Had Steam Belly Dancing its Way Up

So I should be plotting and researching stuff for NaNoWriMo since I wanted to make the next seven days about that and maybe use that as subjects for daily writing on here, however I foolishly left my notebooks with my sketches and briefly started outlines at home. Therefore I am just going to do a free write off of an image I saw on Tumblr earlier that made me think and then a little scene started to unfold in my head. So I’ll post that image and then the writing below, hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

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“Why are you taking me to The Mill? I thought you hated being here on days you weren’t working?” Luke said from over Autumn’s shoulder. She ignored him, just like she had the entire time he asked her about where they were going and why. Tugging on his wrist a little more she led him to a corner spot by the window, where the reflection of the outside lights danced on the worn table top.

Once there she turned on him, with a nervous fire in her eyes, placed her hands on this biceps and pushed him down into a chair before saying, “Just sit. I am going to order us some stuff and then I will come back and explain. Trust me?”

Her teeth were working the inner corner of her mouth, which was her usual give away of either nerves or intense anger. Luke had always thought it was adorable but learned early telling her that was not a great idea. He nodded and relaxed in his chair and said, “Almost always.”

A manic little laugh was all the reply he got as she spun on her heel and bounced off to the front counter. Luke watched her talk to whomever was working, her animated hands flying every which way and the lose strands of her hair unable to keep up with each jut of her head in different directions. He laughed into the hand he was resting his chin on and turned to watch the people walking all about the small district the coffee shop was nestled in.

The smell reached him before she did, making it perfect time when he turned his head just as she was sitting across from him. Autumn was holding two over sized cups that had steam belly dancing its way up into the air, she slid one over to him with a wide, toothy smile on her face. He wrapped his hands around the cup and the warmth slid from his finger tips into the whole of his body.

After each of them had taken a sip, Autumn took a deep breath before she spoke. “Do you remember the day we met?”

“Yeah.” It was border line a question rather than an agreement just because he was unsure where she was going with this. “It was here, you convinced me to try that pumpkin thing that is always big in the fall, it was not great, but I liked you so I came around more. Finally asked you on a date, what three months later?”

There was a softness to her face as she nodded, like she was reliving the moments behind her eyes as he spoke. “Yep. But I don’t think I ever told you that I wasn’t supposed to be here that day. I was covering for Dean, making my shift a double. I was cranky and super tired but something about you broke that.” She paused and looked down into her drink, smiling to herself before she carried on. “Every so often I think about what would have happened if Dean wasn’t sick, or if I had refused to cover, if you hadn’t come in. Would we meet on another day? In another way? Or not at all?”

Autumn was working at her bottom lip again, in quick little bites. Luke wanted to ask where it was going but knew she hated to be interrupted so waited her out. “I just…every possible outcome of happy that I’ve dreamed up has you in it. I can’t picture my life past that day without you in it, don’t want to either.” Another pause and more nervous ticks, “I know this is all cheesy and very romantic comedy but I just wanted to say that.”

She returned her eyes to his and they locked for a moment. Luke knew she knew he felt the same, he was always telling her such. “Consider it noted.”

Her eyes rolled but she was laughing and smiling wide again. Autumn rested her hand on her chin and tapped the high bridge of her cheek. “Other than the pumpkin latte I made you try, do you remember what else I forced upon you that day?”

This was her “up-to-something” tone, it usually happened before she asked him to go see a movie she knew he’d hate. However before he could try to remember, one of the workers set a plate before him and he looked down before letting out a low bark of a laugh. “A bagel with Nutella.”

The melody of her joyful laughter filled their small corner of the place, and he could see how happy she was with herself. Leaning forward she looked at the lightly toasted bagel, split open and the small dish at the side of topping and said, “Well go on, I’ll split it with you as long as you fix it up.”

After all these years he still hadn’t told her that the Nutella was far to sweet for him, it only worked when he put the thinnest possible layer on, or mixed it with cream cheese. But for Autumn he would endure a lot so he begrudgingly agreed and went to remove the top from the small container. Inside he found no creamy chocolate spread, but instead a silver band laying on a deep brown cloth.

Luke was unable to move his eyes from the ever going circle of the band and during his silence Autumn sneaked over to his side, on one knee. “Luke, will you marry me?”

All of it was adding up now; her insistence they go to The Mill, the little nervous ticks, the “up-to-something” tone, the cheesy romance fluff. Finally looking over to her, he saw a confident but anxious look on her face and he was right on par with her cheese because he couldn’t imagine a version of his life where she wasn’t in it. Shaking his head vigorously he choked out, “Yes…of course.”

Before he had finished Autumn had reached for the ring and his left hand in once fluid motion, then slid it on before she jumped up into his lap and met him half way in a kiss. When they pulled back all she whispered against his lips was, “Awesome.”

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One thought on “Had Steam Belly Dancing its Way Up

  1. Pingback: Help Me Find the Words | Vocal Typing

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