A Date under the Stars
“When I grow up, I want to be Daren’s wife.”
That was what I wrote in my diary one night after Daren had stolen my lollipop in school. Daren was a rich little kid who enjoyed teasing me when we were in nursery. I remembered crying because of his teases. He was the only one who had left a deep impression in my heart when we left kindergarten. I didn’t expect that my childhood dream would ever come true one day.
We met again recently during my old friend’s wedding. I didn’t expect Daren to be on close terms with my friend, Mark. I remembered how we reacted when we had bumped onto one another. Mark was about to introduce me to Daren when suddenly we caught each other’s eyes and shriek each other’s name at the same time. I was so glad that he recognised me immediately. Mark raised his eyebrows so high when he found we actually knew each other. Mark left and we fell into talking immediately and exchanged numbers.
One night I was out with my girlfriends when Daren called me up asking me if we could meet up. I told him I was so sorry and I felt a little sad because he sounded a little disappointed because I turned down his first invitation. He asked where I was and I told him I was in the Ministry of Sound with my friends, and to my surprise, barely half an hour later, Daren turned up with a group of friends! Daren was standing shyly at a corner with a bouquet of flowers. My girlfriends saw him and began giggling and teasing me. Daren turned purple but with encouragement from his friends who kept pushing him forwards, Daren came up to me and held out the bouquet to me with trembling hands. I felt my cheeks burn as my girlfriends giggled and squealed telling me to accept the bouquet. I accepted them and stammered thank you to him. But before I could look up and meet his eyes, Daren had sped back towards his friends. I couldn’t help but giggled at his reaction. He caught my eyes and gestured at the bouquet mimed his hands like opening a book. Perplexed, I look down at the card on my bouquet. Daren had scrawled the words:
“The last few nights, my heart has been filled by images of you. Will you be my girlfriend?”
That night had been so memorable. For the first time, we became lovers, open with each other. I can’t remember being so happy in my entire life being with Daren. I mean, I spend my childhood days in tears because of my stolen lollipops. I still can’t believe that it was actually happening to me. It had always been a childhood dream to be romantically involved with him but I never expected it to become a reality. One month passed; then two, Daren turned up right outside my apartment with a box of colourful lollipops. I beamed reminiscently when I accepted the lollipops. Those times Daren used to steal my lollipops were so long ago and they brought a smile on my face.
One evening on my birthday, Daren had invited me to have dinner with him at a posh hotel restaurant. I was so excited and so nervous that I had dressed particularly carefully for the event. I wanted to impress him. When I arrived, Daren looked at me, awed.
“You looked… wow… I can’t describe it,” Daren whispered, his eyes blinking rapidly as I approached him. I blushed at his compliment.
“You looked good too,” I told him shyly. He grinned and offered his arm.
“Shall we go then?” he said.
After a nice romantic dinner, the music started to play.
“Closing my eyes lightly
My heart is filled with the image of you
I wish you can sense my true love…”
Daren got up from his seat and offered his hand.
“Will you allow me this dance, miss?” he said, grinning.
I turned pink and it took me a while to finally nod and followed him to the dance floor.
As we started moving to the music, I looked at him, amused. I remembered the loathe look he used to wear on his young boyish face when the teacher asked the class to do the chicken dance during playtime. “You always said you hate to dance.”
“I don’t hate dancing. It’s only the chicken dance that I hate,” he said, crossly. “Anyway I don’t hate it when it comes to you,” he added grinning sexily down at me.
“You're the moon and I’m the stars
Accompanying you to speak your heart out
Witnessing the arrival of our love…”
I smiled faintly at these words. “That’s so sweet,” I said. “I don’t hate dancing too when it comes to you.” I added winking at him, as I gently moved his hands to rest them on my waist and moved closer to him, my arms laced around his neck.
“Out of the crowd... I'm certain you're the one for me
Those eyes shining with happiness
The moon represents my heart…”
“Do you know what? Maybe we should join dance classes too,” he added thoughtfully, “Just you and me, how about it?”
The thought of spending a day in a dance class with him sounds wonderful. “That would be lovely,” I said sweetly.
As we followed the slow rhythm of the song, I rested my head on his chest, closing my eyes. I felt I was in heaven right now, and couldn't imagine feeling happier. This had been a dream come true for me. I had never expected I might stand here, dancing with him one day.
“In my heart
You are the one I love the most
I'll put on some wings and fly towards you
The footprints of love.... is carved in so strong
This is our ‘date so sweet’…”
I shifted a little, and he looked down and I found myself looking up into his brown eyes. Our gazes locked, and nothing else existed. Slowly, he leaned down, and met my lips in a chaste kiss.
We weren't even aware of having an audience until we heard the roaring applause from around us. Embarrassed, we shyly smiled at the crowd, and quickly made our way out of the room, and went to the nearby beach, for a walk under the stars. I had decided removed my high heels, to make my walk easier, and held them in my other hand. As they strolled on the soft sand, Daren had removed his shoes too, and with his free hand he grasped mine, entwining our fingers.
When we became a bit tired of walking we found a rock, and Daren sat near it, leaning his back there, and making some space for me to sit between his legs and lean on him.
“Sorry about that,” he finally said.
“It’s not your fault,” I said, the blush was still lingering my cheeks as I thought back to what had happened. “I wanted to kiss you too.”
A few moments of silence passed, but it was not an uncomfortable or awkward one though. Daren was running his fingers through my curls. I looked up at the starry night sky and sighed contently.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” I said softly.
I felt Daren looked up to the sky and nodded. “Yes, but there’s not much stars in Singapore.”
“That's true. But still, it is pretty romantic, don't you think?” I said.
“Yeah, it is” he agreed and hugging me closed to him, “Do you know what? I feel I could stay here with you looking at them forever.”
“Aw, Daren, that's really a sweet thing to say” I cooed. I heard him chuckled behind me. After a while, we remained in our positions, enjoying the breeze and the soothing sound of the sea waves crashing on the shore then I noticed that his mind was momentarily elsewhere.
“Daren, are you okay?” I asked, concerned, turning to look at him, meeting his eyes.
He smiled and released me. To my surprise he got up but told me to remain seated, and went on one knee in front of me. I found myself blushing under the moonlight.
“Zooni, will you marry me?” he asked, taking a small box out of his pocket and opening it for me to see the simple, and yet beautiful, diamond ring inside.
I was speechless. I had no idea that Daren had wanted to propose, and I briefly wondered if at 23 I was ready to settle down. Being with him had definitely been a dream come true for me. We had only dated for six months. But I also knew that I loved Daren very much like I could never loved anyone else, and if I wanted to marry, it would be no one else but him.
So I answered yes and as I watched he slipped the ring into my finger, I felt as if I had the whole world in my hands. He beamed and smiled at me.
“I love you,” he whispered after a tender kiss. “You make me happier than the sight of lollipops.”
I giggled. “I love you too, Daren,” I said, snuggling into his embrace. As time passed by, I never thought that I would end up with Daren the boy who had made me cry and had stolen my lollipops during my childhood days.
Lyrics translated from a song called ‘A date so sweet’ by 183 Club.