It is 11:55 p.m.
The half moon casts a dancing shadow across their faces. She giggles as he takes her hand and pulls her further into the dark, away from the small gathering of family and friends.
"I love you."
He strokes her hair, pulls her close.
"I love you too."
She shivers slightly from the cold.
He reaches into his pocket and his fist curls around an object. His grin widens. He is about to open his mouth, to speak.
In the distance a clock chimes. A burst of laughter from inside. It is midnight.
She leans close to whisper in his ear.
"Happy New Year."
He takes a small step back, looks surprised.
"Are you kidding me?"
"What do you mean? I just heard the clock, it's midnight."
"Yeah, but it's only the 30th."
Her eyebrows rise. She considers this for a moment.
"Are you…are you sure?"
"I'm positive. It is not New Year's Eve."
He takes his hand out of his pocket. Rubs his face. Her lower lip trembles.
"Then why are you having a party tonight? I thought—isn't it—I thought we were celebrating."
He hangs his head as she pulls away even more.
"No, I actually have a surprise. But I can't believe you thought it was New Year's Eve."
He begins to chuckle, then stops abruptly when she frowns at him.
She turns and begins to walk away, back to the house.
"Wait, come back!"
She doesn't even turn to look.
He stays there in the dark, at a loss. He reaches back into his pocket and pulls out a small box.
"Will you marry me?"
To no one in particular. He should have waited a day.