It appeared to be the most consummate evening to fall in love. The breeze effused the subtle fragrance of lilies, roses and orchids that enticingly decorated the cruise ship which was taking its passengers to the exquisite city of Paris. He was leaning casually against the railing that ran all along the deck when his eyes fell on the most alluring beauty on earth.
She stood at the farthest end, near the bow, gazing at the descending sun with her lotus-shaped eyes. Her sharp nose adorned her face like a strawberry on a perfect cake. Her angelic pink lips seemed soft and delicate rosebuds. In her gorgeous black dress, she was absolutely pulchritudinous.
For him, she was the Aphrodite herself. All he, then, wished for was to be with her; so he gave rest to his racing thoughts, wings to his feet, and within moments he was by her side.
She looked a bit startled at his arrival but quickly regained her composure. He bent a little, kissed her hand chastely, and introduced himself. Her eyes seemed to have known him forever, glad that he finally turned up. But, her form did not betray her emotions and she curtsied, instead, like a stranger.
After a couple of hours of joyous chatter, unmindful of the darkening skies, they were roused out of their dreamy rendezvous by a formally clad young member of the waitstaff.
“The dinner and dance is now open. We’d love it if you join us.” he invited, politely.
It was now a piece of cake for him to ask her to spend more time with him. He was on cloud nine, as he was with his dream girl.
He nodded at the young fellow, smiling as he offered his hand to her and she took it, walking slowly in the pleasant silence punctuated by the mild wind, as the server led the way.
After a merry dinner, she shyly asked him for a dance. He was overwhelmed with the way things were working out. He jumped up at the golden opportunity to hold the Aphrodite close to himself, to feel her warmth on his chest, her breath on his neck and if he got lucky, perhaps even taste her lips.
They swirled effortlessly, oblivious to the surroundings, mesmerized in each other’s company.
“You dance brilliantly!” she told him, her cheeks flushed.
“Not better than you, my Aphrodite.”
“My Aphrodite?” her laughter resounded.
“Yes, for me, you are the Aphrodite.” he told her, gazing into her eyes.
“I am not amazed at Aphrodite, it’s the my that surprised me.” she giggled, unable to hide her pleasure.
She was laughing like never before, her heart brimming with happiness, her face radiant. His hand snaked around her waist, pulling her in, his lips almost on hers. She felt his breath on her lips, her heart beating in sync with his; their eyes locked, lost in their own world.
“I love you.” he whispered softly.
Her face resembled a glowing red rose, her eyes dazzled with her love for him. That shy response was enough for him; he closed in, his head tilted and captured her full lips in his. She kissed back fervently, her hands running slowly through his hair.
She pulled away to catch her breath, her sparkling eyes not leaving his impassioned ones. She watched him as he bent on his right knee, letting go of her hands.
“I want to spend my whole life seeing your face, and fulfilling your every wish. Will you grant me the pleasure of calling you my better half? Will you marry me, Vidhya?” he said, extending his right hand, his stance unpresuming.
Her face broke into a huge smile,
“How many times do you want to marry me, Sarav? It’s our fifth anniversary; we’ve already been married for four years.” she giggled like a lovestruck adolescent girl.
“Every day you make me fall in love with you, all over again. Four times is too small a number. I would marry you for hundred times if I could. Come on, answer me now. Will you marry me?” he persisted, still on his knee.
Vidhya smiled at the innocent way in which Sarav expressed his immense love for her. She believed herself to be the luckiest wife in the universe.
She gently placed her hand in his and he stood up,
“I will.” she breathed into his ear, arms wrapped tight around him.
Love is a smoke made with the fumes of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers’ tears;
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
~ William Shakespeare.