Lucas Weismann

Another Winter Gone – 24

Marcus studied during the school year and worked for Mr. Jacobson during the summers and by the time he graduated, he was offered a position managing the crews for the company. He agreed, thankful for the opportunity to work somewhere that would offer him a measure of stability and for six months he began to save.
One day in late August, he invited Eva to join him on a walk near the river near the campus to a place they had spent many starlit evenings before going to dinner. They walked down by the river until they found ‘their’ spot. A small overlook that hid them from view, but from which they could see the swimmers in the summer and the ice skaters in the winter.
Turning the last bend in the path revealed a warm woolen blanket, on which there was a bottle of wine, a small picnic basket and two burning candles.
“Ooh,” said Eva, “We should leave before whoever’s picnic this is gets back. It looks like they might want some privacy.”
“They’re already here,” said Marcus.
Eva spun to look at him.
“Did you think I’d forgotten? We met three years ago tonight.”
“At the fairgrounds.”
“Of course.”
“You bought me a Coke and you took me out for a walk to look at the stars.”
“And you made me tell you a story.”
“Yes, and now that I think of it, you haven’t told me the others you talked about that night.”
“You never asked me to.”
“But the others you’ve told me have been so nice. I do wish you’d write them down,” she said.
“As you wish.” Said Marcus. He turned and from the basket be pulled a stack of typewritten sheets held together by a paperclip.
“You did?” She asked.
“I did.” He said. “Go ahead, read it.”
Eva looked at the cover sheet of the paper. “Stories For the Home and Hearth,” She read. Then she turned the page. “To my dearest wife Eva, who makes each day an adventure.” Eva went rigid for a moment. Then she looked up. On his feet next to her was Marcus, standing erect in the waning light of the sunset. Offered her his hand and helped her to her feet. Then, keeping her hand, he asked her, “Eva, will you marry me?” She smiled and threw her arms around him kissing him and her emotions got the best of her for a moment. When she let go he asked, “So, is that a yes?”
Eva nodded that it was and wiped the tears from her eyes. “I hate when they do this in movies, it looks so- say, isn’t there supposed to be a ring?” she asked.
Marcus revealed a small gold ring with the inscription ‘To the Water Sprite. Love, the Djinn of all Deserts’ In it was set an opal that burned like a small piece of flame. “I figured it didn’t matter about the ring if you said no,” he said while placing it on her finger.
Eva held him to her again before pushing him to arms length. “What did father say? Did you ask him?”
“Yes, I asked him. He said, ’seems a damn shame to ruin a good kid like you with marriage, but go ahead, if you must.’ And something about ‘as if I could stop her if I wanted to’” said Marcus in a passable impression of her father. “Then he warned me about the hell you were likely to give me if I stepped out of line and how if I was smart I’d forget the whole thing unless I planned on a life of striving for perfection lest I disappoint you.”
“Oh, he just says that because he hates to disappoint me. He holds himself to such a high standard no one could live up to it. Of course, that might be one of the things I love about you, now that I think of it.”
Two months later, they were married in a local church, with only a few family members and friends in attendance. The happy couple then drove off in his, now their, used Ford Coupe (he’d bought it from his father a few months before) and headed to Duluth and then on to Ely, Minnesota where they rented a flat-backed Selgacraft canoe and made their way out to Knife Lake, where they stayed at Isle of Pines resort.

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