There are times when all senses suddenly abandon you at the most inappropriate moment, and you feel as if your world has gone off-kilter. I'm sure that this condition is familiar to my dear readers. As it is, the situation I am about to describe is exactly of that very sort.
The Day - my use of the capital is absolutely intentional because this day certainly deserves to be a red-letter one – the Day started with a bright sunny morning and my usual cup of exceptional Darjeeling Jeeves makes. Jeeves himself was, well, not bright and sunny like the morning, but positively less stuffy than I have ever observed him to be.
"What ho, Jeeves, you appear to be in a good mood this morning!" I took my cup from him, savouring an accidental brushing of our fingers, and smiled.
"Indeed, sir." Jeeves, my brilliant man, also bestowed a hint of a smile on me. "The day promises to be a pleasant one: the breeze is gentle and warm, the clouds are few, and the sun shines quite brightly today."
"That's a promising prognosis if I ever heard one." For a second I entertained the idea of still going to the Drones as usual, but decided against it. "You know, old thing, I think that an outing is in order. Last warm days and all that!"
My valet, if you get to know him as well as I do, is prone to acquiring a distinctly smug expression when everything is going as it, in his opinion, should. An outing on a pleasantly warm September day was definitely a thing he would approve of.
"Very good, sir. I'll put together a picnic basket while you bathe."
Yes, that certain note in the Jeevesian voice told me that he was pleased with my decision, and I couldn't help feeling pleased myself.
"This must have been the best idea I've had since forever." I was relaxing on the warm blanket under the maple tree. From time to time a brightly colored leaf would fall leisurely from a branch, but other than that everything was still; even the breeze had hushed. Jeeves, I am proud to note, was sitting beside me. It has taken a long time to mellow him down till he consented to such a breach in decorum, but once he accepted, he continued to do so in private without continued prodding from me.
"Your suggestion was, indeed, very appropriate, sir."
Relaxed Jeeves, I must say, is a sight to behold. His voice is softer, his eyes are brighter, and he himself becomes somewhat more approachable if you see what I mean. I'm not ashamed to admit that usually my perfect marvel of a valet intimidates me a bit. Not in the matters of our everyday life, but in more personal respect. For some time now I knew that my feelings towards one Reginald Jeeves were not strictly legal; after all a gentleman shouldn't feel about a man the way he should feel about a woman, but I couldn't bring myself to do the right thing and force this nonsense out of my heart. I'm not even sure I would have succeeded, had I tried. So, every time Jeeves smiled at me, touched me briefly, glanced at me even, I felt like a damn beazel before her specific dream rabbit. Keeping all this in mind, you will understand why this Wooster felt intimidated just at the thought of Jeeves, perfection in flesh, finding out about the totally improper feelings of his employer.
"Would you like a glass of wine, sir?" Jeeves's voice interrupted my musings, and I turned towards him.
"Excellent idea, old thing! I didn't realize you had wine in that basket of yours."
"I estimated that wine wouldn't go amiss, sir." Another one of his not so rare today smiles graced his royal visage.
"It certainly wouldn't, Jeeves, it certainly wouldn't. Pour away!"
We shared a bottle of fine red wine in a comfortable silence, and I found myself relaxing even further. Considering the proximity of the object of my affections that probably wasn't the wisest course of action. My treacherous eyes strayed in the direction of Jeeves more and more often, and I'm sure I gasped quietly when he eased his collar a bit.
I started at being caught staring at the neck of my valet by said valet.
"I'm sorry, Jeeves, what did you say?" I gulped nervously.
"I just wanted to share some of my long-term observations with you, sir."
"Oh, sure, old thing!"
For a moment Jeeves almost seemed hesitant, but that must have been my imagination. He turned to me fully, looking me straight in the eyes, and said, "You have a very beautiful smile, sir." My jaw dropped most unattractively, contradicting the statement. "And extraordinary bright eyes."
I managed to close my mouth, but still couldn't utter a single word in return.
"I'm aware that this sounds very sudden, but hear me out, sir. This morning you noted my unusually radiant disposition, and I made it seem like the weather was accountable for that. It is true to a certain degree, but the main reason for my good mood was you, sir. As I stood near your bedside this morning and looked at the sunshine playing in your hair, I finally found the courage to confess. For a long time now I've considered you to be not only my employer, but a friend as well. For nearly as long I've cherished a dream of this friendship turning into an even more close relationship with you, because never, in my all my years of service, have I met anyone like you. You have the kindest heart and the purest soul, and I was entirely powerless to stop myself from falling in love with you. I'll understand if, after hearing this, you no longer wish to have me in your employ, but I needed to bare my feelings to you. I'll resign if you wish."
My head was spinning, and my heart was threatening to burst out of its proper place, so fast it was beating. I couldn't believe my own ears at the moment. The world had gone off-kilter.
"Jeeves…" I finally found my voice, even if it was small and tremulous. I tried again. "Jeeves, did you really just say all that, or was it some rare case of heatstroke in the middle of September on my part?"
"I'm afraid, sir, that I really did say all that." He was extremely serious.
"And you meant it?"
"Every word, sir. As I said, I understand that you…"
"No, old thing, you don't understand," I interrupted, my voice strong again. The words of my dear Jeeves seemed to have settled in my head, and a smile broke out on my face. "You don't understand, or you wouldn't even have mentioned all this resignation business! Why would I want you to resign when I love you?"
I had never before seen Jeeves overwhelmed; it's a strange and a bit unsettling sight, but my valet is a marvel, so he had quickly got a hold of himself.
"Sir, you love me?"
"Very much so, my dear man, very much so." As I looked into his eyes, I couldn't stop smiling. "Now, will you kiss me? The final proof that this isn't some sort of dream, you know."
"As you wish, sir."
With these words and a smirk Jeeves proceeded to prove the astounding reality of the situation to me. Later, at home, lying in my bed wrapped in Jeeves's comfortable embrace, I arrived to a conclusion that the world hadn't actually gone off-kilter. It was always off-kilter, and only now had it righted itself.