A Little Taste of Heaven

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"All I want is to hold you." (3)

The lights had quite blinded me, so I had not noticed who was at the door.

“Mari, dear, you have a visitor,” says mum. “I didn’t know your date’s dashing!”

Confused, my on-fleek eyebrows furrow. I walk forward to see who it is and question, “My date? But I don’t have a date.”

When we step out from the living room area, I gasp as Ryan steps into the foyer, holding a bouquet of pink roses.

He smiles at me, but this time it is different. It is shy but still charming. He takes off his black silk top hat, bowing a little, and holds out his free hand to shake my parents’ hands bidding good evening to them. He is wearing a ’White Tie’ consisting of a black tailcoat jacket with matching trousers, a white waistcoat, shiny, black Italian shoes and a white bow tie. He does look dashing.

“Ryan!” I gasp, and he flashes me a lopsided grin.

I can hear the two giggling on my sides as he walks closer to me. The camera flashes didn’t bother me, and dad captures every reaction and changes in my expression. I, definitely, will see it once the photos are ready and developed. The redness of my blush hardens, for Ryan never left his cool-grey eyes from these emerald eyes of mine.

He holds out the pretty roses to me. His stance is confident yet, his face says differently. With a nervous smile, he says, “I know you told me you don’t like flowers, but Mari, you deserve to be showered with flowers.”

Looking up to him, I am aware of the closeness between us. I get the bouquet and smile at him. “Thank you, Ryan. Even if I tell you that you don’t have to, you will still find a way to make me feel special. Unnecessary, but I gotta say, these are beautiful.”

He chuckles. “You’re always welcome.”

“Okay, kids,” says dad, holding the camera. “Move closer so I can take a picture of you all.”

Ros grabs April away. “No, uncle, we’ve had enough pictures with Mari.”

April catches on. “Yes, Mr G. Mari should pose with Ryan! Aren’t they a cute couple?!”

Mum giggles and wipes a tear. “My first-born, growing up so fast,” and then she clutches her chest and fans her eyes. Dad tries to keep a straight face. But even though he tries to hide his emotion, his eyes glisten, and he sniffs.

I roll my eyes, shaking my head as Ryan chuckles beside me. “Well, Mari? Let’s comply with them.”

He places a hand on my waist and gently pulls me closer to him. We both look at each other, and the camera flashes. I blush and look at the camera, he does the same, and we both smile as dad says, “Say cheese!”

After taking photos and dad saying to bring me back before curfew, the tension between a young man and a father slowly faded away. I handed the flowers to mum so she could put the bouquet in a vase. I convinced dad to let me have fun until midnight, and thankfully, he did. The stars have been twinkling in the cold night sky as April, Ros, Ryan, and I enter the car, and we made our way to the Ball.

“You girls look so beautiful,” says Ryan, and April and Ros look over their shoulders to say thanks. Sitting at the very back next to him, the smell of his lavender perfume seeps under my nose, and Ryan slides his hand to envelop mine. He then plants a kiss on my forehead. Smiling, he looks deep into my eyes and whispers, “But you’re going to be the Belle of the Ball, my dear.”

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