I?ve lost track of how long I?ve been in RhyDin. The days at first blurred into nights that morphed into mornings, only to repeat as I existed and lived the life of the single, confused male. People have come and gone, and I?ve made some lasting friendships while making myself known as an investigator.
I?ve got a great office, with a great view, with some of the best building-mates, a Shrink, A Hunter, Psychic, and of course one that is too hard to classify, so I?ll leave her as a Realtor. They have come to accept Bandito as a common fixture, and accept him as one of the Plaza?s regulars, or maybe they just know if something happens to him, I?ll not rest until I find out what it was.
This particular afternoon, I left the Plaza early, locking my office door after setting my will return for the next morning. My mouth was dry and my hands were shaking, but since closing down the Dragon one night, dinner the next, I knew that it was time to take our relationship to the next level, I had made up my mind to ask Elessaria to marry me. From the bitter Winter, Spring seemed to hang on, and it made the birthday present of the ?Cuda convertible nice to drive with the top down.
?Korrah,? She said, ?It doth mean, ?Black Beast,? a fitting name.? She explained to me, the night we took her on a drive near the coast, the inky black water slammed into the rocks causing the dove gray splash of waves to go high into the air, and reflect the moonlight as the droplets rained back to the rust colored rock. Another memory that was filed with so many of our time together. From Blackjack games with wagers from massages to nail painting for the week, to shared comfortable silence.
Whatever it was, we are different people because of it. Knowing the kind of love that people wish for, and sometimes spend their lives searching for. We knew it was a blessing, and something to be cherished. There are no secrets, no lies, nothing more than a couple in love, and better for it.
I drove to New Haven and parked the car carefully between a fruit cart and a street performer?s makeshift stage. The top was put up, along with the windows, and I stopped to watch the performance, a small troupe doing scenes from Hamlet.
?With an auspicious and a dropping eye, with mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole." The man?s lines were said loudly to carry to the other side of the street to catch more attention, and therefor more coin.
I chuckled to myself at the lines overheard. The act of the death of King, his marriage to the Queen is just as important as the death of a great and loved King. Claudius was a scoundrel, and I had to laugh as I walked on after dropping a few dollars in their open case, I could see this play taking center stage on an episode of Springer.
As I pushed the door open, a little bell chimed on the door, alerting my presence to the girl behind one of the glass display counters.
?Good Day, Sir.? She dipped her head in greeting, and honestly, I still wasn?t used to it.
?Hey,? I said with a smile. ?I need a ring...? I said without even so much as a stutter.
?What sort of ring, Sir?? She asked with a smile. ?Ours are hand crafted from the finest gems and metals...? I cut her off then.
?Something with diamonds and platinum,? I wanted it to match the antique necklace I had found for her a few weeks prior. She smiled and stepped to the case closest to me then, and with a gesture of her hand, I saw the rings of all kinds there at my Left.
?Are you getting married?? She asked.
?I hope to,? I answered with a nervous laugh as I looked over the rings. Some were too big, too gaudy, then too small, even for the hand that fit so easily in mine. ?I want to ask my, well, her to to marry me.? I never lifted my eyes from the rings, but I knew she nodded.
?Do you have a date set??
?No, I just want to ask her, I want her to be with me until the Farewell Handshake.? She giggled, and when I looked at her, I knew that look, she had no idea what I was talking about. I was going to explain when I thought better of it, and then a flash of flame blue caught my eye, causing me to drop my gaze to look. ?That one.? I pointed. She reached into the case for the ring beside the one that held my attention. ?To the right, please.?
?A platinum band, decorative etchings, the diamond is two karat...? She looked in the case, and pulled a larger ring from it. ?This one is better in my opinion.?
?No, it?s this one,? I said, as I turned it back and forth in my fingers watching the fire dance in the stone. The same blue as her eyes seemed to be the color most reflected to me.
?Are you sure?? She asked, as she put the bigger, and pricier ring back. ?If it?s about the difference in payment...? I stopped her again.
?This one will be perfect on her hand, and the payment isn?t a problem.? I?d just settled a case, so the money was there, and I truly wasn?t worried about that. What I was worried about is her saying something about being too soon, too fast... or that someone she worked with would say those things, but then I remembered that life was about chances and choices. We took that chance, now I was about to take it on my own.
She boxed the ring, and took my money happily invited me back for future jewelry needs and wished the road to rise to my feet while the wind stayed at my back. I?d heard that somewhere before, but right now, my mind was on how I would ask her to marry me.
I got into the ?Cuda, and made my way to the house, thinking about everything except driving.