Life Partners . . . ?

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



“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.”


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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18:18 Jul 20, 2020

I love this story, Shivani! It's really very good. I like how the narrator seems to be having a conversation with the reader, it makes the reader feel as if the narrator is sharing her secrets with them. One thing I noticed is that you have an excess of parentheses, like in this statement: 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?) It would be better if you left out the parentheses and wrote the statement like a typical sentence. Other th...


Shivani Manocha
08:27 Jul 21, 2020

Hey! Thanks for your feedback and compliments. Really means a lot! I actually intended to use the parentheses where I was "directly" addressing the readers - like saying "if you think . . ." or "Do you find it . . . " I understand that I am sort of talking to the reader throughout my story but in other places it's more like me narrating a story to them. I just wanted to use parentheses to mark an intervention. But I guess, I can read the story once again and see which style suits it better. I will definitely be more heedful of this when ...


12:38 Jul 21, 2020

Thank you for your help! I'll keep an eye out for emails.


Shivani Manocha
13:36 Jul 21, 2020

No problem:)


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S___a R____n
07:06 Jul 17, 2020

WOW!!! this is an awesome story!!! really loved it!!


Shivani Manocha
07:46 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you, Shifa. I am glad you liked it.


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06:06 Jul 17, 2020

I smiled all through this story Shivani. Such a pleasant narrative. I liked your imaginative unique names for the business houses and restaurants as well. Also, the proposal - - unexpected twist!!! Looking forward to reading more stories ✌️✌️✌️


Shivani Manocha
07:47 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you so much, Parvathy! I am so happy that you noticed these details.


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Batool Hussain
12:58 Jul 16, 2020

Hey! Here as per your request. This is a really amazing story. And, I suppose the poem you've included above adds a sweet layer to the story. But, I think you added too many "o's" and "e's" in it. I hope you get what I mean. Good job:)


Shivani Manocha
13:17 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you for reading my story Batool. I am glad that you liked it. I actually meant the stanza to be a song . . . like as if the 'I' was singing it. And the extended o's and e's were meant to give that musical effect. But maybe I was unable to get the point across. Thanks for you feedback. Means a lot:)


Batool Hussain
14:00 Jul 16, 2020

No, no. Don't be disheartened. It is really good but there were a bit too many o's and e's. That's it. I loved the story, otherwise.


Shivani Manocha
14:04 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you Batool:) Your feedback means a lot.


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21:21 Jul 16, 2020

Beautiful! I could feel the disappointment that she felt when she got the proposal. Actually, I could feel all of the feelings that she could feel throughout the entire story. Amazing job! Keep writing and stay healthy! -Brooke


Shivani Manocha
07:50 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you, Brooke! I am happy that you could understand the character in its totality. Thanks!


13:26 Jul 17, 2020

You're welcome!


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