Stan had been assigned to several overseas tours and was ready to settle down now. He turned down the Army's offer of reenlistment and took a job with the Dept. of Defense which would have him working at the Pentagon in Washington DC where Renae lived and danced as a member of the American Ballet Company. Finally they were going to be together!
Stan knew that Renae hated to draw attention to herself off-stage, and would be totally embarrassed by a showy public proposal, yet he wanted their families to be a part of it and he knew he'd have to come up with something creative to make the night one they would never forget.
On Saturday evening, Renae walked into the elegant Sichuan Pavilion on Stan's arm, expecting an intimate dinner together. She was amazed and delighted when they were escorted to a private dining room and she entered to find more than a dozen members of both their families waiting for them. Renae's eyes began to sparkle, suspecting that something wonderful was about to happen, yet if anyone knew what the plan was, no one was offering any clues.
Everyone enjoyed the lavish meal which included platter after platter heaped with the signature offerings of the head chef; Stan had spared no expense. When they could hold no more food without bursting, and feared that drinking any more sake would render them unable to walk, their waiter reappeared with tiny woven baskets, each containing a fortune cookie, and carefully placed one in front of each guest.
As Stan had pre-arranged, each guest in turn opened up their cookie and read their fortune aloud, beginning with the person seated on his right. Everyone laughed at their humorous and often somewhat vague fortunes, until finally it was Renae's turn. All eyes were on her as she broke open her cookie to reveal not only the usual tiny slip of paper, but a narrow gold band sparkling with with a large brilliant diamond surrounded by a ring of smaller ones. Renae read her her fortune which said, "I will love you always and forever, will you marry me?" Stan noted that Renae's eyes were shining more brightly than the diamonds.
In the excitement that followed, with Renae of course accepting Stan's proposal, and everyone applauding wildly and then offering congratulations, Stan's fortune cookie remaining unopened and was completely forgotten. An hour or so later, as the party broke up, Stan noticed the cookie and tossed into the pocket of his suit jacket, thinking he would save it as a keepsake of this most perfect night.
Arriving back at his apartment, he reached into his jacket pockets to empty them on the dresser. Retrieving the cookie, he saw that the corner had been broken in transit, leaving the slip of paper bearing his fortune visible. Curious now to see what wonderful proclamation might seal the joy he was feeling from the events of night, he carefully slid out the piece of paper, unfolded it and began to read. Stunned, the paper fell from his shaking hands, but too late - the words had already seared themselves into his mind... "You will soon experience a great tragedy in which you will lose the one you love most of all."
I'm linking up with Sunday Scribblings
where today the writing prompt is "creative".