By Chance   5 comments

(Part fact – part fiction.  Mostly just a story)


While walking along a moonlit shore one peaceful evening, a young man chanced to meet an unbelievably beautiful young woman.  The air was filled with the scent of jasmine and the saltiness of the incoming tide.  Small waves softly kissed the beach and retreated, leaving the reflection of the moon shimmering in the wet sand.  Was he taken with her beauty?  No…, he was mystified…, entranced.  This was no ordinary girl.  She was the embodiment of everything he had ever thought of as beautiful, his image of an angel on earth, walking beside him…, talking with him.  For her part, she looked at him, admitting to herself that while he wasn’t the most handsome guy she’d ever seen, there was, in his eyes, the look of a dreamer, one who not only dreamed but would make those dreams come true.  He was rugged, and more mature than most she’d met.  When she met his eyes she knew that she would never be satisfied until she could see those dreams, and maybe be part of them.  Initial conversation was pensive, introductions and mostly small talk – where are you from?  where do you live?  what do you do?  Then he asked a question that broke through that barrier.


“What brought you out here tonight”?

“You did.  I saw you leave the auditorium and decided I wanted to meet you”.

“I’m happy that you did.  I saw you on the stage and I …….”

“…didn’t think I would be approachable”?

“Yeah…, precisely.”

“I’m gonna guess that you’re a shy one, and just so you know, being attractive isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I’d rather with one guy like you than a hundred of those who are just chasing after a pretty girl.  They’re all hat, with not much under it”.


This was the beginning.  In the days, weeks, and joy filled months that followed both were to find a bond that became stronger and deeper with every meeting, conversation, and kiss.  This wasn’t a “love at first sight” affair, more like “I want to explore you – get to know everything about you relationship”.  A foundation was being laid for something much larger and more important than either suspected at the moment.  Sometimes when they were together he would look at her, amazed by her beauty, not just her pretty face or her seductive figure, but by the beauty he saw in her eyes, the windows to her heart and soul.  She looked at him, thinking that she had almost passed this chance…, almost!  For her he was an anchor, a foundation, a rock she could hold onto when things were bad, and that partner she most wanted to share with when all was wonderful.


One thing led to another, and another…, and another.  They worked together, and she was always amazed at how he seemed to know how to do…., everything.  For him, it was such a surprise how she seemed to completely read his thoughts, even to handing him the next right tool to complete a project.  They played together, enjoying fun in the sand and water at the beach, dancing til the early morning hours at the club, and sometimes just walking through the woods and sitting by the stream.  Loved each other would be an understatement…, they completed each other in every way possible.  Friends, amicably, envied the aura of happiness that surrounded them.  They loved, and, in turn, were loved by all around them.

Then one quiet evening, as a culmination of their romance, he stood in front of her father with an aire of serious formality and said:


“Sir, I’m here tonight to ask your permission to marry your wonderful daughter.  If yes is your answer I promise you will never regret it”.

There was a long pause that made his heart pound hard as he waited for a response…

“No was never a consideration, son.  I’ve watched you…, and her together, and I couldn’t be more pleased.  You have my permission…, and both of you have my blessing”.


Well, that was the easy part.  Permission granted.  Now all he had to do was figure out how to make it happen…, this wonderful dream that he’d walked into and pulled her, willingly, with him.  It wouldn’t be easy, but somehow, they’d manage it together.  First things first, though.  He had to ask her, had to get a ring…, and she had to say yes.

Days turned into a week…, a second week.  Why should finding a ring be so difficult?  Well, just any ring would be easy, but this had to be the “right” ring, one that would translate his love for her to her finger.


“What’s the matter, son?   Gettin’ cold feet?  I thought you would have asked her by now”.

“Not cold feet, Pops.  Having trouble finding the right ring…, that I think she deserves and that she’ll like”.

“Well, now…, been there ‘n’ done that when I asked her mother.  Quite a conundrum now, isn’t it?

He opened the wall safe behind the portrait of Marie, his wife, removed a small brown envelope and sat down…, a thoughtful look crossed his wrinkled brow and he was silent for a minute.  Whatever was on his mind was quickly resolved as he looked up and smiled.

“Come on over here, son.  I may have a resolution to your problem, and an answer for myself.  See, I bought this stone to be set in a pendant for her mother, but it all happened so quickly that I never had a chance to …..give it to her.  Now, if you would take this and have a jeweler put it into a setting for you, I’m just sure my daughter would like it, and it would please me to see it on her hand.  What do you think”?

“Pops, that’s just too much…, I couldn’t…”

He placed the stone back in the envelope and sealed it again, putting it firmly in my hand.

“I’m not taking no for an answer.  I’m a hard-headed old S.O.B. and…., and I’d really like for her to have this.  Please, son”.

When I looked up and met his eyes, he was close to tears, and I’d come to love this old rascal.  How could I refuse him.  Stick my pride back in my pocket and get on with it.

“You drive a hard bargain, Pops.  Are you always going to be like this”?

“Damn right”.

“OK then, do you know a jeweller who can help me”?


Pops had sent me to a jeweller who did custom work and, between the two of us, we came up with a design that pleased both me and him.  The stone was a marquise cut, almost a full carat, and the jeweller had recommended a small sapphire baguette on either side of the diamond.  He sketched it for me  and it looked like…., well it was just damned beautiful…., and I could afford the setting and the baguettes.

Two weeks later the jeweller called to advise me that the ring was ready.  I was dazzled.  It was more beautiful than I’d ever dreamed…, the diamond set in white gold with the sapphire accents was stunning.  I immediately took it to show Pops what we had done and he agreed that it was even more than he’d thought possible – beautiful !

Now came the part where the young man grew really aprehensive.  How do you go about asking an angel to share her life with you?  What kind of words do you use to convince her that the love you have is never going to end?  How do you say what your heart can’t even put into words?  That was a real problem.

The night was at hand.  Clothes had been carefully pressed and laid out on his bunk…, gray slacks, blue shirt and tie, navy blue blazer…, the best that an airman’s pay could afford.  The car had been carefully washed and cleaned.  There was nothing more to do but get dressed and be on his way.  The early evening was beautiful…, a few lazy clouds drifting overhead, ready to create a beautiful sunset and a hint of a breeze to make the evening pleasant.  Lost in his thoughts, he almost missed the turn to the farm.

She met him in front of the house, a vision of beauty, wearing a white linen dress, black hair perfectly coiffed and glistening in the sunlight.  She smiled and her warm blue eyes flashed a welcome as she waited for him to open her door.


      “Good evening, Princess.  You look so glamorous…, even regal tonight”.

     “Good evening, Prince Charming.  My what an elegantly handsome escort I have this evening”.  Followed by a saucy smile and a giggle.

He’d made reservations at the Edgewater Beach and had pre-ordered their meals, complete with drinks.  After they’d been seated she was curious why no menus had been offered.

     “Tonight’s a special night and I’ve already ordered for us”.

     ” …and what’s special about tonight?  It’s just Friday…, isn’t it”?

He downplayed the issue. 

“Yeah…, it’s just Friday, but I wanted to go somewhere nice for a change.”


Small talk continued and dinner was served.  She was surprised that he’d known to order everything that she liked, prepared just as she would like it.  After dinner they went down the beach to the Buena Vista Lounge to dance.  He’d taken the trouble to have the player at the piano bar play specially selected music when they arrived and while they danced.  To her, everything seemed so perfect…, so magical tonight…, as though she was living in a dream.


     “Alright, y’all have to tell me.  What’s going on tonight?  I can’t believe it.  You set everything up this way, didn’t you?   Everything is just happening so wonderfully, like in a dream. “

     “Patience, darlin’ girl.  I just wanted us to have a really nice evening tonight”.


After a while he led her across the veranda and down to the beach where they watched the setting sun paint the sky in purples, golds, and oranges.  He led her out on one of the fishing piers, one special to both of them as it was where they’d sat and talked on the first night they met.

“Remember this”?  

“I’ll never forget it…, how could I?  This is where I decided I wanted to fall in love with you”.  

They sat on the bench at the end of the pier and were quiet for a while as they watched the last light from the sun as it dropped below the horizon.  As twilight gave way to night and the silvery full moon shimmered across the water the young man stood and turned to face the beautiful girl he loved, dropped to his knees and took her hands.  Now she began to realize what was so special about this night.


     “My sweet southern belle, I will never love any other the way I love you.  I want our love to go on forever, darlin’.  Will you be my wife, and share your life with me”?


     “Yankee farm boy…, yes…, I want to share my life with you and be your wife…, just forever and ever.  I love you so very much”.


There was a wedding, a celebration the likes of which that little southern town had never seen and happiness surrounded them and followed them like a shadow wherever they went.  Their love and generosity was legend in the area for years to come.  The north had, once again invaded the south, and had this time won love…, not war.


5 responses to “By Chance

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  1. This was such a refreshing, sweet story to read on a cloudy afternoon. Nice work, Paul!


  2. I read every word! Beautiful. I want more!

  3. So romantic Paul ~ beautifully written … I liked your divisions and color switches too – added interest and momentum. Just heartwarming 🙂 x RL

  4. Beautiful and very touching.

  5. I want that. Exactly that…

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