Wanting a little more EJ and Foster? Your wish has been answered.
CAUTION: The following scene contains spoilers.
BACK TO THE START – TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATER
A More Than Water bonus scene from Foster’s POV
There comes a day in every man’s life when the world is shifted on its axis, all because of a woman. It’s the instant they meet “the one.” She speaks her perfect and unique melody and the man knows in the depths of his soul that they will be bound together forever from that moment forward. All from the very first word she speaks.
That was not the case when I met Evelyn.
Sure her eclectic clothing, vibrant hair styling, and creative way of thinking intrigued me, but when she first spoke I wondered if she had a mild case of Tourette syndrome.
That also was not the case.
However, she caught my attention. She was different and unlike anyone I had ever met before. She snuck up on me and drilled her way into my heart with everything that is uniquely her.
In retrospect, it was perfection.
Over the past few years, she and I have had some ups and downs, but nothing to tear us apart. After receiving our undergraduate degrees we were split by geography a few months later. She left for New York to continue her dream as an understudy of an artist and I left for Stanford to work on my MBA. The time apart was hard in some ways, but we made it work by visiting one another when we could.
After the first year apart, Evelyn took on some freelance work and came out to be with me for my final year in California. Having her constantly by my side once again made me realize how much I never wanted to be without her, ever. We’ve always had an undeniable and unidentifiable connection, but in the last year it’s morphed into something so entwined that I’ve forgotten what life feels like without her. It’s been a year to remember.
Only a few weeks ago I wore a cap and gown and crossed the stage to receive my graduate degree. Now, Evelyn and I are right back where we started.
I was unsure whether she would come with me, seeing how California life suited her so, but she assured me that her work could be done anywhere, including the city where my family does most of their business. Working with Blake Laboratories has always been the future I sought for myself. Thankfully, Evelyn has been supportive of my dream, as much as I have been for hers.
The fact that she’s on my arm in this moment, gives me hope that my desire to hold onto her until death do us part is one she wishes for as well.
She’s been given freedom and still flies back to me—time and time again.
I hope she will once more.
We’ve just finished dinner downtown and at the end of the block I lead her to the right—not left toward where the car is parked. There’s somewhere special we have yet to visit since coming back to the start of where we began.
“Are we having a little evening stroll, Fozzie?” Evelyn asks, tucking a loose bright blonde lock behind her ear.
“A stroll? Is this 1933?” I squeeze her hand in mine. “And no, I have a destination in mind.”
“Is that right? Where are we going?”
“Haven’t you ever heard of a surprise?”
“I’m familiar with them. I’ve never strolled to one before though.”
I kiss her cheek mid-step and continue down the sidewalk toward the center of town. At the end of the street, the fountain that is the subject of one of my favorite photographs ever taken by Evelyn—a spouting display of illuminated water against formidable stone—comes into view. During our first visit together at this location she shared with me what life looks like through her eyes, hinted at her truest desires, and allowed me to see a glimpse of her beyond the sarcasm.
“Here we are,” I say, leading us up the brick staircase toward the lit streaming water. “The very place we had our first date.”
She laughs. “You thought my being abandoned for a late night photo shoot was me asking you out?”
“Nobody ever said you know how to do it right.”
“And your dating technique is superior to mine?”
“Absolutely not. It’s well-known that I completely suck in that department.”
“You sure do, but it’s a good thing. We can suck together.”
Approaching the south side of the fountain, droplets of moisture skim our faces. At my side, Evelyn closes her lids, basking in the serenity.
“What do you see?” I ask, enamored by the way her mind translates the every day. We play this game often. “Mermaids?”
“No,” she titters. “Why would you say that?”
“Because the first time we came here you told me about how you wanted to dive into the depths of the sea to live forever. Just like a mermaid.”
“I said that?”
“Yes, and that you wanted to grow fins.”
She smiles. “Your memory is to my detriment sometimes, you know that?”
“Well, not everyone can have as much charm as you. Some of us have to use other strengths,” I tease, wrapping my arm around her lower back and guiding her toward the other side of the structure. At the northern end of the space, the urban landscape takes on a more natural atmosphere with low-lying bushes and strategically planted trees. I direct her toward a grouping of arbors shadowed in darkness. “You know, I would grow fins, too, if you really wanted to live in the sea.”
“Aw, you’re being sweet.” She lays her head at my shoulder. “A little corny, but sweet.”
When we are about twenty feet from the closest tree, twinkle lights come to life all around us. Among the branches, outlined by the soft luminescence and hung one by one, are one thousand paper cranes in pale and deep hues of blue. At the center of all of them float two larger origami birds in a shade of scarlet.
“What is this?” Evelyn questions, stopping in her tracks.
“They look like birds,” I state, coyly.
Tentatively, she proceeds with me at her side toward the arrangement of origami, gently swaying from the soft breeze created by the nearby rush of water. She delicately sweeps the underbellies of the paper birds as I observe her only a few feet away.
“One thousand cranes,” I tell her, as she continues to gape at the small fantasy under the bows. “Did you know Japanese legend states that any person who creates a thousand origami cranes would be granted one wish?”
“I’ve heard that,” Evelyn says, cupping and lifting one of the crimson winged creations. “Do you think that’s why these are here?”
Closing the distance between us, I reach into my pocket, pull out the box that’s been taking up space in my jacket and my mind, and lower to one knee. “I know it is.”
“Fozzie,” she gasps, wetness immediately glossing over her eyes. “What are you doing?”
“I’m making my wish. And I’m hoping that you can help to make it come true. ” Opening the box, I present to her a diamond of color, because she holds too many facets for anything traditional. “I would happily drown in the depths with you, just like you dreamed as a child, but I would much rather see you free. I want you to fly and was hoping you’d be willing to do so with me at your side.” I take her hand in mine. “Evelyn Cunning, you bring me so much life and I want to experience that feeling forever and always. I love you with everything I am, and more.” I search into the hidden recesses of her soul and blood pumps profoundly in my chest. “Would you do me the honor of marrying me and being my wife?”
She exhales shakily in this suspended moment of time where not even my heart can beat again until I hear her reply.
“Yes,” she utters, like testing her ability to speak. “Yes. Forever. I’ll fly with you anywhere.”
I remove the ring from the black velvet box, slip it onto her trembling finger, and then rise to take her into my arms, kissing her softly through the silent tears lining her cheeks.
“I love you, Evelyn. Forever.”
“I love you, too.” Wiping under her eye with the newly bejeweled finger, she asks, “Did you really fold all of these birds?”
I chuckle. “I have the paper cuts to prove it.”