He ran to the helm and started the engine to head back to the wharf. He began looking through his limited wardrobe for the right thing to wear. After debating in his mind for a few moments, he decided to wear his pinstripe suit, the one he had saved for special occasions. He put on a fresh linen shirt that was medium starched. He adjusted the suspenders on his trousers and put on the gold cufflinks that his uncle gave him before he died. He tied a full Windsor knot in his silk tie and brush shined his shoes. He saw a piece of paper on his desk and started to scribble something down. He thought he would write a little note to the young woman and give it to her at the right moment. It would remove the pressure of thinking on his feet. Satisfied with what he had written, he put the note in his pocket. He grabbed his suit coat and left for town.
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The sailor strutted down the street with confidence.
There was a bounce in his step that was very noticeable
and the people took notice. The women on the streets
would smile and giggle to one another. The sailor
would wave and smile back.
After a quick trim and a shave, the sailor looked in the mirror for one final inspection. Satisfied with his appearance, he exited the barbershop and proceeded to the restaurant. He remembered that there was a florist on the way to the restaurant. He thought he would get a flower for the young woman. A bouquet of flowers was too much, especially for a first date. A dozen roses are beautiful but a single rose can say just as much at the right moment. He rounded the corner and entered the block to where the florist was. Just when he was about to cross the street, he saw something that almost made him fall straight on his face.
The young woman was coming out of the flower shop but someone was with her. It was the young gentleman and they were arm-in-arm. She was wearing a red evening gown with a slit up the side. He was wearing a double-breasted suit with wing-tipped shoes. She was carrying a dozen roses that the gentleman apparently had just bought for her. She was smiling and laughing at something the gentleman had whispered into her ear. She was looking into his eyes when the gentleman turned to her, moved in close and gently kissed her red, supple lips. She swooned with delight. The gentleman took her hand and they continued in the direction of the restaurant.
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The bewildered sailor looked in horror. How could this have happened? He sprinted over to the florist to investigate. He interrogated the shopkeeper about the gentleman. The shopkeeper revealed the identity of the gentleman to the sailor and went on to explain the gentleman's involvement with the young woman. She told the sailor about their families and how they were destined to be a couple. She also said that the gentleman had written a song for the young woman and played it for her from his boat earlier that day.
"They are such a lovely couple. The gentleman said something
about getting engaged tonight. I know the whole town would turn
up for their wedding." the shopkeeper sighed in anticipation.
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