In honour of my home country's birthday taking place this coming Monday, I've written a flash fiction to celebrate the occasion. Enjoy!
“Did he stand me up? I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself for asking him to meet me here.”
The late evening sun was setting behind the crowd who had gathered, and she still hadn’t found him. Sandra paced the sidewalk outside the gates hoping he would show up. It was on a whim she asked the handsome stranger out to see the show tonight. Sandra wouldn’t have asked him to join her tonight in the first place. She wasn’t the type of young woman who would propose a date with someone she met in a coffee shop a few hours earlier, but the seating in the Tim Horton’s on Bank Street was hard to come by. With the holiday, there weren’t many places open to begin with.
This morning, Sandra was sitting at a table enjoying her usual medium double-double when he walked up to her, and asked if the seat across from her was taken. She didn’t notice him at first, his Francophone accent sounded like most of the others from the Gatineau side of the river. However, when she looked up, Sandra was transfixed by the young male who sat across from her. His trimmed black hair and brown eyes pierced into her soul. She would learn of his name, Patrick, and engaged in some friendly banter. The young woman, with flowing blonde hair and emerald green eyes was mesmerized by his charm.
Sandra learned that Patrick was visiting family in Ottawa from the Westmount region of Montréal; one of the rare English-speaking neighbourhoods in the Québec metropolis, and decided to step out for a cup of coffee. Fate would draw him to her, and she wanted to get to know him better. However, Patrick would be returning home the next day, so if Sandra wanted a shot, she had to act quickly. She ran through her mind what the two of them could do for an impromptu date. Then, it came to her. “Meet me at Parliament Hill, so we can watch the fireworks together?” she requested of the Québécois. Patrick seemed hesitant at first, but would do his best to show up.
The front lawn was becoming crowded and Sandra worried her whim was all for not. Suddenly, she heard the dulcet tones of Patrick’s voice. It must have been a relief to see him when she bounded into his arms for a tender embrace. The pair made their way onto the grounds to take in the concert leading up to the big finale. The skies over the Peace Tower lit up in a kaleidoscope of colour. Sandra nuzzled into Patrick’s arm, and prayed the night would never end.
Two people came together on that Canada Day night in the Nation’s Capital; one English, one French; a symbol of the unity our country possesses, and a relationship that has spanned 146 years, and continues to do so to this day. Happy Canada Day to everyone from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia to the Territories.