A Date Night

by Monika




Vincent was thinking about the date night he and Catherine were planning. It was coming up next week, June 1st.


The day might have to be changed, but the idea of a date night and time alone together – never! They’d promised each other that once a year (Once! Could anyone really argue about that?!?) they would make time for themselves away from the distractions and responsibilities of daily life. They would – come Father, come one of the children down with a fever (either one of their own kids or one of the tunnel youngsters), come any experiment Mouse might design and have go wrong (and boy, could Mouse have ideas! The toy for their kids, for instance, that somehow flooded the kitchen, the wick lighter he invented for Father that caught the whole lamp on fire, and many more … funny … things), come a tunnel cave-in or …


“Come hell or highwater?” Catherine said with a chuckle that wasn’t entirely merry.


“It could happen,” Vincent returned. “And then …”


Catherine sighed. “Well, of course, in a real emergency … but otherwise … you and they have three chances!I’ll accept three postponements, and after that, no excuses!!”


After their discussion, Cathy decided to enlist the community’s help. She gathered all the tunnel dwellers together and told them that after having done all she had for the community – and after all Vincent had always done – they deserved one night of the year for an actual “date”! If the tunnel world were to collapse, her family below would just have to tell them about it the day after! Or else they would go on strike! Or she would take Vincent and her children and go far away!


After a moment of stunned silence, she started to smile, expecting everyone to laugh at her outrageous conditions, but instead everyone remained silent for a while longer. “Okay”, they all said, finally, and promised, given a little advance notice, no one would interfere with their night away together.


A date … it was on the calendar. Now … what could they do? Cathy came up with a plan.


Every year they would alternate the preparation of dinner. She could always shop and bring down the special ingredients she would use, but Vincent would need some help. She talked to William about that, and he said he’d take care of it. For his next birthday, Vincent received a stack of vouchers, designed and drawn and colored by the children training as kitchen helpers, that offered Vincent a delivery service. All he’d have to do is give them a shopping list!

Too, there must be music … so she decided to make a cassette tape and give it to him seven days before their date so he could come up with the after-dinner dances (and the embraces!) they’d share, once the meal was eaten and the candles had burned down a bit.




Vincent was listening to the Walkman she’d given him along with this year’s cassette. He’d keep them all, he knew, every year’s gift, and listen to them over and over. He wondered how she found the time to make it, but, as always, she’d shown her love in the choice of music. Like the song by Bryan Adams, I Would Die For You – that was definitely one of his favorites. And it was so true!


Then the Taylor Swift title – Me! I promise that you will never find another like me …”


Well, that’s for sure, he thought. But also, no, he would never find someone like Catherine again either.


I know I am a handful, baby.


Yes, he had to agree.


I don’t think before I jump.


That could be true … sometimes, he said to himself.




The date night came and it was fun, bringing love and smiles. Rosie had delivered all the special ingredients he needed and, with a little help from William, he’d presented Catherine a wonderful meal. Rebecca brought him special candles, the best she thought she’d ever made. Miriam, Mary’s helper, gave him a new suit (Like Mary, there was nothing she couldn’t make, and it seemed she made them out of nothing!)


And, of course, there was Cathy. The best present of all.


The night would be one he’d long remember.