John and Evangeline arrived home. He went to wash up, and then came back down stairs prepared to do his part. She had taken the food out of the fridge for dinner. They both calmly began to work together to prepare the meal. He had started the salad; while she seasoned the meat. It was a warm balmy night and they had decided to grill the steaks. John went out on the deck and started the grill. She brought out the dishes and set up the table. He had the grill thing down to a science--the man could grill some steaks. She went back in and made some tea for dinner, herbal, which was becoming her favorite. She smiled, thinking of how domesticated they seemed. Working side by side both had turned off their cell phones wanting to spend a quiet evening alone. John came up behind her and kissed her shoulder. Then he reached for the steaks and went back on the deck. She finished adding some nuts to garnish the salad, and covered it and took it outside, with serving utensils. She sat on the lounge and watched him work his magic. The steaks smelled like heaven. There was something sexy about watching your man cook for you. It made Evangeline all tingly.
“Hey, don’t go to sleep on me. These steaks are almost ready, and I need you awake to taste my magic.”
“I’m awake, just dozing. Remember I’m resting for two, she said and smiled.”
“I know. The steaks are almost ready. Why don’t you put the salad on the plates and I’ll serve these up.”
“He commands and I answer,” Evangeline said jokingly and got up to do as asked. She placed the salad on their plates, and John came and put a steak on each. Evangeline lit the candles and the music John had put on earlier wafted in from the house to give the evening a sweet, romantic feel. John pulled out her chair and she sat down. He then joined her.
They ate in a companionable silence, with sighs of pleasure as they bit into his terrific steaks and enjoyed the salad.
“John this is delicious, and the company is not bad either. A girl could get used to this.” She smiled and continued to enjoy both the food and the company.
“I hope you mean that, because I plan to be around for a long time.”
“I hope so.”
“Do you really?” He asked suddenly becoming serious, needed to get some thing clear between them.
“Yes, I do.”
“Then why won’t you take the last leap of faith?”
“Leap of faith, this is sounding serious. What are we talking about here?” she asked, reluctantly putting down her fork and giving John her full attention.
“I’m talking about your statement that love is everything and marriage is something else.”
“I still believe that, I don’t see what we need to discuss.” She had a feeling where this was heading and she wasn’t sure she was ready to go down this road.
“Look, Evangeline, I’m an old fashioned guy. I was brought up to believe when two people love each other they get married especially if they create a child together.”
“John that is true for most people, but not us. I am perfectly capable of having a loving relationship with you and raising our child without some piece of paper.”
“So what if I’m not okay with it. I need the paper. It matters to me.”
“I don’t know what to say, marriage isn’t the problem. The possibility of divorce is what scares me, I told you.”
“But you didn’t tell me why. If I knew maybe I could sooth your fears. Make you understand that we are different.”
“I told you, I see so many marriages fall apart, I don’t want that for us.”
“I don’t either, but hon, life does not come with guarantees, but I will guarantee you this: I will love you until my dying day. You are it for me. There is no one else. If for some reason you should leave because of fate or by your choice I would still love you. That you can count on. I need to know you can commit to me as fully as I can to you.”
“So what are you saying, we are over if I can’t say I do?”
“No, I’m not going to push you into a corner, you wouldn’t like it neither would I. Plus you would see it as a challenge and do exactly the opposite. No I want you to know I want it all. What my parents had, until my dad was taken. Two people loving and raising a family and facing their heartaches, and triumphs together. If you don’t marry me I’m not going anywhere, by your side is where I will be. I’m saying I need this. I want you to be my wife. When we go places I want to be able to say, this is Mrs. John McBain, and I want everyone to know that we belong to each other. That we are committed, I want my child to have my name and a family like I did. I want it all and with you.”
“John, I don’t know. I don’t want us to go through what others couples do, when love goes wrong..”
“Look I know you see a lot of darkness in people. So do I. I see children hurt every day by irresponsible parents, domestic abuse. I see husbands who hurt wives and all of that. But at the end of the day, I come home to a beautiful woman, my heart, and it all slips away. I know that heaven can be had on earth every time I hear you call my name, take a breath or hold you close. That should be enough. Love, Evangeline should be enough to give you faith in us. I’m asking you to take one more leap. Marry me?”