Sarah and Jack, continued
By 5:00, with the Festival scheduled to close a 6:00, I hadn't seen Jack yet when Phillipe, the Faire messenger ran up to me and said, "Come quickly. I have an urgent message for you!". I told him I was working and couldn't leave my station, but he said my boss had already ok'd it. I looked at her and she gave me a mysterious nod.
Phillipe led me to a stand of pines on a small rise where there was a gathering of people -- Friar Tuck, Robin Hood, some Merry Men and Maids, and a Scottish Lord and Lady. They all said good day, then just looked at me in a strange sort of way. As I bowed and said "Good morrow", Phil began playing a soft sweet tune on his flute. He turned toward two more maidens who were walking toward us from around the side of the tress. Suddenly the two maidens stepped aside, and there was Jack, dressed like a Musketeer with a feathered hat, long cape, leggings, and suede boots. The look on his face said both, "Here I am!" and "Where am I?" at the same time.
He looked so stunning that everything around him went blurry, just like in the movies, and all I saw was Jack with his beautiful blue eyes shining. He stepped up to me, took my hand, and went down on one knee, then said the most beautiful words I've ever heard. With tears in his eyes and his voice shaking, he said, "I've searched the world over for a queen to share my kingdom, and you, Bernadette, are the woman I've been looking for. Will you marry me and be my Queen?" With that he opened his other hand and held out a white box containing a ring in the shape of a heart with a diamond in the middle.
We had talked about getting married, and I had thought about what I would say when Jack proposed. In the style of Middle English which Faire participants spoke, I would have thought I'd say something very wordy and expressive. But I was so swept away with his proposal, that all I could say was, "Oh, yes, m'lord."
Just then a sigh went out from the folks gathered around, as though they'd been holding their breaths the whole time. We looked around us, and saw many teary eyes. Friar Tuck, a catholic priest by vocation, blessed the ring. Lord Gray gave a blessing with a tiny dried rose which he crushed into our hands. The group gave us hugs, congratulations, and best wishes, then left us standing there, dazed, in each others' arms.
Phillipe told me later that they usually don't do engagements at the Faire because they could backfire for a number of reasons. But when Jack asked him for his help that day, he saw the look in his eyes, and knew this was something special. Two weeks later our friends that I worked with, and now shared much more with, were still telling me that the event was the best they'd had there so far that summer. I still get chills when I think about it, and am thrilled that this summer I'm going to become Jack's wife -- and his queen.