James Lindquist Books

James Lindquist Books

 The Final Cup | Back to Eden | Seeking God | Seeking Man | The Cobble Stone Road
| The Dead Know Nothing | 

Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three

Alex's usual arrival was around 5:40, but tonight he didn’t get home until 6:35. He’d found Sarah’s note a few minutes later. Her note was semi-useless because he didn't know when she left. Whatever time she planned on getting home, two hours was a conservative guess all due to the weather. If she left before the storm hit he figured she didn't plan for it to be any longer. For his sanity, he resigned to that scenario.

Sarah’s lateness still gave him plenty of time to propose and have a cuddly evening. He hoped she didn't want to talk at length or needed much interaction on his part. So far, this evening had disappointed him. To keep busy, he started dinner. She'd be hungry and tired. Why tonight Sarah? Alex shook his head, Murphy is alive and well.

Seven seventeen and still no Sarah. He’d called her twice but with no luck. Dinner simmered, the table set, the lights were low, and he had inserted her favorite CD. As it played, he adjusted the player’s volume to low and to auto replay. Her taste in music was growing on him. She loved classical music. He was a country music fan. Although classical was not his thing, he figured, whatever made her happy. Just give him some good ole George Jones, and he’d be golden.” Tonight, belonged to Sarah. He made everything as perfect as he could.

Thirty-five minutes passed when he heard a car running over the gravel in the driveway. Alex jumped up and dashed for the front door.

The rain would drench her before she got inside. He opened the door to see her running for the front porch. She’d just crossed the threshold when he wrapped his arms around her and squeezed. The hug was not reciprocal.

“What’s the matter Alex, you’re shaking?” She paused, “You’re squeezing me too hard. What’s wrong. The place smells great though. And is that Eine Kleine Nachtmusik? That’s my favorite piece by Amadeus.” He let go. “And what’s with the ambiance?” she said. Why was she acting so nervous and nonchalant? He grabbed both of her hands and looked into her eyes, “I love you Sarah White.” Her eyes furrowed. Sarah draped her coat over the couch and after a few amenities, they followed the aroma into the kitchen. He poured her a cup of fresh brewed coffee while she peeked into the cookware.

Like she was cooing at an infant, she said, “Oooo, my favorite, chicken with BBQ and marmalade sauce on rice. And coffee, wow, how sweet. You shouldn’t have. But I’m glad you did, though.”

"Forgive me Sarah, but I have to ask, it’s been killing me. 'What is it you need to discuss and what was so important that you’d risk going out tonight?' Didn’t you get the news report?" He stepped in behind her and squared her up face to face, "Sorry Sarah, it hasn’t been a fun evening. Your lateness worried me sick. It’s nasty out there. I couldn’t take it if something happened to you." He gave her another short hug.

“I’m fine Alex, geez. You worry too much and you’re lecturing again. I was just out. I’m a big girl now. We’ll talk after dinner, OK? Right now, I’m famished and just want to wash and eat.”

“I know you’re a big girl Sarah. Trust me, I’ve noticed!” Alex looked at her with an endearing gaze. “Besides, you know I am a worrier of sorts. If you’re OK, I’m good. You’re home safe, and that’s all that matters, and I have something to discuss with you as well.”

“A worrier of sorts? Try again Alex. You're a flat, worrier.” Sarah smiled, “Oh, and I’m OK.” She squeezed his forearm and disappeared into the bathroom. She returned a few moments later and as he always did, he pulled out her chair. Alex grabbed two plates off the table and walked to the stove.

Sarah was distant, but congenial, throughout dinner. Their norm was conversing nonstop as they ate. They’d discuss their day, their plans, and just stuff. He thought it wise not to push her lateness. When she wanted to talk, she’d talk. He figured he’d find out in a few minutes. Her quietness made Alex jittery. Sarah pegged him right though, he was shaking.

After dinner Alex grabbed his plate and silverware and moved toward the dishwasher. He looked back to speak, expecting to see Sarah, but she had adjourned to the front room. They had a habit of doing the dishes together. In fact, they did most everything together. Tonight, she acted nothing short of addlepated. Sarah called and caught him half way to the washer.

“Alex! Let’s let that go for tonight, OK. I need to talk.”

Well, there it was, the talk. Why was she acting so cryptic and quiet tonight? What's on that wonderful mind of hers? He shoved his dishes into the dishwasher and turned toward the front room. “I’ll be right there, as soon as I wash my hands.” Alex paused, smiled, and reached into his pocket, to touch the little box. A person’s nerves had a way of postponing the inevitable.

Alex had mixed emotions about the next few moments, but the sooner she finished, the sooner he could get on one knee. Sarah had not been herself since she’d been home.

Sarah was his soul mate. Serendipity brought them together and had he not moved from Seattle, they'd have never met. Alex was a born and raised Seattleite and moving away was a huge change for him. He knew it was the time in his life to leave the hustle bustle of the big city. Sarah was his life now, and he wanted to make her an official part of the Hansen clan. If she accepted his proposal, she'd be his entire clan. Since the death of his parents, she was all he had.

Today was the one-year anniversary of the first time he’d told Sarah he loved her. He hoped that that would touch her heart. Asking a woman to marry you, always had the possibility of rejection. The thought gave him a tightness in his chest. He chuckled as his stomach made funny gurgling sounds. Sarah intimated nothing to him in the year and a half they'd lived together. So that was no problem. A life without her was unimaginable. He hoped she felt the same way about him.

“Are you coming Alex?”

Alex shut off the sink faucet, “Just a minute, I’m coming.” He took a deep breath.

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