Room #1

August 8, 2014

Paper Parasols line the lives of the two HOTEL guests. Leading the way to A Grand Love Story.

“What’s in the box?”

I could tell Cat was trying not to sound too eager, to play it cool. But this was new territory. No man had ever treated her this way. 

A small box sat between us on the restaurant table. It was the size of a small kleenex box but only about an inch tall. 

I smiled, “What box?”

She returned a smile, secretly hoping I would say that. 

It was our first date. August 8, 2014, a Friday night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

We sat across from each other in a booth at Leonardo’s Pizza. The coolest place in Cedar Rapids, it had a 50s Las Vegas Rat Pack casino bowling alley vibe. The walls are covered in quilted black vinyl. The seating is blood-red vinyl. Every booth has a coin-operated jukebox. 

“Cat,” I said, spinning the box on the table between us…

Accidentally bumping my feat into hers in the 60s-size booth…

“What’s one of the greatest things that ever happened to you,” I asked.

Trying to sound like I wasn’t terrified to be sitting across from this creature…

Bass thundered in my chest as I tried to keep my cool. 

I tried to keep my cool as she answered, smiling behind those eyes that held the entire universe. 

Those eyes were gray and white and green and mesmerizing all at once.

She told me about the greatest thing that ever happened to her.

I could see it happening.