Time was on his side, or so it seemed. He didn’t mind waiting. He knew what he had to do and he knew there was no hurry. Yet, he couldn’t help the sweaty palms and the queasy feeling in his stomach. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it was the right thing to do and, quite frankly, he had been considering it, planning it, for quite a while now.
He sat there in his car, checking his watch for what must have been the one hundredth time. What seemed like forever had in fact only been about an hour. He looked around again, hoping no one saw him sitting there. The last thing he needed was to be confronted by a cop and try to give him a reason why he was parked there. This was a rather nice residential neighborhood and most everyone knew their neighbors and, more importantly, what they drove.
As he waited, he pondered again why he had decided to do this tonight. He knew it had been an impulse. Actually, he just wanted to get it over with and he hoped nothing would go wrong. He had never done this before, but he had been meticulous in his planning, considering multiple alternatives before settling on this one.
He drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly, trying to calm his nerves. The act has to be precise the thought. She would recognize him immediately and would be startled by his being there, in the dark, at this time of night. He had to do it quickly. If he bungled it, he could only imagine the possibilities that could result.
He was beginning to have second thoughts and was starting to talk himself into leaving when he saw her approaching. His heart leapt into his throat and for a moment, he froze. “Move” he thought. He had to move, now. He had to do this while she was facing him. If he let her pass the car, it would be too late. He slid his hand into his pocket and felt the cool metal touch his fingers. He wouldn’t be able to remove it from his pocket until he was close enough to confront her. And then, it would have to be fast in case anyone was watching.
In a burst of motion, he forced himself to exit the car and walked quickly toward the approaching footsteps. He was still several feet from her when she exhibited the first signs of recognition. Her mouth opened as if to say something, but before she could, he moved in front of her and motioned for her to remain quiet.
Seeing the confusion and the inquiring look in her eyes, he moved closer, slipping his hand in his pocket. “There is no good way to do this” he said. “I should have done it a long time ago”. “I think you knew that this time would come” While she gazed at him, trying to make sense of the situation, he quickly removed his hand from his pocket and with one quick movement, showed her the ring and quietly said “Will you marry me”? “