TITLE: Under a Starry Sky
By Ann Darcy
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Isabella looked up into the starry sky. What a beautiful night, she thought to herself as she soaked up the peacefulness like a sponge. She had always enjoyed sitting out in the fields after the sun had given the sky over to the moon and stars. Somehow the darkness and quiet gave light to everything in life.
“Excuse me, Miss. Can you tell me how to get to the Morelli’s house?” a young man asked as he stood over her.
Isabella looked up into his sparkling eyes and smiled ruefully. “Well, you go back through this field until you see the light in the window. The first light you see will take you to the right house,” she said, repeating the first words she had ever said to Matteo. He had been her best friend and confidant ever since.
He sat down next to her and shrugged off his coat, draping it around her shoulders. She breathed in his muscular scent; it smelled of rich soil and moss. Pulling it tighter around her she let her mind wonder back to the first time he had asked her if he could “enter into a romantic relationship with her.” She had laughed at his uncommon way of asking her out and “cordially accepted” his offer after a moment to think. While she was twenty-four at the time, she had chosen not to date until just the right guy came along. She didn’t want to give away her first date to someone who wasn’t someone she could possibly see herself marrying. Part of it had been that he understood her old fashioned values and had gone as far as asking her fathers blessing before asking her out.
“What are you thinking about?” he leaned close and asked against her hair. His thick Italian accent breathed out into the wind. She loved her birth country and was still- after three years- thrilled to be back after a long time abroad.
“I was thinking about our first date.” She turned and smiled at him. “Remember walking through the streets that night? The sky was clear like glass… Clear like tonight,” she whispered.
Matteo sighed in content remembrance. They sat in silence for a few moments, then he shifted to face her better. “Can I ask you a question, Bella?”
“You just did,” she teased wryly. “And I have no question in my mind that you can ask me a question. But, yes, you may ask me anything you want.”
“Isabella, you took a risk by agreeing to court me,” he said, studying her eyes. She felt he could see to her heart through them. “You risked giving up a gift that might have been for someone else. But I am convinced that as you sit here before the stars, you are meant to be my wife. And I must ask you now, or risk bursting; will you enter into a marital relationship with me? I love you like no other, like I never knew I could love. And if you will be mine, I am quite sure that for some reason, God loves me more then any other man in the world… because I’ll be the only man who will be yours.”
Isabella was stunned. While she knew he would ask sooner or later, she had expected later. Now she didn’t know why she had thought that, why would he put it off longer then need be? And now, she realized how blessed she had been. “Yes,” she said, trying out the word. “Yes, yes I will!”
Matteo opened a small velvet box and revealed a simple gold ring with a simple diamond. Isabella gasped at its simple beauty. He took her hand in his and slipped the ring onto her finger. Then he laced his fingers into her hair and slowly pulled her close. “I love you…” He whispered. Bella could see his dark eyes shining in the moonlight. She held his forearm and leaned in for the first kiss she ever gave. The wait was almost over, she would soon be the wife of the man of her dreams.
Days and months flew by and Bella suddenly found herself standing at the alter in a beautiful white gown. The pastor was speaking, and she forced herself to listen. “May God bless you both, in the life you are now entering into.”
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