Her heart throbbed with excitement as the gentle hands which had been covering her eyes slowly moved away.
“You can open your eyes now.” A gentle voice whispered into her ear.
Bright, blinding lights replaced the darkness as she opened her eyes.
“Sam!!” she cried out in astonishment. “This is…”
“Surprise! This is especially for you, for tonight.” The person who had been standing behind her since they entered, moved next to her. He held up her hand and put it in his arms.
“This way.” He smiled and guided her through the room.
She had never seen a place like that. The room was almost empty except for a table and a vase on it at one corner. The chandelier hanging on the ceiling above shone brightly across the room, providing enough light so that no shadow could be seen. The crystals dangling from the chandelier reflected the light to every nook and corner of the room. The windows were tall and gave off a classic atmosphere with the carvings on the windowsills.
They made their way across the room into another smaller room. Sam pushed open the glass door and gestured to her to enter.
“Ladies first,” he said, with the same mesmerizing smile he had been given her since they first met. The exact same smile which attracted her to him at the very beginning of their fateful meeting.
She turned her head towards him. The whole room had wowed her so much that it was only then that she noticed the outfit of the person beside her. He was wearing a tuxedo; his hair neatly combed. An entirely different look compared to his usual image.
She frowned, opened her mouth, but closed it again, as she decided that it would be better to ask later. Still with her hand in his arm, she stepped forward.
In the smaller room, there were only a table in the centre of the room and a grand piano not far away from it.
She did not have a chance to ask about the décor as Sam pulled out a chair for her to sit in. She obliged, still with a frown forming between her brows. There were too many questions popping up inside her head.
“You are being weird today,” she said, after Sam took his seat across her.
“Yes, of course, you are! You are so… sweet today, so… gentlemanly.” She gave him a puzzled look.
“Well, I thought I should give you surprises once in a while. So that you wouldn’t forget me.”
“Why would I forget…” She was stopped in her words as Sam motioned her to start the dinner.
The full course meal was delightful. But she couldn’t help asking questions during the dinner, to which Sam replied “Let’s concentrate on eating first. I want this to be the most perfect date.”
After eating, Sam stood up and walked up the steps to the small stage where the piano was placed on. She simply followed his movements with a puzzled look.
“This is a piece dedicated just for you. To Clarice,” He said before placing his fingers on the keys. He had always been good at music and his best was the piano. There were an awful lot of times when she would request him to write a piece for her. “Why should I?” he would cheekily reply.
Her eyes widened as Sam looked at her and smiled before starting his performance. The notes echoed in the room as his fingers danced across the piano keys. She could feel the emotion in the song. The song was sweet, or was it the way Sam played that made it seem like a sweet piece? She could not help feeling a tinge of sadness throughout the whole performance.
It was starting to rain as they once again stood at where they had come in.
“Well, what do you think?” Sam asked.
“Not bad,” Clarice chuckled. “But I don’t really like the appetizer, but I love the dessert and that song. I’d never thought that you’d write a song just for me.”
“You’ve asked for it so many times, I thought I might as well fulfill your wish tonight.” Sam blinked as a cheeky grin formed on his face.
How could she retort that answer of his after he made that expression? Her face reddened as she puffed her cheeks out of annoyance. “Why tonight then?” she asked.
“Well, it’s just one of the surprises I’ve arranged for tonight,” Sam exclaimed with a wide grin.
“One of the surprises? There’s more?” Clarice’s eyes widened.
Sam lifted his eyebrows and nodded. “Girls love surprises, right?”
“But you’re not the kind of person that likes to give surprises. You are being weird today. You’re not like the usual Sam. What’s got into you?”
“I’m not the usual Sam? So how’s the usual Sam like?” He smiled cheekily.
“The usual Sam would say ‘there’s no way I’m going to wear that tux, unless you let me wear a pair of jeans to go with it’. Or ‘why is there the need to be so formal? Relax”.” Clarice’s expression changed accordingly as she imitated Sam.
Sam laughed. “I am not like that,” he retorted.
“Yes, you are. And you…”
A gentle tap on her head stopped Clarice from continuing her sentence.
“I’m glad that you remember everything about me, Clare,” said Sam, his gentle eyes focusing on her.
It was almost as if she was hypnotized by his gaze. She could not look away. He had never looked at her with such tenderness before. For a moment, Clarice thought she saw tears forming around those charming blue orbs.
Was that sadness that she felt while looking at him? Was he hiding something? What happened tonight was so peculiar that a weird feeling suddenly welled up inside her.
What exactly is wrong with you, Sam?
“Remember, Clare.” His face leaned closer, causing her heart to beat faster as her cheeks turned redder. All the thinking process in her mind came to a sudden halt. “I love you.” Then he gently kissed her forehead.
“I’ve always known that you like me doing that.” He smiled as he pulled his face away. She opened her eyes which she had closed reflexively.
Then, in an instant, she leaned closer and placed a kiss on his cheek, to which Sam reacted with a shocked expression.
“I am quite good at giving surprises too.” Clarice chuckled after saying these words with much pride on her face. She decided not to ask anything, for it was Sam that she was facing. The Samuel who would say everything blatantly, who thought that the only way to solve a problem was by talking over it. He would clearly state his mind if he needed to tell her something.
A wide grin formed on Sam’s face. “I still have one last surprise in store for you,” he said as the wide grin turned into a gentle smile. “Thank you so much, Clare. For everything,” he continued as he stepped away from her.
“Good bye, Clare. I love you.”
Clarice was startled by the vibration of her phone.
“Why now?” She groaned as her hand reached out to the device placed on the small table beside her bed.
A frown formed on her forehead as she noticed the name on the screen. It was a message from Stacy, Sam’s sister.
“Clare, Sam’s at the hospital. He’s met with an accident. Critical condition. Come!Now!”
Clarice’s heartbeat stopped for a second. Then she thought of the dream she had just had.
I still have one last surprise in store for you. Sam’s words echoed in her head.
“No…” Her phone dropped to the floor.