James & Victoria

The Rest of the Story

Victoria Van Kress
Victoria I was walking down the staircase in my home. I was heading to a charity luncheon that was supposed to start at noon. It was already 12:00, and I knew it would take me at least twenty minutes to get there so I was hurrying. On the bottom step I lost my shoe, just like Cinderella running from the ball. I was so frustrated and all I could think was, “I don’t have time for this.” Suddenly James was standing in front of me, smiling. He said, “Don’t leave behind your glass slipper.” It was just so funny and absurd to me in that moment. And before I even knew what I was going to say I heard myself asking, “Why, won’t you use it to find me later?” He smiled and asked, “Does that make me Prince Charming?” And I blurted out, “Yes.” I couldn’t help it. He was so handsome and he just had the sweetest smile and the kindest eyes. I stood there staring at him for a moment and it was like time slowed down. I forgot that I was going somewhere until he reminded me. I laughed about having to run away because it was twelve. The spell that we were under in that moment wasn’t broken, though. It’s remained to this day.
James I was lost in thought when I saw Victoria step out of her shoe. It struck me as a very Cinderella sort of thing to do. I made some stupid comment that I instantly regretted. To my surprise she smiled. I had seen her before, but I had never seen her smile. It lit her up, and she was a goddess.
Victoria We then found every excuse we could to talk to each other for the next couple of weeks. Finally I asked him to escort me to a charity ball. I thought it fitting given the Cinderella comment. Apparently he wasn’t sure that it was a date.
James We danced all night and I still didn’t know what she was thinking. Then she kissed me and that cleared that up.
Victoria He was so surprised! But he kissed me back and it was magical. The next morning he asked if he could take me out to dinner. There hasn’t been a day since that we haven’t spent part of it together.
James When it came time to propose I was very nervous. I’m a numbers guy, I like to see things add up. And to me, it still didn’t add up that she could feel the same way about me that I did about her. My friend reminded me to love is to risk and that a chance at forever happiness was a risk worth taking.
Victoria I have to admit, I never saw it coming.
James I enlisted the aid of one of her friends. She smuggled the shoe Victoria was wearing that first day out of her closet. And that almost ended up being a disaster.
Victoria James and I were supposed to be going to this midnight theater event. I decided to wear those shoes because they went with my outfit. Only I opened my closet and looked and one of the shoes was missing. I went crazy searching for it and I couldn’t figure out what on earth had happened to it. I remembered that that was the pair of shoes I’d been wearing that day so I really was not okay with the thought that one of them simply vanished. I finally gave up and just put on another pair and left. I was half an hour late to meet him as it turned out.
James I was starting to worry something had gone wrong. I had very carefully timed this proposal.
Victoria I almost called and canceled. I’m so glad I didn’t! When I got to the theater it was two minutes before midnight. He was waiting outside for me and I’ve never seen him look that stressed out. I asked him what was wrong.
James I told her that I’d done the math, added the numbers over and over again and they just didn’t add up.
Victoria I asked him what he was talking about.
James I said it didn’t add up that someone like her was with someone like me. I told her that on paper we just didn’t work out.
Victoria I actually thought he was breaking up with me. I started to panic.
James I told her that numbers didn’t lie, that my math was sound. Then I told her that I had forgotten something very important.
Victoria I asked him what that was.
James I said in everyone’s life there is one number that is more important than all the rest.
Victoria I asked him what that was. He smiled at me and said, “Twelve.” And just then the bells on the cathedral across the street began to ring.
James I got down on one knee. I said, “It’s midnight, princess, twelve o’clock, and I just have one question.”
Victoria I felt light-headed and asked him what question was that. He pulled my shoe, the shoe that I had been looking for, out of his jacket. Inside it was a ring box that was open and there was a diamond ring shining up at me in the moonlight.
James And I said, “Are you going to run away this time or are you going to stay?”
Victoria And I told him I was never running away again, that we were going to be together forever and that he’d never get rid of me.