- Monday, April 23, 2007


Her thoughts running wild, guessing why did Neil, her boyfriend, called and asked her to go to his apartment. Would it be a surprise? It couldn't be, she thought. If it were so, he would've stated that it'll be a romantic date, with blood-colored roses and sparkling candles, and his most delicious grilled black pepper lamb chop with onion toppings. And she would have anticipated it every moment, wore a beautiful evening gown that winks in the dim orange hall light in Neil's house. But he didn't say anything!

Would it be a proposal? Her heart skipped a beat at the thought, her eyes brightened, and she couldn't help but sigh, an expression of extreme excitement. She knew that both of them, Neil and her, had waited for the moment for years and now, three years has passed. Three years of love and pain, passion and tears, understanding and misunderstandings, or tribulations if you must say.

Sweet memories flushed into her mind. She smiled and giggled at every thought of them. The way they got together - Neil asking her if she loved parrots, which she obviously did not, but she said 'yes' anyway; and the dirtied roses and wet Neil standing under the rain outside her office waiting for her to agree to their boy-girl-friend relationship; the first kiss they ever had, the taste of his lips she could never forget, the warmth of his breath still tingling within her nostrils at the very moment of thought; the first delicious meal cooked by her man at his house; the waltz they danced together, their eyes locked onto each other's, venturing into each other's world, as if it were a world of seas, with all kinds of mysterious fishes within swimming all around.

She walked towards his apartment, each step heavier than the other. In her hands, she had one of her oldest dress. The once white colored cloth had faded and turned yellowish, the elegance disappeared, leaving ruggedness to reign the eye at the sight of it...

She stopped and faced his door - the entrance to a surprise. She inhaled and exhaled, stared at the door which had E-06-07 imprinted. She reached to knock, but then pulled back her hands. "You can do it, Em," She whispered to herself, "you can do it!" She gave herself a nervous smile and exhaled again.

Before she could knock, the door slipped open and a young man stood before her. He wore a casual tee-shirt with 'I Am So Crazy With My Girl' printed right across his chest and at the end of the shirt, with a font probably fourteen or sixteen saying, 'And You Can Do Nothing About It'; and a pair of khakis stretched until his ankles, popping out his bare toes that grinned at Emily. His smile spread across his handsome face, the jawbones so uniquely and handsomely fitted, emphasizing his ocean blue eyes that showed her the love he had for her. But looks wasn't what Emily was looking for; she wanted a man who could shield her from the rain, willingly take the strike of the thunder for her, unconditionally love her despite her weaknesses and past, and Neil fitted them all.

"Hey, Em," he smiled.

"Uh... you plan to stare at me the whole night?" She asked, with a little hint of impatience and anticipation on her lips.

"Oh!" He snapped out of the staring gaze, and stepped aside, yet his eyes still locked on Emily's eyes - the deep ocean of thoughts, though difficult to decipher, yet easy to understand. To him, understanding Emily is mysteriously easy when compared to deciphering her thoughts. Somehow he had mastered the art of feeling what she felt, and not interrupt her when her mood gets stormy and when she starts mumbling to herself.

Emily walked inside. There wasn't anything - no waltz, no food, no presents, no ring (of course there wasn't! Or it wouldn't be a surprise!). Her heart fell, but she tried to conceal it. She looked at Neil who shut the door, "So... why am I here?"

He gave a grin Emily wouldn't want to understand, and that grin itself made her back hairs stand, just like how she felt when reading 'Perfume' by [] or watched 'CSI: New York'. "Uh huh...?" Emily shot a questioning glance.

"Come to my room. I've somethin' to show you. Bring your old dress along too." Neil paced to his room and sat on his bed.

"So what is it?" Emily asked. Her face impatient now.

He just sat, and looked at her.

"No... not until we get married." She blurted, but he shook his head and gave a hint of laughter.

Extending his strong left hand, he asked, with a politeness Emily loved so much about him, "Can you give me that dress?"

She looked at him, scrutinized his face. Why would her boyfriend want an old rugged dress from his girlfriend? She turned to look at the old dress - her first prom dress when she danced with Fugo, her first crush who had an Italiano descend. Again she questioned, why would he want an old rugged dress from her?

"You... want it for your mom?" She chuckled.

"Very funny, Em."

"What is it you wanna show me?" Fine, no dinner, no music, no proposal, now what?

He stood and opened his closet, his hands went through the clothes and pulled something out. Emily's heart stopped.

"I wanted to give you this." He looked at her.


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