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Monday, May 25, 2015


          Little Penn toddled into the kitchen as Maggie was finishing up the morning dishes.  He tugged on her skirt. She bent down and picked him up. Anne Roberts was on the phone in the living room. Maggie brought him in and dumped out a simple puzzle on the floor. Concentrating was hard when all she could think of was the way she had destroyed any chance of marrying John with her confession that morning.
          As soon as the Missus was off the phone, Maggie cleared her throat, her pulse beat in her ear.
          “I thought John’d be back by now?”
          “He asked for some personal time. I don’t expect him back until after dinner.”
           Sadness clouded Maggie’s heart and tears stung. Penn looked up and handed her a piece of the puzzle. She cupped his chin, smiled and placed it in the wooden frame.
          “He’s getting awfully good at that, isn’t he?” remarked Anne.
          “He’ll be ready for preschool before they’re ready for him.”
          The women laughed. “He’s a bit of a wild boy, though,” Anne admitted.
          “Not wild, exactly. Just curious, and a bit lively, I’d say.”
          “Right, Maggie. I’ve got to keep a positive attitude.”
          “Certainly is sweet and loving,” Maggie said.
          With the puzzle finished, the boy made his way to his mother and raised his arms. She picked him up and kissed him several times, making him giggle.
           Now I’ll never have one of those.
         Maggie checked her watch every half hour, then every ten minutes. After the dinner dishes, she sat down with a plate, but simply pushed the food around. Within ten minutes, John burst through the archway. Maggie turned a jaundiced eye to him.
“Bout time,” she muttered.
His face was flushed and his eyes bright. A small smile played with his lips.
“Guess you had a great day on the town, eh?”  She asked.
“Might say.”
“Goodnight,” she said, pushing to her feet.
John grabbed her arm. “Not so fast, young lady.”
She cocked an eyebrow at him.
“Sit down. I believe our conversation from this morning wasn’t finished.”
“It was as far as I’m concerned.” She attempted to rise again, but John’s large hand on her shoulder stopped her.
“Close your eyes.”
“What for?”
“Close ‘em. You won’t regret it.”
She did as he told her with a sigh.
“Okay. Open,” John said.
He knelt before her, with a tiny, velvet box in his hand.
“Please marry me, Maggie.”
He flipped open the box. Inside was a ring with a small diamond on it.
“You heard me.”
“Where’d you get this?” She took the ring and looked it over carefully.
“It’s real, if that’s what you’re wondering. Knee’s getting’ sore down here, missy. Well?”
“Already said yes, once, didn’t I?”
John laughed and shook his head. “I’ve got the prettiest girl with the biggest attitude.”
“This where you were today?”
“Yes. And I found a lovely little bed and breakfast in Greenport at the end of Long Island. Made a reservation for this weekend. Mr. Roberts gave us two days off.”
“Oh my God.”
“Off to City Hall tomorrow to sign the papers.”
“Did you tell him?”
“Let him be surprised. Nothing’s going to stand in our way, Maggie. Nothing.”
Her eyes filled. John took the ring and slid it on her finger. Then he kissed her. ­­
“Knew there was a reason I loved you,” she whispered. 


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