She’s coming! Jackson’s heart stood still. He lifted his violin and began to tune it to hide the potency of his emotion as he watched a vision of loveliness float onto the stage, flute in hand, ready for the evening performance.
The whole college was assembled, together with parents and friends, to witness this culmination of a year’s work. The orchestra had prepared a wonderful program, and this should be the night of nights for those planning musical careers, as they displayed their talents for the last time in this theatre.
Jackson’s mind was running way beyond pace as he watched this beautiful creature. He knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this was the one person he wanted to spend his life with. As yet he had never revealed his longing to her. How would she respond? How may he approach such exquisite beauty to tell her of his love. Friends they had been over the years, as they studied their music together, but friendship was not enough, any more. The time had come to go past the boundaries of friendship, and declare love. But how? How do you convince so precious a person, that you are able to love her, care for her, watch over her all her days, and further than that, that she should agree to become your very own beloved, for the rest of her life, exclusively.
The conductor appeared, the audience clapped as he took his bows and graciously acknowledged the players around him. Jackson lifted his bow and forcefully drew his eyes away from the beauty so close to him, trying to concentrate on his work. Oh, he could play like an angel if he played for her. That’s what he did, and perhaps that is why the audience stood to their feet clapping rapturously at the end of his solo. He was quite astonished at the effect his playing had on them as he took his bows, over and over in response to the applause.
In the dressing rooms, afterwards, she came to him to praise his performance.
“I never heard anything like it” she gasped. “You were amazing!”
“Was I?” He was tongue-tied. Her own solo had been stupendous.
“Sophia, your flute really took the prize tonight.”
Oh, he felt so clumsy. How to ask the big question. Oh, he must somehow get it out. He had rehearsed it all week, knowing this was his last chance before the end of the year dispersion of students.
She laughed, and her eyes cast down at his praise. Then she raised them to him, so blue and hopeful, they gave him courage.
“Sophia, I wonder, would you – I mean could you possibly – be my partner for the school dance next week?”
Time stood still for at least five seconds before she responded.
“Oh, Jackson, really? Oh, I mean, yes, yes, I’d really love to.”
The pounding, the pounding. Jackson had to collect himself before he could express his delight.
“Thank you, Sophia.”
A hundred visions of red roses raced through his mind as joy flooded his soul. He had rehearsed so many times all he would do for her, how he would prepare his car with all her favourite treats, the gift he would give her as a thank you for her agreement, the notes he might send her, the hundred ways in which he would love her. Could he yet convince her that he might be the one in her life, that he would make every sacrifice for her happiness, that he could not live without her, that she was the most magnificent creature on earth.
At the party after the concert he could not take his eyes from her, jealous of all who paid her their attentions, wanting her by his side. Occasionally she looked for him, and as their eyes connected he was satisfied, only to burn with distrust whenever a competing suitor should approach her. Would she become his? He had seen the birth of a new relationship tonight. But the journey to its maturation stretched out before him. What would it bring? How would he accomplish the thing he so longed for? What triumphs and disasters lay in store? What proof of his love would she require?
Whatever it took, he was ready.
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