Life Partners . . . ?

Submitted into Contest #50 in response to: Write a story about a proposal. ... view prompt

88 comments

General

“Eeeevery night in my sleeeep,

I dreeeeam of beeing proposed,

in Paaaaris by the man I, loooove,

and who loves me, back of cooourse!

T-ddd t-dd taa da taa daa . . .”


I like to hum while preparing coffee in the morning. I think with the right guidance, I can definitely be one of the greatest singers to go down in history.


I also like beholding the world around me, taking it all in as I breathe, and experiencing everything I come across in life deeply; it’s a very poetic talent. I enjoy observing the road outside my home through my kitchen window everyday, as I feel each sip of the coffee I drink. I think I am close to being a brilliant poet.


As I look out of the kitchen window today, I see all the shops and cafés decorated with red hearts, red balloons, red bells, and red welcome posters . . . basically everything red! It is 14th February, after all! Valentine’s Day—the day of love . . . the day when you are likely to get proposed to by the person you love person who loves you.


Well umm, I should be getting ready now. I am going to meet my partner at our usual hangout spot today. I have known him for about two and a half years now.


It was exactly one year ago that he proposed, and I said “Yes”. It wasn’t in Paris, though. But it was something I could never have imagined for myself, considering the hopeless romantic that I am (I am sure you’ll agree once I tell you).


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


It all began in August 2018, when I joined the Creative Department of an advertising agency which was called ‘Dreamland’. Besides the salary package, the company’s name was another important factor that had influenced my decision of leaving my previous job.


It was in this dreamland that I met him—an ordinary-looking guy, black hair, dusky-skinned, about 5’8” in height, and a little bulky near the thighs. Well, he was not exactly a romantic-hero figure, and neither had honey-coloured dreamy eyes nor dimples when he smiled. But I wasn’t shopping for a showpiece for my drawing room to care so much about his physical attributes; although I did ask for reviews from people who knew him.


After a month of my joining, I had realized that I was attracted to him. So, I had asked a few of my colleagues about him, who had almost as much information about him as his personal diary would have had (that is, if he had one). He was also a part of the creative team and had been working for the company for the past six months. One of them had said that he was too ambitious, the other had said he was a hard-working man Well, I think it would be wise to leave this part out because in any case, I had started falling for him.


By the end of January 2019, I had gotten very close to him. We had worked on various projects together and used to hang out a lot. I had been hoping that he would propose to me soon, considering how much frequent our meetings and messaging had become. I could feel that he was equally and madly in love with me (and my gut feelings are usually right).



*****



On the 3rd of February, I had woken up as I heard my alarm clock go “Beep, beep, bbbeeeeeppp . . . ”.


(You should probably know that I am one of those people who prefer meditating, first thing in the morning after they wake up.) But a few days before Valentine’s Day last year, I was all flurried and frenzied about the idea of being finally proposed to and had become unduly closer to my mobile phone. On the aforementioned date, at around half-past eight, I had checked my phone for all kinds of messages . . . but one in particular that I had long been waiting for.


“You have one unread message”, was the first and only notification to pop-up on my phone that morning. I still recall how elated I was when I had clicked on him . . . I mean his name.


“Hey! I know I should have texted you last night but please meet me at our favourite hangout spot in two hours.”


I had stopped reading to look at the time the message was sent. It was sent out at eight in the morning (and if you’re wondering how I remember this, let me tell you that I still look at the message sometimes and I am not embarrassed about it).


“I have got something really important to tell you. Don’t ditch me. See ya!”


I was still reading while I had already found the perfect dress to wear for the day—whether it was red or blue is not of importance here, as he is not someone to care for the dress anyway.


Since I had been hoping for the proposal, I had even taken off the lucky charm ring that I always wore in my ring finger (you can still see it here, if you have any suspicions about that).


I had reached the ‘Love Blooms’ café at ten minutes to ten and decided to wait for him outside the café. A few minutes later, he saw me and had come running towards me as if I was his favourite chocolate ice cream.


“Hey! Good morning. How are you doing? Let’s go inside”, he had said without stopping for breath.


“Yeah . . . umm, I am fine. I was just waiting for you.”


There was an awkwardness from my end while I was talking to him that day. I had got a thousand butterflies in my stomach. But he seemed slightly or maybe . . . too casual, and in a hurry as always. Nodding his head at what I had said, he went inside the café and I had then followed.


“Come, let’s order something. I haven’t even had my coffee.”


“Order the usual for me? I need to make an urgent call. I will also grab a table for us.”


(I did not really have to call anybody. I was just nervous—butterflies, remember?)


As he had turned in my direction with our order, I had waved at him so that he would know where I was sitting. I saw him carrying the usual—two cappuccino cups. But then I had noticed that he was holding both the cups in one hand, and there was something else in the other. It was a doughnut box. He was familiar with my love for doughnuts and so, I had thought that he might have hidden the ring in the box.


As he sat down, he had opened the doughnut box and had grabbed one out of it, passing the rest of them to me. There was nothing in that box except the doughnuts.


We were chatting a little as usual while we went on with the sipping and biting when he suddenly burst out,


“Okay! Listen, I need to tell you something really important but I don’t want to do it here. So, we are going to Udaipur on the 14th. Alright?”


“14th February? Valentine’s Day?”


“Yes. It is my parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.”


“Okay!”


Maybe he is just trying to make it more special and dreamy. Not Paris . . . but even Udaipur with him is fine. Maybe my lucky charm ring will finally have to go.


“Udaipur is called The Romantic City of Lakes, right?” I had then pretended to be unsure (it is one of the useless tricks that I have learned from some romantic comedies).


“Is it? I am not sure about that. Anyway, I will be leaving now.”


“See you in the office tomorrow!”


“Yeah. We need to discuss that pending project also. See ya!”


Then . . .



*****



14th February, 2019


After celebrating his parents’ anniversary at a hotel, he had taken me to another café called 'Heart Sings' (you see, it was all because of the names).


As we went in, I had asked him if he had reserved a private table for us.


“Why would I reserve a table? You have known me for so long. Have I ever reserved one?”


He is just a little different, that’s all!


Wait . . . maybe it was something else that I had thought. Was it “I am lucky to have fallen in love with a rare bird”? It was something along the lines; I don’t exactly remember.


(I hope you understand that I am recounting the events that happened a year ago. So, slight variation from what actually happened is possible. I am doing the best I can to describe things as they actually happened. Let’s proceed now!)


As we went in, I had sadly noticed that there were no candles, no lights, no balloons . . . nothing different from our regular meetings, in short.


There was nothing dreamy about him from the start. But you still love him, this was my heart talking as it had been awaiting a proposal.


And then . . . finally!


“Look, I wanted to talk to you about this for long.”


Me too.


(I had been waiting for a moment like this since I had seen the 2004 adaptation of Cinderella’s love story, in which Hilary Duff starred. I never went to a ball or lost a shoe, though. I can’t afford to lose my shoes—I am from a middle-class family. Anyway . . . )


He had then handed me a diary, which had a very dull greyish-coloured front cover. But it had a white slip on it which read “See inside to know what is most important to me—A Proposal!”


What! A proposal in a diary. Strange! Wait . . . no. He wants me to read everything he has ever written about me. I am the most important person in his life. So romantic! my heart had again interceded.


The first few lines on the first page were,


“Just for Sara and me . . . A proposal for . . . sta . . . rrrting our own . . . advertising  agency . . . which would be called ‘Your one-stop Solution' . . . ". 


And it had continued on the following pages with all the details and plans explained with as much love and dedication, as I had expected him to have towards me.


I was on the verge of crying my heart out, but I guess he was too excited to notice that.


“So, what do you think about it? Isn’t this great? I have planned everything. You just have to say one word.”


“Is that all you wanted to tell me?”


“Yeah. What else could it be? Didn’t you like it? We could be partners in the company, with fifty per cent shares each. Tell me what you think about it?”


“Oh . . . Well, this is great. I like it . . . I mean I love it.”


(I wasn’t lying. Although I was heartbroken, the idea was not bad. I couldn't let the opportunity go).


“Is it a yes?”       


“Umm, I guess it is. It’s a yes.”


At that, he had lifted me off the ground and had hugged me tightly . . . the tightest he had ever done.


“We will be business partners for life. I am so happy for both of us.”


Yes . . . Partners for life. Not life partners as I had thought.


“Yes . . . me too.”


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Of course, I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t what I had expected, which is why I have my lucky charm ring back on my ring finger now.


A proposal it was . . . but an unexpected one indeed!


It’s been one year since I had unfortunately lost all hope of finding the love of my life. It is Valentine’s Day today, and I am going to meet my partner . . . in business, at our favourite hangout spot to discuss the future of our advertising agency.


(I gotta be at the café now . . . )


*****


I have reached the café ten minutes early. But I guess I am not waiting for him at the door. I should probably go inside and find a table.


That one looks fine.


Let me just text him and ask where he is. Hold on . . . who is the hottie sitting on that table! (Do you think I should go and talk to him?)


He might be the true love I have been waiting for. I should at least give it a try. I will go say “Hi!”. This time it might work, as it does in the rom-coms I still watch.


(Goodbye! Hope to see you with an engagement ring on my ring finger next Valentine’s Day.)




July 15, 2020 18:13

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88 comments

Charles Stucker
20:06 Jul 15, 2020

I liked the ending. Like O Henry, it made the story gel. Your protagonist comes across very clearly in the first person, young, excitable and a bit flighty. She is the perfect narrator for this as we are never sure how much is her imagination and how much is actually other's reactions. While seeming simple, the tale has a hidden depth- the character of the young romantic woman who sees everything with rose tinted glasses.

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Shivani Manocha
08:01 Jul 16, 2020

Glad you liked it. Thank you!

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Shivani Manocha
07:07 Jul 29, 2020

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Rhondalise Mitza
18:58 Jul 15, 2020

Oh, did you mean this story? :)

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Shivani Manocha
19:04 Jul 15, 2020

Yeah, actually! Thanks for you comment on the other one as well.

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Zilla Babbitt
14:23 Jul 21, 2020

Okay, you asked me to read (a long time ago) and I've finally done it. This is cute! I like the lead up to the ending, which is funny and quirky. One problem here is a "messy" manuscript. Lots of unnecessary punctuation, excessive ellipses points, varying ways (like stars or wavy lines) to show a time lapse, numbers written like this: 83 instead of like this: eighty-three. Clearing these things up will make the manuscript easier to read. Funny story, good dialogue. Keep it up!

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Shivani Manocha
14:41 Jul 21, 2020

Thank you for the feedback, Zilla! I will definitely be more heedful the next time. I am glad you liked it:)

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Zilla Babbitt
14:42 Jul 21, 2020

You're welcome!

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Shivani Manocha
07:07 Jul 29, 2020

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👍👍👍 Nice! I loved how you crossed out some parts, like the narrator wanted to erase something they said. It really added to the story. Keep it up! 😁😁😁 —Aerin

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Shivani Manocha
08:29 Jul 21, 2020

Thank you so much, Aerin! Well, I just checked your profile and read your bio. There is no doubt that I was surprised by your age. You definitely are serious about writing because you give some very valuable and nuanced comments on others' stories. Keep it up:)

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This made my day (and it’s 8 am), thank you! 😁

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Shivani Manocha
13:38 Jul 21, 2020

The pleasure was mine! Wish you all the best for your journey as a writer:)

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Shivani Manocha
07:07 Jul 29, 2020

Hey! Could you please check out my latest story?

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Shivani Manocha
07:07 Jul 29, 2020

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<Inactive> .
13:30 Jul 18, 2020

I really think this story is absolutely HILARIOUS! It's been a really really long time since I've read a story where the protagonist openly shows her weaknesses (the cliche of secretive, pretty, and mysterious is annoying me now) and how you portrayed how she is so invested in her love life is AMAZING! The ending made me burst out laughing, and now my cat ran away. Great read, can't wait for more!

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Shivani Manocha
14:34 Jul 18, 2020

Thank you so much, Priyamvada! This is very encouraging. I am glad you liked it:)

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<Inactive> .
10:49 Jul 19, 2020

Welcome, anytime! You're a really talented writer, keep up the AWESOME work!

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Shivani Manocha
11:13 Jul 19, 2020

Thank you once again:)

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Shivani Manocha
07:08 Jul 29, 2020

Hey! Could you please check out my latest story?

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18:37 Jul 17, 2020

Lol I love how you ended it. The story was really good and I couldn't stop reading it, I didn't want to! I love how you put the wording and made the story so clear. Its really good and I wouldn't change one things about it!

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Shivani Manocha
18:41 Jul 17, 2020

Thanks Angelina. This is really sweet and encouraging:)

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Shivani Manocha
07:08 Jul 29, 2020

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Eve Naden
22:48 Jul 19, 2020

Your narrative voice is perfection. This character became tangible and relatable in the first few lines. I am IN LOVE with this lovely story. Such depth and great messages hidden within an interesting plot. If you have time, would you mind checking out my stories?

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Shivani Manocha
07:16 Jul 20, 2020

Thank you so much Eve! Sure! I will check out your stories as soon as I get time:)

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Shivani Manocha
07:07 Jul 29, 2020

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Anoushka Jain
16:28 Jul 17, 2020

Hi, sorry I'm late, I've been offline a lot nowadays! Anyway, woderful story! Liked the internal monoguing a lot, just a couple of things. Your words are casual and diary-style, but your writing style could be relaxed as this is sort of like a personal thing. Your grammar is mostly fine, I suggest you get a fresh set of eyes to help tighten it up and make it more flowy if you know what I mean? For example, in this statement: "He might be the true love I have been waiting for. I should at least give it a try. I will go say “Hi!”. This tim...

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Shivani Manocha
16:40 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you so much Anoushka! I think you are right when you say that maybe getting it reviewed from a couple more people will help me get a better insight. Thanks for reading the story and giving a feedback.

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Shivani Manocha
07:08 Jul 29, 2020

Hey! Could you please check out my latest story?

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Adah M.M
13:28 Jul 17, 2020

This is beautiful and hilarious. I don't think she's gonna get an engagement ring anytime soon

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Shivani Manocha
14:02 Jul 17, 2020

Haha! Let's see. Thank you for the compliment. I am glad you liked it:)

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Shivani Manocha
07:08 Jul 29, 2020

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Daryl Gravesande
19:40 Jul 16, 2020

W O A H! This is a REALLY good story, I look forward to reading more like this one!

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Shivani Manocha
07:45 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you so much. I am glad that you liked it:) I hope I can write more interesting stories.

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Daryl Gravesande
16:25 Jul 17, 2020

I bet you could!

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Shivani Manocha
16:41 Jul 17, 2020

Means a lot. Thanks!

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Daryl Gravesande
05:17 Jul 18, 2020

No problem!

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Shivani Manocha
07:08 Jul 29, 2020

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Lovely job. I like the cross-outs on some words and her perspective is fun to read. Just one, very small thing. When you wrote in italic, "Me too" after he says "“Look, I wanted to talk to you about this for long," I think you meant to add a period after that..? Or no..? Otherwise, this was an upbeat, very fun to read story. I like her ending!

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Shivani Manocha
17:45 Jul 16, 2020

Thanks for reading the story Kendra. I am glad you liked it. And you are right I did miss the period there. Thanks for pointing it out.

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Your welcome, thanks for sharing a beautiful story.

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Shivani Manocha
17:57 Jul 16, 2020

I hope I would be able to give you many more in the future. Thanks!

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Shivani Manocha
07:08 Jul 29, 2020

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17:00 Jul 16, 2020

I enjoyed reading your story. Literally made me smile

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Shivani Manocha
17:46 Jul 16, 2020

Hey Annie! Thank you so much. I am genuinely happy that my story could add one more smile to the world. Means a lot!

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Shivani Manocha
07:09 Jul 29, 2020

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Tvisha Yerra
20:16 Jul 15, 2020

Love to see you improve! But again, one small thing which will improve your work. You wrote: "Hey! I know I should have texted you last night but please meet me at our favourite hangout spot in two hours", Two things wrong about this particular sentence. First, the comma is supposed to go inside the quotes, not outside. Same thing with any other punctuation. Second, don't put a comma unless there's a dialouge tag that goes along with it. So, the proper way: “Hey! I know I should have texted you last night but please meet me at our ...

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Shivani Manocha
08:06 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you so much Tvisha! Your feedback is really helpful. Will make sure I edit it as soon as I get time. Looking forward to more of your feedback.

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Shivani Manocha
07:09 Jul 29, 2020

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19:46 Jul 15, 2020

Very sweet story. Love a good twist. And I like the way you write a thought and cross it out.

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Shivani Manocha
19:57 Jul 15, 2020

Thank you so much for reading my story! Please let me know if you think it needs any improvement. Thank you once again:)

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21:59 Jul 15, 2020

Well, I’m not sure what I would change to be honest. I have zero experience in editing, or writing actually ha. I barely graduated high school. But I do like it 😊

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Shivani Manocha
07:59 Jul 16, 2020

Well you are pretty good for a writer your age:) Thanks for reading!

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Shivani Manocha
07:09 Jul 29, 2020

Hey! Could you please check out my latest story?

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Rhondalise Mitza
19:14 Jul 15, 2020

🌸🌸💕great love story! I like all the sounds you incorporate in the story.

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Shivani Manocha
19:29 Jul 15, 2020

Thank you so much!

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09:17 Jul 24, 2020

I really like the ending, it's not sad in a way that makes us tear up, though we feel that the protagonist is heartbroken. I like the protagonist : she is quirky, funny, romantic... I also like the way she tells the story, the idea of having in parentheses what is addressed to the reader isn't well executed, it's kind of weird to read. Maybe you could have made it in italic or not any distinction at all. The perspective feels a bit amateur sometimes, like the character chose to wrote down the story, even if she isn't much of a writer. I...

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Shivani Manocha
09:57 Jul 24, 2020

Thank you for the feedback, Victoire! I actually thought of using italics before but then italics are used in the story for thoughts. But I really appreciate what u have pointed out and will definitely work upon all these things. Thanks!

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Shivani Manocha
07:09 Jul 29, 2020

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Jr. Romars
04:49 Jul 23, 2020

Wow, the story is awesome. I liked the structure.

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Shivani Manocha
08:05 Jul 23, 2020

Thank you, Sumit!

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Shivani Manocha
07:10 Jul 29, 2020

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Anjali Malik
17:11 Jul 22, 2020

Hey shivani, you write really very well. Really enjoyed reading your story as it was such cute story. I dont know how to explain you that whenever I find any Indian writer getting so much of appreciation I fell so good and proud. I think you are also punjab like me. Is'nt it???

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Shivani Manocha
18:27 Jul 22, 2020

Hey Anjali! Thank you so much. I am so glad you liked it. You know this is precisely the beauty of this platform that we have writers from different countries who are all talented in their own unique ways. I just hope we get to learn a lot from this platform. And yes I belong to a Punjabi family but I hardly speak the language.Thank you once again. Stay safe:)

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Anjali Malik
23:42 Jul 22, 2020

💜💜

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Shivani Manocha
07:10 Jul 29, 2020

Hey! Could you please check out my latest story?

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Anjali Malik
08:50 Jul 29, 2020

Ya sure dear!

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D. Jaymz
04:53 Jul 22, 2020

A very creative piece. I liked it. The voice in a stream of consciousness style portrayed by the main character when explaining her story in your story was distinctive and memorable. The tone of the voice was conversational that sucks a reader in to keep reading. The strike-throughs were interesting and worked well here. The story had a nice twist for the reader. Not just giving an expected romantic proposal. The story could use a little polishing (revisions) to work on grammar. Ellipses and dashes are used too often. Be ca...

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Shivani Manocha
07:58 Jul 22, 2020

I am glad you liked it! Thanks for the elaborate feedback. I will definitely work upon this:)

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Shivani Manocha
07:10 Jul 29, 2020

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Monica G
15:09 Jul 21, 2020

I loved reading this! I fee like I’m your best friend and you’re telling me a story!

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Shivani Manocha
15:53 Jul 21, 2020

Thank you!

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Shivani Manocha
07:10 Jul 29, 2020

Hey! Could you please check out my latest story?

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