It was her twenty first birthday, a surprise was a hot air balloon ride and a ring.
|Jewel Sims was in her gynecologist's office when she first met Wes Moore. He was sitting by himself, looking very uncomfortable, among mostly pregnant women. Jewel noted how good looking he was with unruly blond hair and striking amber eyes.
A golden haired toddler came up to him and offered her worn doll.
"What's her name?" he asked.
"I like that name. She's pretty."
The child grabbed her doll and ran back to her mother. He laughed. It was a marvelous laugh. Jewel knew there was something special about him.
The receptionist said, "Dr. Evatt has a few minutes free. Will you follow me, Mr. Moore?"
That's when Jewel saw the black case and knew he was probably a pharmaceutical representative.
She was still sitting there when he came back out.
"Ms. Sims," the nurse called.
As she got up, their eyes met. She felt sparks. Wes wanted to say something to this lovely redhead but didn't know what.
So she went in one door and he went out the other.
Jewel noticed his case sitting by the counter inside. She picked it up, asking the nurse to wait a minute.
He was standing in the waiting room looking confused.
"Did you lose something?"
"Oh, thanks so much."
As the case exchanged hands, she said, "I'm not married or pregnant."
She felt her cheeks on fire and every freckle glowed.
He smiled and Jewel felt like the sun had just made an appearance.
"I was just trying to think of something to say. Thanks. You know, there's life saving stuff in this case and my job."
They laughed at the same time and then exchanged business cards.
He called that very afternoon.
Three months and many dates later, Wes was picking Jewel up after school. She was gathering her lesson plans and the children's work for the day when every thing slipped out of her arms onto the floor. It created a rainbow of bright colors and she would have laughed if she wasn't so tired. You wouldn't think twenty-two five year olds would be so challenging. But Jewel wouldn't trade her profession for anything else. Most days she felt like she was being paid to play.
Wes had just come to the open classroom door. She hadn't seen him yet. She was wearing a short skirt and there was no way to do this gracefully. He watched her move, squatting down to pick the papers up. He bent down to help. He was thinking about how her long legs would wrap around him perfectly. He loved to watch her walk in high heels toward him.
"Hey, babe, you are sensational, but I don't want anyone else to know that," he beamed.
"You have a dirty mind, sir, and are very possessive," she laughed.
Jewel thought about how lucky she was that this wonderful guy loved her.
This was a special birthday, the big twenty-one. She had asked for a ride in the sky and a multicolored hot air balloon was her ticket to fly.
When she found out that her dream was coming true, she had her first graders draw pictures of a hot air balloon. She had found a picture, from a magazine that she enlarged, so they could see people in it floating across the sky.
One little girl, Amber, living with a potentially fatal heart defect, drew angels in the sky over her balloon. Each picture told a story. Children are little sponges that soak up the universe; teaching us how to look at life.
Jewel, Wes and the man at the controls, took a fantasy flight that special day over the city of Vale.
The two named the clouds, like they had as children while they lay in newly mowed grass with its sweet smell.
The sky was a spectacular robin blue from God's paint set. The wind, a gentle giant, blew them with his softest breath.
"Wes, oh honey, do you see that lovely pink colored cloud? It is a sugar coated one like you get at a carnival? Yummy, I can taste it now. It sticks to your lips and melts in your mouth. Can you taste it?"
"What I can taste is you; warm honey drizzling."
He kissed her deeply, "We need a magician cloud. I can wave a wand, make this guy disappear and we can make love in the sky. Imagine that."
"Thank you for this gift. I love you, Wes," her eyes sparkled with delight. He could see the little girl she had been.
It was time. He was ready to make this a day they would always remember.
"Babe, do you see that cloud over there, to your right, doesn't it look like this balloon?"
She nodded, going along with him.
"Do you know what is going on in that cloud balloon? There is a man that loves a woman so much; he cannot live another day without knowing if she feels the same way?"
Wes went down on one knee and opened a Tiffany box.
He was watching her stunning green eyes light up with joy.
There was a perfect Emerald in an antique platinum setting that she had picked out herself on their second date. They had walked by the window display. She said it was the most elegant and exquisite ring she had ever seen. He bought it after a month of dates. It was before they had even made love. He was that sure of his feelings.
Jewel felt the same way. He was her prince. They had so much in common, feeling the same way about values, goals and dreams. Being together was a promise of life long paradise.
She had no doubts.
Her answer was never heard.
The end came so fast, there was no time for pain or tears.
It was an explosion that lit up the sky. The remains of the balloon was a rainbow of flaming colors.
By Kathie Stehr