It was warm in an autumn way. He treated her to lunch. Carrying take-out bags, they found a quiet spot where golden red leaves, the color of her hair, decorated the ground. They bit into egg salad sandwiches and broke a peanut butter cookie, sharing the pieces. He swept the shoulder of her blouse, sending dried leaves into a spiral. She thanked him, a hint of embarrassment in her voice. He wrapped his jacket around her. She filled the awkward silence, busy fingers turning a napkin into an origami bird while he nodded, both waiting for the other to start.
They approached each other on a slippery concrete walk. Their eyes met. Though she was usually unflappable, she missed a step. He was sometimes oblivious, but noticed, reaching for her elbow, sliding his hand to the meat of her tricep, steadying her wobbling frame. She blushed, a warm pink starting low and blooming high. In that moment of contact, it seemed to her that he would never let her down. Even as her legs splayed and her arms stood akimbo in the earthquake of feminism that cracked glass ceilings and rocked couples to a new generation’s music, she trusted him.
“What if I said yes?” Kat propped herself on the breakfast counter.
Grant slipped a spatula under the edge of her omelet and flipped. “To onions? Too late.”
“No, to marriage.” She pushed dark bedhead curls from her furrowed brow.
“Oh, that. Co-ordinate benefits. Joint checking. Widow’s pension if you get lucky and I don’t.” He stopped in mid lift. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“The couple in Paris. That stupid game. I know you now.”
A burnt smell. “Don’t distract me.” Grant slid the eggs to a cherry red plate. He pivoted. “Then, kiss me, Kate.”