Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)
TITLE: A Traveling Critic
By Sara Harricharan
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A guilty blush sprang to my cheeks. “In my pocket.” I had taken them off to text an update to my editor.
He let go. “Nina!”
I obediently retrieved the fluffy cream-colored gloves and jammed my fingers in their respective finger-holes. “There, happy?”
His lips twitched. “Yes.” His fingers twined through mine once more. “Excited?”
I snorted. “My first trip to Canada and it’s strictly business…how could that be exciting?”
“Strictly business?” Jared repeated, eyebrow raised. “I seem to recall several excursions to various coffeehouses, endless questions about backpacking and a spending budget that couldn’t possibly have been-”
“All business.” I interrupted, popping a toffee inside my mouth. “Stwictly bwisness.” I offered a toffee. He took it.
Tugging a few more out of the package I tucked them into his jacket pocket. “So what’s the assignment with this one?” He leaned back to look up at the tower.
I grabbed his arm for balance as we moved forward. “Traveler.” I mumbled. “I write a traveler’s column. I review stuff, remember?” I stood on tip-toe as we entered the elevator and the trip began upwards.
“Ah yes, the traveling critic.” He shook his head in mock sadness. “It scares me to ask what you think of our great country.”
“I think it’s just fine.” I yawned. “and I’ll think much better of it when I’m standing on that glass floor.”
“That’s why we’re here?” Surprise showed plainly across his face. “We’re visiting the CN tower so you can stand on the glass floor?”
“Naturally.” I grinned. “I’m supposed to visit all typical tourist attractions and then write a full-length critical review on everything during my complete Canadian experience.”
A nervous laugh escaped. “on everything?” He steered me out of the elevator.
My jaw dropped. “It’s real.” The words tumbled from my lips. I pulled free from his hand, gaping openly at the clear floor beneath me. “Oh my goodness, it is real!”
“Isn’t that what you wanted?” Jared asked, anxiously. “Maybe we’d better get to the restaurant and you should sit down…you’re looking a little pale.”
His suggestions hovered around my ears, but my brain had lost all original thought. I let him guide me to the restaurant and take a table in the corner. My feet were like rubber, giving out the moment I collapsed into my seat “Nina!” He reached across the table to shake one shoulder. “Are you okay?”
I blinked, forcing myself to answer. “Y-yeah.” I shook my head vigorously. “Yeah. Um, wow?”
“Wow?” He took a moment to process that.
“It’s beautiful.” I finally managed to say. “Simply beautiful.”
He finally relaxed. “Really?”
My head bobbed, tilting sideways. “Didn’t mean to scare you.” My fingers were already fumbling inside the messenger bag I’d insisted on bringing. The tiny laptop took mere minutes to boot up and my fingers were soon flying across the keyboard as words poured out of me.
I hardly realized when the food had arrived until Jared waved a hand in front of the screen. “Food?” He nudged my plate closer.
“Oh right.” I paused to examine the food, delicately tasting the first bites before swallowing the remainder. My fingers graced the keyboard once more. When I did finish, I found that Jared had paid the bill and was patiently waiting for me, hazel eyes dancing merrily.
“All done?” He nodded towards the laptop.
I tried to shrug.
He chuckled. “Then off we go?”
I wrestled the laptop back into my bag, trying to tug the strap straight over my shoulder as I prepared for the rush back into the bustling tourists.
“Nina?” Jared touched my arm. “I have a question for you.”
“Shoot.” I grunted.
There was a sigh and something sparkled in the corner of my eye. “Marry me?”
My mind blanked entirely and I could only stare at the diamond separating our faces. My mouth worked to find a response but I could only notice what gorgeous brown eyes he had.
“I won’t be quitting my job.” I heard myself say.
His smile grew wider. “I was hoping you’d take me along instead.”
“All over the world?” My voice was shaky.
“All over the world.”
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