Page 25 in the series Before the Pirates Came*
Miranda was exhausted, cold, and needed to find a ladies room after a long and difficult journey. She made it to her exit and was deeply grateful for the help of her trucker friends (who were not jerks after all). But she was afraid to go any further. Even with the plow trucks keeping the roads open, the town of Providence was snowed in. She stopped at a gas station and used the pay phone to call him. Brian told her to stay put, lock the doors, and wait for him to come get her.
When Miranda hung up and walked back to her car, she slipped on an icy patch and fell. Her new wool suit was split open in the back and soaked with gray slush and road salt. When she tried to stand up she saw that her hand was bleeding. She was too tired to cry, cried anyway. There was nothing Miranda could do but wait to be rescued. Finally, Brian came and scooped her up in his arms, pretended not to notice her wardrobe malfunction, then took her home. They could pick up her car in the morning.
He gave her a pair of his extra-large sweatpants and a t-shirt with the name of his alma mater. She took a hot bath and washed away the day’s drama from her mascara stained face. Brian cancelled their dinner reservations and prepared his bachelor’s special: Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks, Tater Tots, and milk. Miranda was starving and ate it anyway. They sat in his rustic family room by the fire, laughing about his cooking skills and her courageous drive, sipping scotch late into the night. She got drunk, blacked out, and woke up in the guest room, safe and warm, waiting to see what the day would bring.
* * *
She smelled bacon frying. If Brian Parker Hall was trying to impress her, he was doing a real good job. Once dressed in a subtle but sexy warm outfit (Guess jeans, tall boots, flattering sweater) Brian warmed up the car and suggested they go for a ride.
He took Miranda on a driving tour of the nicest sites in town. New schools, a snowy white park, and shops on the square. There were restaurants dressed up for Christmas, a publishing company, street lamps with wreaths and red bows. Providence was charming indeed. With pride and a grin Brian drove her past his office– proper and traditional, a picture of success.
Outside of town the sprawling countryside was covered with snow, but promised a sea of velvety grass in the spring. Miranda looked forward to it. He drove her through a neighborhood of grand estate homes, a clubhouse with the walks already shoveled, and a sign marking the spot where the residents played croquet. He gestured and indicated that this is where the Brian Parker Hall family would live someday. A family man without a family…
That night Brian got down on one knee and proposed. Miranda acted surprised and said yes, watching while he slipped the ring on her hand. Brian Parker Hall was not surprised by her answer– and neither was she. It was their third date.
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.