Gideon sat at the small kitchen table, the late summer sun flooding through the window at his side.
He watched as Maura tied an apron around her waist and dropped a golden lump of butter into a large frying-pan.
She spoke to him while she busied herself at the stove.
“Was the sea rough this morning, Gideon?”
“No, no, though it was choppy. There was a wind blowing but not constant, a capricious wind that blows where it will.”
Maura smiled to herself. She loved to hear him speak; slow and melodic, and unfurling the occasional beautiful word.
She glanced over her shoulder at him sitting at her table. His eyes, crinkled at the corners, were on her, soft and caring. It brought a little flutter to her heart.
“The wind reminded me this morning of a poem, a Japanese haiku,” he said. “Where the wind blows love, Over valley, hill and sea, Bring me to thee, love.”
She could feel the colour in her cheeks, but she could put that down to the heat of the stove.
They ate together. Gideon dabbed at his lips with a paper napkin.
“A lovely meal. Bread and fishes.” He smiled. “Almost Biblical. And to tell you the truth, Maura, in a way I’m hoping today for a miracle.”
He reached across and took her hand. She was still wearing her apron. Her face was probably still flushed from standing over the stove. But she didn’t remove her hand from his.
His eyes were looking steadily into hers.
“You’re a fine woman, Maura Campbell, and I’ve had feelings for you for a long time. Then at that yoga class, in the kindness of your heart you showed some concern for me, and I began to hope.”
“You went to the yoga class just for me?”
“I did, because, Maura, I was in love with you. I am in love with you. I never thought at my time of life I would ever say that, but it’s the truth.”
“Oh, Gideon.” Maura’s free hand went to her throat. She was feeling quite breathless and flushed.
Gideon gently squeezed the hand he held.
“Maura, my dear, would you consider marrying me, being my wife? I promise I will love you, care for you and cherish you all the days of my life. Would you, Maura?”