layers of coats she has on. We make our way upstairs like two animals seeking one basic need over the other. We trample over furniture, gasp for air, pull each other's clothes off. I carry her and throw her in bed. What happened after that is rated MA and stays in that room. All I can say is that dessert has a different taste before dinner.
We laid on the bed, naked, staring at my ceiling. The projection of constellations on it served as a clock and an amusement sight. It had been four hours since we started, we were depleted, satisfied, filled with bliss. We both take deep breaths to maximize the feeling as we hold in each other's arms.
"Dinner is served." I finally say totally lost in thought. She laughs at the same time her stomach growls. We make our way down the dinner table. The candles are out. The pasta is cold, and oddly enough, we don't care. We dig into it to realize that we do care. I put it in the microwave for forty-five seconds. It hums as we kiss, it beeps as we moan, and it keeps beeping until I open the door and serve us after the second dessert.
I had forgotten about this part but remembered just in time. I light up the fireplace and invite my girlfriend to sit next to me with the blanket wrapped around her beautiful body. She kisses me and I see the opportunity to open the case. She opens her eyes. We gaze into our souls, I motion with my head towards my hand. She turns, sees it, gasps, and wraps her arms around my neck. Thirds would've been great, but we're exhausted so we just lay in front of the fireplace.
We talk for what seems minutes but were really hours. Time with her always feels this way. Precious. Fleeting. Valuable. The first rays of sunshine illuminate my house. Its warmth almost blinding. I turn to see my fiance, thinking she is asleep. She isn't. I see her staring at something. I follow her line of sight. It's a picture on top of the fireplace. The only picture without glare. I go silent.
"What was the picture about, Granpa?" Emil, my great-granddaughter asks as she brings me to the present. Her teenage cheeks rosy, and filled with youth. I chuckle at her curiosity. She smiles and waits for me to finish the story, but I decide is best to get up and show it to her myself. I walk to my fireplace with her as my aid. We walk slowly around the furniture.
"Hi, g-grandpa!" A heard of kids run past us.
"Watch it, you morons," Emil shouts at them.
"Sorry," The kids say as they keep running. I chuckle at their uncanny resemblance to their great-grandmother. After many hi's and hugs, we finally reach our destination. I reach out for the picture and hand it to her.
She holds it and amuses at the vintage feel of it.
"Who are they?" Emil asks.
"That's my mom and dad's wedding picture," I say. She gasps at the realization that I, too, had parents and those were her great-great-grandparents. "This is awesome, can I have it?" She asks. I feel reluctant but give no answer. We both stare at it for a minute, then I take my eyes from my mom and dad's wedding and to my own. The frame marks the date it was taken. What a glorious day to take a wedding picture. February 14, 2024. I still can remember the smell of lavender and the texture of the wedding cake. Who gets tres leches as a wedding cake? Nobody but us. It was delicious.
"G-granny was so beautiful." She says staring at my wedding picture.
"She was," I say taking a deep breath.
"Yes, my child?"
"What type of dessert did you have? I want some."
"Tell you what," I crouch down, "take mom and dad's picture and don't tell your mom about this story. Deal?" We shake on it.