An Overseas Adventure
They had been planning this trip for years and now it was finally happening. Corina couldn’t stand still as they waited in the long line to board the plane. The information sign read: Munich International Airport. Once again, she ducked her head around the person in front of her to check the length of the line. A childish groan escaped her lips, and her boyfriend chuckled at her, grabbing her by the back if her sweater and pulling her back to her spot in line.
She glared up at him. “Isaiah!”
“Corina!” he responded, his tone matching hers as best as a young man can imitate a young woman. “You need to have patience. We’ve waited this long, you can wait a little bit longer. We’re pretty much there anyway. We just have to board and sit through the flight, but we’re pretty much there.”
In her over dramatic way, Corina flung herself on Isaiah, her hands clutching his arms, nails digging in. “But I don’t wanna wait!”
“Sorry, baby, but I haven’t invented that telelporter you asked for yet. Too busy taking care of my girl,” he said and planted a quick kiss on the top of her head. “Now you’d better get moving, or you might have some angry folks on your hands.” Hands planted on her shoulders, he about faced her towards the front of the line.
“Crap!” she said, grabbing her bag and racing down towards the gate. The line had diminished during their conversation. Amused, I Sarah followed her.
A few days into their European adventure, while still in Germany, I Isaiah cooked up a plan. “Corina,” he said to her one day, “you’ve planned all our days, all our outings. Why don’t you let me take one? Let me plan it.”
Corina hesitated, causing Isaiah to laugh. She rushed towards him and took his hand in hers, pleading. “It’s not that I don’t think you can…”
“It’s that you don’t think I can,” he laughed. “Corina, I know you better than pretty much anyome. I know you want this trip to be perfect, and if you trust me on this, I promise I can make this day as just as good as the ones you plan. Dare I say better?”
Corina shoved him, laughing herself. “No way. There’s no way on earth thatyou, Isaiah Michael Stratford, could outplan me, Corina Siobhan Behrends. I am the master of planning, and if you know me as well as you say youdo, you’d know that.”
“Fine. I’ll admit that’s true. No one could outplan you, but please let me do just one day? I promise I won’t ask to plan another on our trip.”
“How about if I let you do your one day, you never ask to plan another day for anything?” she trased.
Isaiah grabbed her hand and shook it. “Deal.”
The next day, Isaiah refused to tell Corina where their day would take them, much to Corina’s dismay. “It’s a surprise.” But his protests and his refusals only served to heighten her stress levels.
By the time they had reached their final destination for the day, her nerves were shot. One look at her and Isaiah almost turned them both right back around and took them back to their home away from home, but he held his ground, knowing that what he had in store for them would help to lighten her mood.
They stood at the foot of a hill and Corina groaned. Her bag weighed her down and every inch of her being wanted nothing more than to sit down and never get back up. Isaiah took her by the hand and pulled her a few steps up the path. “Isaiah, please no. I’m exhausted.”
Isaiah looked her once over. Indeed, she looked exhausted. Her hair had fallen from the pretty little ponytail she had pulled it into that morning. Her eyes drooped. Her limbs drooped. Even her clothing drooped, damp with sweat from their day’s workout. Without a word, he scooped her into his arms and carried her up the path.
Corina didn’t have time to react to one thing before the next had unfolded. Up the hill, sat an abandoned castle, crumbling but not dangerous. It looked quaint against the almost setting sun, its color faded in the warm light bathing it. Many buildings back home stood tall and more imposing than this structure, giving off a homey vibe.
“It’s habitable too,” he said, snapping Corina back to the reality from her traipsing among the fantastical.
Isaiah set her down, stretching as soon as her feet hit the ground. “Yup. It’s ours for the night. I rented it for us.”
Corina couldn’t move. Or speak. Or do anything at all, or so it felt to her. “Is this why you wanted to plan today? To make sure we got up here?”
Isaiah shrugged. “Part of it.” Bending down, he rummaged in his bag for the keys to the place. He plopped them into the palm of her hand. “Would you like to do the honors, Miss Behrends?” He bowed, a funny looking thing, more awkward than the regal he had intended.
Giggling, Corina took the keys and approached the door.
The inside awed her more than the outside had. Hundreds of glowing candles lit each room as she entered, their warmth and their scent mingling with the cold and the stench of the castle. The furniture, though far from being period appropriate, still had a vintage air to it, looking far from at home in the twenty-first century. A thin layer of dust covered most of the walls and shelving, but she had expected much worse so it came as a pleasant surprise.
“Isaiah, baby, it’s… stunning.”
He took her by the hand and led her into a small room with a small table, set for two, in the center. A lace tablecloth lay over it and fancy place settings sat upon it. A chandelier blazed above them, furthering Corina’s interior fairytale. Isaiah pried her bag from her hands, an easy task with her mind wandering elsewhere in the room. With a gentle, “Sit, I’ll be right back,” he took their bags up to the rooms.
When he returned, Corina had lost herself in hysterics. “Isaiah, you paid for catering too?” The table now bore gifts of glorious foods and beverages. “The little man who brought it in is just the cutest. He doesn’t speak a word of English other than ‘beautiful’ so every time I said anything to him, he would just nod his head and repeat that over and over. ‘Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.’ He made it sound much more expressive than any English speaker I’ve ever heard.”
Isaiah chuckled. “Perhaps I’ll have to confront the guy. If all he can say to my girl is beautiful, we might have a problem on our hands.” The briefest of pauses before… “But you look beautiful, Corina.”
The young couple savored their meal, their friend the cook entering every so often to check on them. It was true, the only English he knew was ‘beautiful’ but never had such a simple word held as much meaning as when it rolled off his lips. A charming fellow indeed.
By the time the two sat back in their chairs, idly sipping at their glasses of wine, neither wished to move. They could have fallen asleep in their chairs and woken up content the next morning, but Isaiah had different ideas.
Taking Corina by the hand, he led her up a shirt flight of stairs onto a balcony overlooking the surrounding area in the twlight. The moon hung in the sky and the only word Corina could use to describe it was ‘beautiful.’ She heard it in the little chef’s voice, each syllable accented and unique and meaningful. The stars spattered across the sky paled in comparison to the beauty of the moon.
Corina said nothing, her exhaustion and awe forcing all words to flee from her lips.
Isaiah’s eyes lingered on Corina. It didn’t matter that her hair fell in her face and she smelled of sweat from a long day. It didn’t matter that her eyes lacked their usual luster due to exhaustion. She still shone bright against the world as the most beautiful woman Isaiah had ever known.
“Corina, do you see how far reaching the stars are? How you can see so many of them but you don’t know how far they reach? How they seem endless?” She responded with a mindless mutter. “If you or anyone were to ask me how much I love you, I’d point at the sky and tell them I will love you for as long as the stars go on.”
By now, Corina had forgotten the luminaries in the sky and focussed on the one before her. Her eyes searched his, feeling every wave of love and affection thrown her way. She took his hand in hers. Something hard and cold brushed against her skin and she looked down.
Isaiah held a simple ring, a single stone, small but shining like it belonged in the night sky. He didn’t have to say anymore. Corina knew. She didn’t have to speak, her actions telling all.
“I guess I’ll be helping to plan another day after all.”
Prompt: Uhhhhhh… I dunno. Guess marriage has been on my mind lately (imagine that! thinking about marriage a lot while taking a class titled Marriage and Family, say what?) and I’m always looking at how beautiful Europe is. So I guess I just combined the two?