Chocolate Dreams

by JD Evans


Suddenly there was this ticking sound. On and on it went … in my dream … a wonderful dream of us, surrounded by petals, petals everywhere for as far as the eye could see. Oh no! The ticking is getting louder. Why won’t it stop? Satin sheets so soft. Wait that can’t be… I just went to bed a little while ago. There it is again, that infernal sound ticking away in my dream All I ever wanted was to be close to him, if only for tonight. We could spend some time on the balcony reading to each other from our favorite book, Great Expectations, then… There’s that sound again … tick, tock, RING!!!! Wow. What happened? Now what? Gee I’m awake now. Ohhhh, well. I guess it was too good to be true.

Catherine was always anxious when February came along; she knew it was another chance to say just how much Vincent meant to her. It had been quite a while since they’d spent time together. With the new case down at the DA’s office and the extra depositions to be read and re-written, she’d hardly had a chance to go Below.

Vincent felt a sudden pull, and it was shaking him from his usual muse for writing. He had been updating his journal for new discoveries he had made while improving living conditions, expanding the quarters for the tunnel dwellers. Vincent stopped just long enough to recognize that Catherine had a dream. He thought for a moment, ‘Maybe I should visit Catherine tonight, and I’ll bring our favorite book with me.’

Catherine realized it was time to get cleaned up or she would be late, so she threw the covers over to the edge of the bed and looked across the room to get a sense of the day. She completely forgot to check her calendar book for her list of what-to-do’s; so she rolled out of bed to her feet, grabbed her robe, and at the same time headed to her dressing table. She stood in front of her mirror only for a second, reached for her hairbrush and saw a crumpled piece of paper next to her ledger. It didn’t seem important, so she grabbed her daily calendar, and flipped the pages to that day. Oh! It’s a holiday today. Oh my, it’s Valentine’s Day!

Wow! How could I have forgotten a day like today? I wonder if he knows? He probably does; there’s nothing he doesn’t know. This is a special day; people do all sorts of things for the ones they love on this day of hearts and flowers.

***

Vincent made his way to visit Father to tell him that he would be visiting Catherine that night and not to worry. He entered Fathers library to find him busy studying maps of all the finished work done that day by Kanin, Mouse and Vincent.

“Oh, hello, Vincent. Did you need to tell me something, my son?” Father asked eagerly.

“Hello Father, I just wanted to tell you that I will be going Above tonight to see Catherine. It is a special day. I would like to surprise her, maybe read ….”

“Excuse me Vincent, I do believe, given my years of experience, today marks a time of the heart. When this day would come in my youth, men and women would find the most expressive ways to say “I love you”. I do remember giving a wonderfully wrapped gift to my Margaret. I would try my utmost to get the biggest box of chocolates I could find, just to see her expression while eating a bite. Yes, I do understand your urgency. It is quite alright; just be careful Up-top.

***

Meanwhile, Catherine checked her clock. Wow, there’s still time. I do believe I could find a gift for Vincent. Oh, by the way, what is this? Catherine realized that she hadn’t investigated the piece of crumpled note paper on her dressing table. It read:

A lover’s date, February 14th, 2015
Atop our balcony at 8:00 pm
Please be there.
V

Oh, he’s coming … coming tonight, and I haven’t even …. Okay, girl, get it together. A wonderful man is on his way to see you in a few hours, and you must think. Gift!!! Yes, you must get one … and some wonderful sweets to eat … and some candles and …. Okay, shower, clothes, then shopping.

***

Vincent thought about what his Father said to him about Margaret and their special way of showing their appreciation for each other. He missed the time spent together with Catherine on the balcony on those romantic nights. He thought about the chocolates Father spoke of and immediately headed to see William, for he knew no one knew more about these things than his friend. He entered the kitchen and there stood William.

“Hey! How are you, Vincent? What can I do for you? Are you hungry? Can I get you something to eat?” shouted William happily.

“Hello, William. I … uh … have a favor to ask. Today is a very special day for Catherine and me … and I would like to surprise her with something special.

Oh, my friend, I know. It’s Valentine’s Day, and you need a little help! Well I have just what you ordered. Follow me.” William went over to his cooling table at the far corner of his kitchen, bringing Vincent along. Vincent looked at his friend with trepidation, then he suddenly noticed, laying on the table before him, dozens of chocolates of different sizes and fillings, dressed with impressions of roses on top.

“William, I am amazed! It is more then I even imagined. Catherine will love these. May I?” Vincent asked shyly.

“Take as much as you need Vincent,” William interjected willingly.

***

It was getting close; the ticking clock was chiming seven-thirty.

Oh, boy! I have a half an hour to go and he’ll be here. Okay, I got the candles ready, the food. Now for a quick shower, and I’ll be ready. She walked over to her closet to decide what to wear. Umm…something rather lustrous. I know. My little red dress with the open back should be most appropriate for this evening. The steam was now seeping through the bathroom door, for Catherine adored steam showers. One more minute for my shampoo and I’ll stop. She entered her bedroom wrapped in her towel. Hurry up, Catherine, it’s seven-forty-five now; he’ll be here any moment.

Okay! Ready. Catherine had curls dancing across her shoulders; and in her red dress, she was beautiful. Suddenly there was a rapping on the pane of the door to the balcony. It’s Vincent, light the candles!

Catherine hurried to the kitchen to get her matches; and soon as she could strike one of them, there in front of her in the darkness stood Vincent…donned in his cape, and underneath it he wore black vest, pants, and shoes and his special shirt with ruffles. He stood so close Catherine could feel his heart beating.

He broke the silence by saying, “Catherine, You look very enticing. I thought I would come in … I didn’t see lights …."

Vincent was slightly lost for words, but Catherine put him at ease by saying, “No need to apologize. I was so busy getting ready that I forgot to light the candles.”

“May I assist you in that task, Catherine?” Vincent asked eagerly.

“Yes, you may.” Catherine responded.

The room began to glisten, the light of the candles strewn around the room expanding the light as Vincent lit each one. The shadows gave an alluring feel to the surroundings, bringing a warmth to both Vincent and Catherine.

“I brought our favorite book, Catherine, I thought you might want to read with me this evening,” Vincent suggested invitingly.

“There isn’t anything I would like to do more than to spend tonight reading Great Expectations with you, Vincent.” RING!!!!! “Oh my. The clock! I set the clock to alarm at eight. I’ll turn it off.”

While Catherine went to her room, Vincent prepared his surprise. “Catherine ….”

“Yes, Vinc ….” On her table was an array of assorted chocolates, all sizes and fillings, roses on top of all of them.

Vincent looked straight into Catherine’s eyes; and, with great surprise, Catherine gazed back into Vincent’s. Then she leaned in to embrace him, giving him the most powerful and most unexpected kiss upon his lips that she could ever have dreamt of.

 

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