Declaration (Chapter 11)

30 03 2009

Even though Bren’s intention was to crawl into bed after Jai roused her from an impromptu nap, Grey’s phone call changed that. 

He missed her. How sweet! He was giddy with excitement and reminded Bren how they had flirted all the night… it felt like they were the only two people in the room most of the time. She’d hoped they weren’t so touchy feely that they had made anyone uncomfortable… but it really was the longest two hours of her life! When the night came to an end it almost felt like they were escaping captivity — she and Grey had literally ran back to the car. 

Grey wanted her to come back out and grab a late night snack… and not each other, he assured her. She hadn’t even gotten undressed but he hadn’t either. He wanted to see her just as she was. Well, since it meant that much to him, she told him to come on by.

He was out the door before she finished and this time, he took the SUV! Bren scribbled a note to Jai to let her know she’d stepped out and not to worry. She laid it on her nightstand and tiptoed out, careful not to wake Jai. But Jai wasn’t sleeping.

As Bren and Grey were getting situated in the truck Bren leaned over and continued her teasing of Grey.

“Dude, you could find yourself in trouble…easily!”

Grey shot back, “Bring it Bren!”

“It’s been quite awhile since I’ve let a man take me to bed, dear, really – I don’t know if you wanna take lightly what you could be in store for.”

Bren could barely keep her composure – she was serious…seriously teasing. She meant every word but it was much easier to hide her truth within a joke – every joke had a little truth in it anyway.

“Boy, let me quit – find some AM gospel station to distract us on our ride home.”

Grey laughed—“I remember when I was little and my granny would drag us to church. The Mothers’ board had their own little section – we called it the old-ladies-with-the-big-hats-section. And we HATED when they would start to sing those old Dr Watts songs….”

They both cracked up, remembering the words of the old call-and-response type of songs!

“Man, those songs could last, easily, 45 minutes – for one verse!” Bren said as she started, “I love the Lord he heard my CRYYYYY.”

Grey responded with a severely drawn out “IIIIII … love the Lord” (deep breath). He heard my CRYYYY!” Grey drew this out for, seemingly 45 seconds!

Bren was outdone so she said, “I’m gone pray for you boy!”

They were passing through the entertainment district when Grey pointed out a Bohemian poetry and spoken word club owned by a client. He suggested they should stop in – have a glass of wine to relax a bit. Bren agreed but was a bit concerned that they were overdressed.

“You are a spectacular vision in white—you’re just right,” he assured her.

Bren quipped, “You’re a poet and certainly don’t know it. Let’s go!”

The club was a nice relaxing atmosphere that she enjoyed – she hadn’t been out in quite a while so this was welcome. She loved to listen to the conscious melodies of spoken word and poetry. Tonight was a mixture of professional and open-mike meaning anyone deeming themselves talented enough (or silly enough) to perform and risk the criticism (or the praise) of a, possibly, moody public.

They had been there for about an hour when Grey whispered in her ear, “This is no sweat – I bet I could do this…easy. Let’s see if you’re my ride-or-die chick. If no one else snaps for me—you’ve got to – you’ve got to have my back, girl.”

And with that he was off, she just missed trying to pull him back. She giggled though.

Grey introduced himself, “I’m Grey and I’m an open-mike virgin and I’m sensitive about my stuff, it’s complex but elementary — so please be gentle.” Smoothly, he went on – “My piece is called My Love is Gangsta… nah, nah, nah – Ode to Gangsta Love. Dedicated to my Gangsta Love,” he looked at Bren – she was so embarrassed AND amused she started to sweat and fan her overheated face and ears.

She wanted to disappear into the crack in the hardwood floor. Grey began, dramatically and with pronounced inflection:

I am your quiet place. You are my wild place,” he interrupted himself and took a moment to get his poetic bearing — he started again.

I am your calm face.  You are my giggle

I am your wait. You are my wiggle

I am your carriage ride. You are my queen

I am your push. You are my swing

I am your audience. You are my clown

I am your London Bridge. You are my falling down

I am your carrot stick. You are my licorice

I am your dandelion. You are my first wish

I am your water wings. You are my deep

I am your open arms. You are my running leap

I am your way home. You are my new path

I am your dry towel. You are my wet bath

I am your dinner. You are my chocolate cake

I am your bed time. You are my wide awake

I am your finish line. You are my race

I am your praying hands. You are my saving grace

I am your favorite book. You are my new line

I am your night light. You are my star shine

I am your lullaby. You are my peek-a-boo

I am your good night kiss. You are my I. Love. You

Grey had made his way over to Bren by this time and she was a hot teary mess! He told the crowd – he’d masterfully worked them by the way.

“And here’s the elementary part.” 

He handed Bren a piece of paper – wide-ruled folded in quarters – it seemed like it took hours to unfold. Bren didn’t know what to expect – she was so embarrassed she hadn’t even looked to see Grey staring intently. The letter held large slopping writing that said:

“Do you like me?”

Below it was boxes for yes* or no.

She almost didn’t notice the little star next to the yes – she scanned the paper and saw the explanation: “*if yes – look up at me.”

Bren looked up at Grey as he dropped down on one knee….

“Brenetta, you are in my soul

You’re in every breath

You are my balance,

You are my light

You are my miracle and my guardian angel

You are everything God knows I need and I know I want.

You bring so much to my world … You are always in my thoughts…. You are the last person I think of before I fall asleep and the first person I think of when I awake and I don’t want to be without you… not one day.”

And then, “Will you marry me?”

As he presented her with a brilliant engagement ring that she immediately recognized as Tiffany’s Lucinda diamond setting! Platinum! Half carat! Perfect fit! Whoa!

She sank into the floor to meet Grey as wild applause and then,

“Congratulations, sister!”

Bren looked up…“Jai!”

Grey pulled himself together and thanked everyone for being apart of one of the most important days of his life… He admitted to not being quite the unpolished novice he’d indicated. The poem he’d recited was entitled “You are my”… by Maryann K. Cusimano. 

“Bren, the poem had to be written for you — because you are…”

She was speechless!

Words were unnecessary as tears poured down Bren’s face, she was in love and this man, her man, had just declared it to the world. Still kneeling on the floor she framed his face with her hands and pulled him close for a breathless kiss. The room went quiet, as no one wanted to break the tenderness of the moment. Grey broke the kiss raising them both to their feet. Bren held on for dear life as her knees were a bit wobbly and not from kneeling on the floor.

As they made themselves comfortable in their seats, the manager showed up with a bottle of champagne, which was promptly opened. Jai beamed at the two of them, taking pictures with her digital camera.

“Me thinks somebody has some explaining to do,” Bren surmised. “How could you do this to me Jai?”

“Who was I to standest in the path of your truest love. Me thinks though wouldest forgive me for my small, insignificant path in helping two lost hearts be reunited,” her sister teased.

Staring at the ring on her finger, Bren knew all was forgiven.

Grey smiled at the women’s teasing and sent up a prayer of gratitude for the day Bren had left her journal on the train. He’d always found his greatest blessings and miracles coming when he was just being himself and willing to help others. This was one of those times.




One response

31 03 2009

This is my favorite chapter… I think. 🙂

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