The whole afternoon played like vintage film on a
l o o p
in her head.
When the train arrived in Stratford, both Caleb and Gemma were at a complete loss for directions to their hotel. They knew they were limited in time, as there was only one hour until the play they were seeing would start.
“You guys look lost.”
A tall, young man was looking curiously
at the couple glancing around in clear confusion.
“We don’t know how to get into town from here.”
Caleb told him.
“It’s not far.
The whole town is basically a large circle,
come on, I’ll walk with you.”
Carrying their luggage,
they walked behind the kind stranger along a long dirt road until the town came into full view.
It was the most charming place they’d ever experienced.
Every building was made by careful hands, sculpting
m a g i c
into every detail.
The roads were all cobblestone;
flowers and plants adorned the city,
and it all cast a certain
s p e l l
upon any lovers
who walked hand and hand into it...
breathing in the possibility for adventure and romance.
They found the hotel on their own and quickly changed into their formal wear
before heading outside to walk to the theater which was nearby.
When they walked out of the old hotel and onto the street they realized that the
clouds overhead had begun to
spill down onto them.
Rain was falling heavily from the sky and Gemma relished
the feeling it left on her skin
and they ran beneath Caleb’s jacket down the street and into the theater.
They ignored the curious stares of the well dressed and dry strangers around them as they walked straight to the concession stand where they would pick up their reserved tickets.
“I’m sorry, but you’re at the wrong theater.
As you like it is playing at the Avon theater.
And it starting right now.”
“Could you please call a cab for us?”
The man behind the counter dialled the number and within minutes a car was waiting outside.
They did not miss much of the play,
not that they would have been bothered anyway...
Gemma’s heart was beating quickly throughout the entire show,
feeling and anticipating the beauty that she was
currently and about to experience.
When it was over, they immediately walked outside.
It was still
d r i z z l i n g
so most people were hurrying into their cars to get to shelter.
But not them.
Caleb took Gemma’s hand and they walked around the outside of the grand theater together,
until they came to the carefully cultivated English garden at the back.
It was a very well kept with flowers of all shapes and colors in their
select areas of the green grounds.
b r e a t h e d
in the scent of damp fauna and smiled at the man beside her,
who was already looking at her, smiling too.
“I want to give you something.”
He said, taking out a ring from his pocket.
“It’s not exactly an engagement ring,
but it might as well be...”
“I once read
′ The moment I heard my first love story
I began seeking you,
not realizing the search was useless.
Lovers don’t meet somewhere along the way,
they’re in one another’s soul
from the very beginning.′
I believe that’s true for me...
and for you.”
The rain came down harder now,
but they were so enthralled by each other’s company
that they could not stand to notice,
“I never believed in love.
Really, ask anyone.
When I met you,
it felt like I didn’t have to be alone anymore.
I couldn’t believe I was done suffering...”
He paused to look Gemma in the eyes,
“Love can’t be planned or faked or forced...
It just is.
As soon as I saw you,
I knew that I loved you.
And believe me,
it’s not something I ever expected to say...”
He shook his head in disbelief,
“When I sleep at night,
I close my eyes and naturally I see darkness;
but when I am with you and I touch your skin,”
He flattened his hand against hers,
“your energy illuminates my thoughts.
I start to see worlds and galaxies;
universes more beautiful than I could ever imagine alone.
When I am with you I literally see beauty in darkness.
Some people spend years together
not sure of who the other is,
but it’s like I’ve always known you.
And that’s why, I need you to know,
that I’m with you. For all of time.”
Gemma stayed quiet and unmoving for a moment, completely
s t u n n e d
by the beautiful words spilling out of Caleb.
They’ve only been dating for six months...
they had already moved in together three months ago.
They shared classes and worked the same job.
They spent nearly every second together,
with friends and alone
and somehow they never tired of each other’s company.
Never was there a moment when Gemma either saw or thought
of Caleb without experiencing the
m a g n e t i c l u r e
that gave her…
the need to feel his skin.
She believed in every word he had just said,
if only because she felt truth in his words for herself.
“I love you so much.”
She finally said,
before Caleb placed the ring onto her finger
and kissed her again and again
until the rain stopped and they went back to the hotel.