When in Rome...
On November eleventh...
I couldn't breathe.
For two days we'd known about what was imminently to take place, and for two days we had been unable to dwell on anything else. Finally, it was time.
They had been out all day, celebrating three years of dating while meandering through the ancient streets of Rome. While they were gone we had done everything he has asked, and our minds were focused on what was to occur when they returned at half past nine.
The violinist who always plays at our bus stop came early; he arrived at 8:30 pm and since then we'd all stood outside waiting. Watching. Shivering. Giggling. Hearts a flutter.
Rose petals, both red and white, trailed the length of the driveway, from the gate to the portico where the violinist readily stood. Tea candles flickered in the evening air; warm lights lined the path of petals so there was no mistaking where the two should walk once they arrived. We stood on the steps outside the portico, holding candles in our hands...waiting. Hearts in our throats. Tears in our eyes. My lungs felt tight and I was afraid to breathe.
The gate opened.
Noone moved as the soft strains of the violin echoed of the shadows in the night air, floating down the driveway to where the couple stood.
She didn't know what to think.
She asked him what was going on.
We said nothing.
He said nothing.
And as she clung to his arm, they walked up the path of candle light and when they stopped under the archway, we silently closed in around them.
The musician continued to play.
He lowered himself to one knee and took her hand.
"Will you marry me?"
No one doubted that she would say yes. And when she had, we broke our pledge of silence and sent up a cheer as he asked her to dance with him beneath the Italian starlit night.
I suppose one can only smile happily and say, "When in Rome..."