Lance struck the match and a flame burst from the red tip.
He held it over the wicks of the blue tapers until the living room was bathed in a romantic, dreamy glow of light. Pleased with the aesthetic and completely lost in the anticipation of Kate’s smile twinkling like the lights of the Christmas tree in the corner, he almost didn’t hear his phone ring.
Clumsily juggling the hot match while trying to swipe the call to life, he dropped the small red velvet box he’d been holding and it popped open.
“Hey Char.” He said as the cushion cut stone sparkled like the diamond it was, winking at him from the coffee table.
“Almost ready?” Charlotte whispered.
“Yep.” Lance smiled, “do you think she knows?”
“Nope. She thinks you’re going to a movie.” Charlotte laughed. “You know what’s sad? She really wants to see Lincoln.”
He laughed with her. “Well I hope this doesn’t disappoint.”
Charlotte got quiet, “You know the day you married Beth was one of the saddest of her life. She counted the minutes until Midnight just to get through it. I hate to say it but I think she’s been holding her breath ever since waiting for you.”
“Well I’m hoping this ring takes her breath away.”
“You know if you hurt her again, I’m going to hurt you?”
Lance snorted, “You scare me a little Charlotte.”
“Good.” She answered.
It was Lance’s turn to get quiet, “Char, It’s been almost 20 years, but I love her. I swear I’ve been holding my own breath waiting for this moment. I thought I was doing the right thing but I was wrong. I wasted so much time.”
“She never stopped loving you Lance.”
“So you think she’ll say yes?” he asked.
“I think we’ll have to scrape her off the ceiling.”
Lance suddenly just wanted Katie in his arms, “Well then Char, please bring me my girl.”