That’s it, she thought, it’s now or never. It’s time. This year was definitely the year!
She could feel the churn in her stomach at the mere mention of the idea. The butterfly of love flitted back and forth within her chest. Or was that heartburn? The mere thought of his name still made her go week at the knees. At her age she should have more sense. But who said anything about love being ageist? ‘Love knows no bounds’ or was that ‘boundaries’. She had read that somewhere once. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have her fair share of suitors and admirers, but somehow, this was different. He was different and he made her feel different too in a special way she hadn’t known with the others. There was something about him, his smile, his presence, his ability to always put her at ease. She particularly enjoyed how he winked at her when no-one was looking. There was still something about that smile of his that made her heart beat faster.
“Morning Rosie. How are you today?” he called out in his soft spoken accent.
Even now, she could feel herself blush a little, merely thinking about whether or not he could have heard her thoughts. The love butterfly was in full flight now, frantically flying up and down, back and forth like a … butterfly possessed. Perhaps that was a warning signal? What if it was saying, ‘No, no, not one of your better ideas?’.
She could, of course, always choose to ignore it; however, where would be the fun in that? Besides what did she have to lose? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
It wasn’t as if she would have the opportunity next year or the next. A year could change a lot, she knew that. She would be another year older. The butterfly of love may have died.
She watched him walk towards her, a tall, dark haired, handsome man in his 20s. Smiling, like he always did.
“Will you marry me?” there, she had said it now.
“What?” he laughed.
“Marry me” she winked and nodded to the calendar behind him.
The young doctor was delighted his patient had survived the operation. She had been in a coma for two days. It was touch and go. Next of kin had been contacted. He had been a little anxious going into theatre. But the decision had been made. She looked so frail even now. But she was back again, at least something of the old Rosie, the light hearted banter with the junior doctors.
“Of course, February 29, I hadn’t realised and my first proposal of the day. Thanks Rosie. Can I give it my full consideration this morning as I complete my ward rounds? It’s not every day I have a proposal of marriage to consider. This decision cannot be taken lightly.”
“Okay ” she smiled and closed her eyes.
He could tell she was exhausted.
If she ever had a grandson, she hoped he would be as caring as this junior doctor. She recalled the patient–doctor relationship of her nursing days, cold and detached. At 87, it was unlikely that she would be around for another Leap Year proposal. She wondered if the young doctor would remember this one.