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Open Features: A D-I-Y Marriage - Part 10

Muriel hears that she will have her own bedroom.

Brian Lockett continues his tale of an unconventional courtship.

To read earlier episodes click on http://www.openwriting.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search=Brian+Lockett

A further episode will appear in tomorrow's Open Writing.

The meal was superb, the soup flavoursome and the right temperature, the lamb tender, the vegetables the right texture and the crumble deliciously sweet without clinging to the palate. Cyril delivered a running commentary throughout the meal on the ingredients, their provenance and treatment with a little bit of history from time to time (“Not many people know about broccoli, Muriel. Let me fill you in … ”) and critical remarks about the grocers and greengrocers in the neighbourhood. “But it’s all in the file I’ve prepared, so you can look at it at your leisure at home and then come back with any questions before, well, you know …”

He was collecting their dishes as he spoke. She laid a restraining hand on his arm and nodded towards his chair.

“That was a lovely meal, Cyril, but I think we ought to have a little chat before you get a bit ahead of yourself. To start with what do you mean by before, well, you know?”

Cyril looked puzzled and embarrassed.

“Well,” he said slowly, “I mean before we formalise our relationship.”

Muriel thrust her head forward towards his face, took both his hands in hers and matched his speed of delivery.

“Are you asking me to marry you, Cyril? A simple yes or no will do. No umm-ing or err-ing, please. Do you want me to be your wife?”

He opened his mouth. She tightened her grip on his hands.

“Yes,” he said.

Muriel relaxed and released him.

“You certainly don’t hang about, do you? But you’re not really into wooing, are you?”

Cyril smiled as he rubbed his hands to restore circulation.

“Wooing,” he repeated with a laugh. “We’re a bit past that sort of thing, don’t you think, at our age?”

“Cyril, I am thirty-eight.”

“Exactly. And you’re a nurse, aren’t you?”

Muriel had the distinct impression that in Cyril’s eyes her age combined with her profession somehow put her above or at least outside carnal needs and desires.
A thought struck her. “You don’t want to sleep with me, do you Cyril? You don’t want us to share a bed.”

“I’ll show you your bedroom when I give you a tour of the rest of the house. It’s got an excellent view. And if you want it redecorated I’ll quite understand. Why not come with me now? After all, you brought the matter up.” He spoke rapidly and seemed relieved that she, rather than he, had broached an aspect of their relationship which had not hitherto been touched on.


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