Part VIII: Together
It was their first day after their rather simple wedding.
As Annalise awoke and stretched her arms and then set them down gently, her left arm landed on something soft and fleshy…
She turned around and saw Gale lying beside her on the bed, fast asleep!
At first, she frowned in confusion. A thought crossed her mind:
’Why is he on my bed?!’
She sat up in panic and looked around her. Even the room looked strange…not like hers back home…
Then, as realisation dawned upon her, she face-palmed lightly.
’Of course,’ she thought, ’we got married yesterday…!!’
As that thought settled down from her head to her toes, a shockwave ran in the reverse direction:
’I’m married?! What the…!?’
“A penny for your thoughts!”
That soft, velvety voice was enough to calm down Annalise’s nerves. A smile formed on her lips as she gazed down at Gale.
“Wondering how we ended up here…together?” he asked her with a wink.
Colour tainted her cheeks, but she ignored it. “I admit that’s right,” she replied. “I was thinking on those lines.”
“And now you’re wondering how I always read your mind.”
“Gale!” she cried and began attacking him with her pillow.
He dodged her every blow, before both of them dissolved into laughter.
“Anna, I’ll be down by the reception!” Gale called, standing beside the bathroom that was located across from their bed at the hotel suite.
The tap that had been running noisily inside paused for a bit.
“Okay!” Annalise called back. “I’ll join you in five!”
Gale then walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. He ambled down the corridor towards the staircase and went down the steps. Downstairs, he made his way towards the reception, where there was a newsstand that consisted of daily newspapers and weekly and monthly magazines.
“May I help you, sir?” the woman at the desk asked Gale, as he approached.
“No, thank you,” he replied with a polite smile. “I just came here for the news.”
She nodded and pointed towards the newsstand. “Please help yourself, sir.”
Gale picked up a newspaper and sat down to read.
He had just finished with the front page article, when someone behind him cleared their throat. When he looked around, he gasped.
Annalise stood there in the most ravishing chocolate brown dress with matching slippers and white gloves…which made her more attractive than she already was.
He stood leaning towards her with a pleasant smirk and whispered, “Is this an attempt to torture me, Anna?”
She recoiled in shock, certainly not expecting such a question to be posed to her.
“I…” she began, as she was struggling for words. “I… No… What…do you mean?!”
He chuckled. “Same old innocence,” he whispered musingly. “Some things don’t change and that’s for the better!”
“Gale, what are you talking about?!” she whispered to him in panic.
Seemingly ignoring her question, Gale offered Annalise the crook of his arm. “May I have this honour, ma’am?”
“Of-of course!” she nodded her head and looped her arm in his. “But, Gale, please tell me what I did! I promise to amend things!”
He patted her hand with his free one. “Anna,” he said, comfortingly, “you didn’t do anything. I’m just telling you that you look so good I think people are going to be jealous of me when they see me with you.”
“Oh, I see.”
Gale had the satisfaction of seeing her cheeks flush in embarrassment for the umpteenth time that morning. He just loved teasing her.
Also, she did not seem to mind, as she stated during the days of their engagement; she had told him that she loved when he flirted with her.
“I feel special, wanted,” she had told him.
“I-I see,” she said now. She swallowed. “Well, that is rather overmuch, don’t you think?”
He snorted, trying to suppress his laughter, which would only embarrass her further. “Overmuch? Nah, I don’t think so.”
They had by then walked across the reception desk and entered the dining area. Gale chose a table beside the window, earning a chuckle from his wife.
“Another one, Gale?” she asked him, as she removed her arm from the crook of his. “You do love the views, don’t you?”
He pulled out a chair and she settled down in it.
“Why not!?” he said, as he moved around to sit across from her at the table. “The view from here is beautiful… the mountains, the little lake on the far side there, and children running about and playing… Don’t you think so, too?!”
Annalise nodded her head. “Yes, I do, too.”
The waiter came by just then and handed the newly-wed couple a menu card each. Gale thanked him, who left with a nod of acknowledgement.
“So, what do you want?”
“I don’t know,” replied Annalise, as she skimmed through the various lists. Then, she looked up at him. “What do you think?”
About thirty minutes later, their Breakfast was done with much amicability between the young couple.
“I think we should take a walk to the lake,” Annalise suggested. “What do you think?”
“Well,” replied Gale, “if that’s what my lady wishes, then so be it!”
He walked over to her side as she stood up and offered the crook of his arm again. She accepted it with a giggle. He smiled down at her in response. Then, the two made their way out the hotel and towards where the lake was situated.
The young couple talked about general things as they strolled, such as the recent development in politics, how they missed their individual college lives, and about their respective families.
Silence ensued as they approached the lake. The area was rather empty. They just stood there, arm-in-arm, and drank in the view to their hearts’ content.
It was as if the silence around them – only broken by the shrill chirping of birds nearby – was celebrating the dawn of their life together…
About five minutes of silence later, Gale spoke up:
“I say, Anna, do you want to start a family?”