(This is a continuation of my previous post).
Sitting in the passenger seat and fiddling with the radio, Glasgow Girl gasped with delight when she caught a familiar song. “Well, this is apropos,” she laughed as she turned the volume up and sat back. They were driving up M80, thirty minutes into their forty minute road trip to Stirling Castle. What better song to chance upon than Road Trip by Runrig?
“Naw, for real? I love this song!” Graffiti Guy exclaimed, as they both started singing along in unison. “Take a road trip, go soul deep…”
“I always wished I had seen them in concert,” lamented Glasgow Girl when the song was over.
“I have a few times,” replied Graffiti Guy. “Their shows were always amazing.”
“I can imagine,” replied Glasgow Girl. “Well, at least Gun are touring again. They’re playing at Barrowlands in December, we’ll have to go see them.”
“It’s a date,” replied Graffiti Guy with a wink. Glasgow Girl smiled to herself at the mention of ‘a date.’ They’d been in each other’s company so much the past couple months, it’s felt like they were on one perpetual date. She couldn’t believe one chance meeting lead to this – well, two chance meetings if you counted the one at the pub where they first met, and the next one the following night when she was drawn to him in the street alley after she had lost his number. Who gets two chances like that? Silently she thanked the universe as they arrived and pulled into the car park. They paid at the entrance and strolled along the castle grounds, admiring the beauty of Queen Anne Garden and pausing to gaze down the hill when something else caught their eye.
“Oh, look – not the Necropolis, but still a beautiful wee cemetery,” observed Graffiti Guy. Glasgow Girl agreed.
“Yes, we should go down and walk through it later,” she replied. They continued exploring, stopping to pay their respects to Robert the Bruce along the way when they passed by his monument before heading into the castle exhibition. Together they marveled at the gargoyles and outside architecture, then the opulence of the sample costumes and interior design. Craning her head back, Glasgow Girl tried to take in all the painted faces on the ceilings.
“My head feels like it’s going to explode from the sheer volume of art everywhere I look,” she exclaimed.
“Your head’s going to explode from tilting it that far back for so long,” teased Graffiti Guy.
“Pfft!,” replied Glasgow Girl as she straightened up. “Moving along.” They continued through the castle, viewing the King’s and Queen’s bedchambers before finding themselves in the kitchen, complete with a replica of kitchen staff.
“It’s interesting that only these two are painted,” observed Glasgow Girl. “While all of the others are not.”
“Hmmmm…. they do look like the need a little color. You know, I always carry paint cans in my car,” suggested Graffiti Guy.
“Don’t you dare,” laughed Glasgow Girl. “Do you want to get us kicked out of here? Or worse, detained? Don’t forget, we did walk past some gated cells on our way down here.”
“Aye, best not to stay down here then. Sometimes temptation gets the best of me,” he replied with a wink.
Leaving the kitchen they continued on, weaving inside and out as the hallways dictated. At one point they entered what appeared to be a great hall, with beautiful stained-glass windows on either side of a large fireplace. Poised in front of one of the windows was a large French suit of armour, and they moved closer to better see it and read the accompanying signage.
“Rather magnificent, isn’t it?” marveled Glasgow Girl. “Embodying both danger and romance, chivalry, loyalty. A knight in shining armour…” she paused and looked into Graffiti Guy’s eyes. “Pray tell, is that ye who stands before me?”
Graffiti Guy reached out and took Glasgow Girl’s hands in his. “Aye,” he replied softly before growing serious. “Though you possess a strength that doesn’t require rescuing, I stand before you at the ready, for all that you will need from me.” Taking two steps closer until they were a breath apart, he whispered into her ear. “I give you my armour. I give you my glory. I give what’s truly mine to you and you alone.” Kissing her gently on the cheek, he stepped back to study her response.
Glasgow Girl felt her eyes welling with tears, but she didn’t want to let go of Graffiti Guy’s hands to brush them away. In a matter of seconds the playful mood had turned achingly tender and caught her off guard. She felt both vulnerable and resolute, fearful of releasing the secrets of her heart, yet seeing the necessity of doing just that. Armour or no armour, she saw what was standing in front of her, and it was truth. She gave him her best confident smile, though her voice wavered with emotion.
“I have kept my heart locked away for so long, yet you have released it. I don’t know how you did it, but for you, it sings.” She paused and took a deep breath to calm her nerves. She felt Graffiti Guy gently squeeze her hands a little tighter, reassuring her, and she stopped looking back.
“For so long as you give me songs and freedom to love without fear, I will give you a love the stars could only wish they had written.”
Graffiti Guy didn’t trust his voice, so instead he pulled Glasgow Girl into an embrace and kissed her; with raw emotions coming to the surface and reservations stripped away, they both felt it to their core. Graffiti Guy tilted his head back. “Shhh,” he said with a smile. “Did you hear that?”
Glasgow Girl shook her head. “What did you hear?”
Graffiti Guy leaned in and whispered against her neck. “It’s the sound of the stars, applauding.” He kissed her again, and this time, she heard it too.
© Dahlia Ramone: October 11, 2020
This was written for Blogophilia Topic: In Your Eyes
(1) Mention a historical icon (Robert the Bruce)
(2) Incorporate song lyrics form the band Love and Rockets *
* I give you my armour, I give you my glory, I give what’s truly mine (The Light) /
give me songs and freedom (it could be sunshine)
Points of Interest:
(All above photos taken by me at Stirling Castle, 2012