Our First Valentine
“So how did Grandpa propose to you, Grandma?”
I was taken a little by surprise by Dawn’s question, as we sat next to each other. “Well,” I said with a smile, “if you really want to know, it was forty years ago today, and it was Valentine’s night…”
“Then I saw your face, now I’m A Believer…”
I was nineteen years old, and it was the Summer of Love, so as I sat in my bedroom I thought I looked the very epitome of cool. I had a paisley scarf tied over my forehead, holding my long brown hair back, and a long sleeved blouse in the same pattern. The blouse had a wide brown leather belt fastened over it, round my waist, and a long brown peasant skirt over that.
“Dawn – Steve’s on the phone,” my mum called up the stairs, so I went down and took the handset from her, saying “hey Steve.”
“Hey gorgeous – can you meet me at the Town Cross? I’ve got a Valentine’s surprise for you.”
“Sure – let me get my bag. Give me an hour?”
When I got to the cross, Steve was there, standing by his Bug. He had on a suede fringed waistcoat, with a tan blouse and bellbottoms, and gave me a kiss when I came over.
“Hey, get in,” he said as he opened the car door, “I’ll explain once you’re settled.”
I got in the passenger seat, and he got in the other seat – and then turned and said “Do you trust me?”
“Of course I do – why?”
“Close your eyes and put your hands together.”
I looked at him, and then closed my eyes, holding my hands out as I wondered what he was going to do. What I was not expecting was the feel of a ribbon as he tied my wrists together – a red one, as I saw he had secured the ribbon around and between them, and tied the ends off in a bow.
“Steve,” I giggled, “what are you doing?”
“Taking you for a mystery trip,” he said as he slipped my scarf down, covering my eyes and tying it tightly at the back of my head, before he started the car and we moved off. This was before the days of seat belts, so I tried not to move as I wriggled my hands round, and said “this must be a very special surprise Steve.”
“Oh I think it will be,” I heard Steve say as he turned the radio on, and I heard as Engelbert Humperdinck sang “Please Release Me…”
I felt the car stop, and heard the car engine turn off, before there was a door opening and closing, and then the door next to me opened up as well. I felt Steve put his hand on my arm, and heard him say “turn yourself round, and put your feet on the ground.”
I did that, and lowered my head as he helped me to get out of the Bug. A Volkswagen Beetle is a low car, but he made sure I did not hit my head off the roof as I stood up. We then walked along some sort of concrete path, and then as he told me to step up I felt my sandal fall onto a deep carpet.
“Where are we,” I asked as I heard a door close behind me, but Steve just said “Trust me” as we walked along, and then he turned me round.
“Sit down Dawn.”
I nodded as I found myself sitting on a leather seat, and then gasped as he took my ankle to one side, and I felt more ribbon around my bare leg as he secured it to the leg of the chair. He then took my other ankle to the side, and used what I presumed was some more ribbon to secure that in place, before he untied the ribbon round my ankles.
“Just keep trusting me,” he whispered into my ear, and I nodded as he took my wrists to the side of the chair, and tied it to the chair back. I wondered what he was doing, as I heard him walk behind me, and then took my other wrist and secured it to the chair back as well.
“There – comfy?”
“I guess so,” I said as I moved my head round, “but can you take this blindfold off me so that I can seehhmmmmm….”
That last bit was because he kissed me, his soft lips against mine, and I kissed him back for a few minutes. When I felt him remove his lips, I smiled and said “that was nice, so where am I? Can’t I see?
“Not yet,” he said and then I heard a cork popping, and the sound of something been poured into a glass. I felt a straw on my lips, and as I sucked I was surprised to taste champagne.
“Steve – this is expensive. What are you…?”
“Hush,” he said as he put his finger on my lips, and then I tasted a strawberry, opening it as I felt him put it in my mouth, and then biting it off as I slowly chewed. It was a fresh strawberry, and it had the taste of champagne on it as I slowly chewed and swallowed.
“Hmmm – what else have you got planned for me,” I said quietly as I tasted another strawberry on my lips- but this one also had the taste of chocolate, and as I opened my mouth I could taste the melted chocolate on it, as I slowly savoured it.
“Steve,” I said with a giggle as he allowed me another drink of the champagne, “what on earth is all this for?”
“Oh – shouldn’t I treat the girl I love on Valentine’s Day?”
“Well, of course you should, but – oh.”
“OH,” I said as I realised what he was saying, and then felt soft material on my waist as he tied it round me, forcing my back against the high chair back as he tied it off. He then tied another band round my stomach as I said “Steve, I really can’t move now – why are you doing this?”
“It’s all part of the surprise,” I heard him say as he kissed me again, this time putting his arms round my neck as I felt him sit on my lap. I returned the kiss this time, softly, as our lips parted and our tongues sought each other out.
It was a moment of pure ecstasy, as I wriggled round and sighed – so that when we finally parted, I whispered “did you just say you loved me?”
“You know, Dawn, I think I did,” I heard Steve say, and I whispered “I love you too” as we kissed again for a few minutes.
“Open your mouth, Dawn – I promise you, it will not hurt, and I am not going to do anything silly.”
“I trust you,” I said quietly as I opened my mouth, and I felt something soft on my tongue as I closed my lips. I then heard a soft tearing sound, and then something softly tugging on my skin as it was pressed over my mouth. I mumbled “whtssthsfhrrstfff” as I wriggled round, and then I felt him pull the scarf off my eyes as I looked round.
The room was lit be candlelight, and it took my eyes a minute to adjust. It was also sweet smelling – and as my eyes got used to the dim light, I saw the vases filled with roses.
I was sitting in a dining chair, and on the table next to me was the champagne bottle and the flutes with the clear liquid inside, the bowls of strawberries, the melted chocolate…
Looking to my side and down, I saw the red ribbon on my wrists and ankles, and the red sash round my waist and stomach.
And then I looked at Steve as he knelt on one knee, and opened a small box in his hand, the candlelight gleaming on the stone on the ring as he said “Dawn – will you marry me?”
I stared at him, unsure of whether I was hearing him correctly or not – and then I nodded as I said “yssss…” He smiled as he stood up and kissed my taped lips, before he said “wait there – I have steaks to cook, and we can eat together…” I nodded and waited as I heard Petula Clark on the radio…
“That is so romantic,” Dawn said with a sigh as I nodded. “Is that why Granddad did this tonight for our game?”
“Oh yes it is,” Steve said as he came in. His hair is greyer now, but he can still fit into the shirt, the vest, the bellbottoms – and I can still fit into that top and skirt. Dawn was wearing a blue sleeveless mini dress and knee length white go-go boots – and right now she had her ankles and legs tied with red ribbons, and her waist tied to the chair back.
My ankles were tied to the chair legs as well, and the sash round my waist, as Steve pushed our chairs into the table, and served our steaks. “I know it’s your usual night Dawn, but this is our special night as well – so after dinner, I’ll leave you secure and quiet in the front room with a film, while Gran and I go upstairs.”
Dawn nodded as I smiled – this was a very special anniversary of our first true Valentine’s…