He was supposed to take her to the beach on the east end of the city. He had the whole thing planned out. There was going to be music and wine and a sunset. There was even going to be cheese. How could he go wrong with wine and cheese and a sunset.
Of course, it had rained all day. The sand at the beach would be wet and sticky. The air was cool, and there were too many clouds for a proper sunset. She wondered aloud which shoes she should wear, because he hadn't yet told her where he was going to take her. He didn't know. His whole plan was based on a sunny day.
He settled on "Don't wear heels. We'll have to do some walking, and the ground will probably be wet."
They got in the car and he headed towards his original destination. This was going to happen on a wet, grey, cold beach. It was June. It was supposed to be sunny. But then... inspiration.
On the other end of down there was a park. A park right next to the boardwalk, next to the beach, next to the lake. They could find a picnic table in the park, not fill their shoes with wet sand, and walk up and down on the boardwalk, which would would suit the occasion just fine.
So after the wine, the cheese, and the music, it was time for whatever sunset was going to happen. It was still grey, but there were some colors peaking through the clouds across the lake. He propped up his camera, and told her to stand on the boardwalk so he could set the timer and take a few pictures of them together.
As he ran in, he waited for the camera to click once as he reached for the box in his pocket. Before the camera clicked again, he was on his knee, showing her a diamond ring. He asked. *Click* She said yes *Click*
There were hugs and kisses and tears and smiles, followed by stories about all the lies he had told her in the previous weeks. Nobody ever says this, but in the weeks before he proposes, a man will tell more lies to his future wife than (hopefully) any other time in their relationship. Then there were phonecalls, and the mandatory tweet.
All this on a cloudy, wet day.
Weeks later, he discovered what a blessing the rain had been. He had never considered how often he drove by the park and the boardwalk on the other end of town. He never considered how rarely he went by the beach where he had originally intended to go. But he went by the park, again and again, and each time thinks back on the moment when it happened.
If not for the rain, the cold, and the clouds, he only would have gotten to experience it once.
Monday, 4 June 2012
The Game is a short story about a boy and a girl who love eachother. That's really all you need to know. A few friends have used this as a reading at their weddings, which was amazingly flattering... If you care to use it for that, please do. I'd love to hear about it. - bjf
It appeared to outsiders that they were at odds. He would test her patience and try to charm his way out of it. She would try impose her will through loosely crafted arguments based on creative feminine logic. He would put on magnificent displays of rhetoric and manipulation, because he liked it when she caught him trying to get away with something. She liked it too.
Over time though, it became obvious that this was not a fight, or a contest. It was a game. Two sides, back and forth. Advance and defend. A game that was almost as much fun to watch, as it was to play.
In this game, however, keeping score was never necessary. It was like children playing tic-tac-toe. The minute one round was over, they'd scrawl out another cross-hatched board, barely paying attention who had been victorious only seconds earlier. Even if they had kept score, it would have still been tied after a hundred years of play. Sometimes he'd win, sometimes she would. And sometimes, when it was needed, they'd remind the spectators that they were actually on the same team all along and would do anything for each other.
Before each other, they hadn't discovered anybody who could play the game at their level, nor anybody who wished to. But they found each other... and in each other a worthy adversary, a constant companion, and a best friend.
And they played the game for years and years, until one of them died. The person left standing being defeated by the heart's greatest loss... and yet, still victorious because everyday they had spent together, the game brought into their hearts the greatest joy and love. Again, it was a tie.