In the City Of Love

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

253 comments

Romance

One.

I am in Arizona out for a weekend. I look down and pick at my tangled hair. It touches my lap and looks like there are eggs caught on my locks. Standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon Park, I see a slender man. He looks like he is in his late twenties. His front tooth is chipped. His hair is held back by gel. He takes out a ring, gets down on his knee, and murmurs something. The woman he has knelt before cheers. Yeah, she practically cheers. Ah, they are getting married. The woman is very beautiful. Her hair is blonde. A fairy tale kind of blonde. So blonde that it almost looks silver. She isn’t wearing any makeup, yet she glows. She is dressed in a knee-length black dress. Black. Noah's favorite color.


Two.

I am in New York. This time I see a girl being proposed to right in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. She is no older than me. Her hair is a cascade of black curls tumbling down her back. She is wearing a red sleeveless dress. What a daring color. Her lips wear nothing except for the big smile when she sees her boyfriend (or maybe her fiancé) proposing her. Her fiancé/boyfriend is a very tall guy, With shoulder-length hair. Unlike the girl, he is dressed up in nothing formal. Just a black sweatshirt with a pair of army sweatpants. And yeah, a pair of Nike sneakers too. I am very impressed with this guy's idea of a ‘perfect proposal.’ They get to have the epic New York City skyline as their backdrop! New York. Noah' s favorite city.


Three.

I am in Greece. Wandering and wandering in Santorini, I haven’t been able to see any proposal as yet. The sun is going down, and so does the man in front of me, on his knee. He is nervous. Or maybe he isn’t? He smiles and wrings his hand. Then smiles again. The woman he is about to propose is calm as ever. What a beauty she is. Her hazel eyes shine like orbs in the night. She is dressed up in an orange ankle-length dress and white Adidas. Her beautiful dress reflects off the oranges and pinks of the sky which beautifully contrasts the city's stunning white walls. Perfect for a romantic ambiance!


Four.

I am in Rome. Standing in front of the historic site of Colosseum makes me realize just how much I hate the subject of history. So far, I haven’t encountered a couple as yet. I am minding my own business, never even by chance lifting my gaze when suddenly, I bump into an old woman. She is a cute little thing. Her eyes are as small as a bead. The corners of her mouth are slightly turned up. “Hey, young lady. Watcha doin' out here, all alone?” But, before I can answer, she gets dragged into the middle of the place by an equally old man. What an adorable couple they make. Unlike all the couples I saw earlier, he doesn’t get down on his knee, he just holds her hands and says, "Will you marry me?” and suddenly people start to crowd around. Some tearing at the beautiful sight and some cheering all along. Wow, what a spectacle! Witnessing a spectacle. Noah's favorite hobby.


Five.

I am at the Opera House in Sydney. It is almost dusk. The slanting of the setting sun gives an almost warm orange tinge to the sky. As I descend the lane, I approach a man dressed up in the same attire as Charlie Chaplin. He is doing a pantomime: acting without words. He is calling...me? No, it is the woman behind me whom he is addressing. He has a red rose in his hand. He acts weirdly, yet every action of his is crystal clear. He raises his hand, makes a pleading motion, and then gets down on his knee. The woman is at a loss of words. She is dumbfounded at the sight. Her face is damp with tears. Quickly, she nods her head and the man puts on the ring in her right hand's third finger. Isn't the ring supposed to be in the third finger? Sighing, I leave the sight because this woman is not me and the man is not Noah, either.


Six.

I am in Italy standing amongst the Venetian Gothic architecture, and dreamy lampposts lighting up the streets at twilight. No wonder this is just another choice of another couple. The proposal has already been done. I'm near St. Mark’s Square outside the Basilica. I follow the couple through the entrance of the San Giorgio Maggiore church to see them get married on the spot. Douce!


Seven.

I am finally in the City of Love. 

Noah's city. 

Paris.

The seventh year, he had said.

Seven years after my parents' death.

Seven years after his parents' death.

I am back, Noah! Back again.

Where are you?


Above the frenetic city hubbub, the honking taxis, and swarms of pedestrians marching on their missions, the sky is comparatively moving slow. The movement of the clouds is barely perceptible and even the birds wheel in slow lazy arcs. But this juxtaposition is lost on the citizens. No-one even looks up. And suddenly, the sky above is alive, growing at each passing moment, a constantly changing canvas for the world to see: an endless canvas on which colors are tossed upon. Noah. Noah. Noah.


The canvas of darkened colors stretches over my head, gloriously brilliant in the dipping sun. My heart, caged like a bird in my chest, thrums with a strange sort of feeling as I see the clouds vanish into thin wisps and the moon rising in the sky. The ethereal light the budding stars give off reminds me of iridescent, sweeping rainbows; the moment of stunning epiphany when I'd first gazed into Noah's eyes. It was beautiful.


He told to me to wait.

"My lady?"

For seven years.

Noah. Noah. Noah.

But, he never told me why.

"Tris? Oh, come on, Tris."

Why after seven years?

Noah. Noah. Noah.


There he is. Down on his left knee, the handsome Noah. "Beatrice Miller? Will you marry me?" My stomach flips. So, this is how it felt. This is how the black-haired lady must've felt. This is how the old woman must've felt.


I don't know what to do.


So, I just stand till Noah wipes my tears.


So, I just stand till Noah inserts the ring on my left hand's fourth finger.


So, I just stand till he envelopes me in his arms.



15 Of The Prettiest Places To Propose









July 12, 2020 10:38

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253 comments

Orenda .
17:13 Jul 14, 2020

Waaahh!!! I loved it...enjoyed the way you described each venue. Heartwarming, indeed🧡

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Batool Hussain
17:15 Jul 14, 2020

Thanks.

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Orenda .
17:15 Jul 14, 2020

☺☺

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Avery G.
15:46 Jul 14, 2020

Great job! I really loved the story and I was building anticipation waiting to see what would happen at the end! Also, the picture of Paris was just beautiful!

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Batool Hussain
15:50 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Laiba M
15:28 Jul 13, 2020

Hello, Batool~ I must say, I was shocked when I saw you in second place on the leaderboard! Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you :) it seems like just yesterday we were cheering each other on, wishing each other to be on the leaderboard, and here you are in second! This happened so fast and what a wonderful event, occurring in the life of a very deserving and talented writer *w* About the story, I loved how you described so many proposals in so many different places~a very creative take on the prompt. My favorite part has to be "The ca...

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Batool Hussain
16:24 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm so glad that you liked my story and thanks for the good wishes. Waiting for you to accompany me soon:) Also, any new story this week? P.S: I posted a prequel to 'You and the train' before this story. People loved it very much, actually. Thought you might wanna know because I would love feedback on that one;)

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Laiba M
16:54 Jul 13, 2020

No problem! I am writing a story this week, coincidentally it's about you if you're okay with that? Let me know if you're okay with being mentioned in a story as a character! Thanks for letting me know, what's it called?

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Batool Hussain
16:56 Jul 13, 2020

Eeeeee....(thats me being excited). I'm good with that. Super excited for your next story now. Laiba, I want it ASAP! ALSO, the story is known as 'Zita.' *_*

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Laiba M
17:32 Jul 13, 2020

Haha, okay! I'll get it out ASAP :) Thank you, I'm checking it out!

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Laura Clark
08:28 Jul 13, 2020

Hi Batool! Here to give some more - hopefully helpful - feedback as requested. I thought this was a beautiful story made up of lots of beautiful snapshots in time. I loved the anticipation as each proposal built up and I think it’s a clever take on the prompt. I think my main issue with this is that I cannot understand either why the protagonist would wait (or why her boyfriend would make her wait) for seven years. I think in order to make this work, you could perhaps drop a sentence in each proposal that builds the relationship betw...

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Batool Hussain
08:40 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much for this Laura! You have eased my worries. So thankful for your helpful feedback! Very much appreciated:)

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Rodrigo Juatco
04:36 Jul 13, 2020

Beautiful anthology of proposals with a happy ending. "My heart caged like a bird in my chest." Nice. Thank you for sharing this story.

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Batool Hussain
05:07 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you

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04:15 Jul 13, 2020

The vocabulary in this piece is well done, bits of description is nice, but could be touched up some. You want to make your writing POP, sparkle, and shine. Make it irresistible for readers to put it down. Make it play in words like the reader is watching it in their minds. A good way to practice writing details is to go sit somewhere...a mall or busy place...and watch the people. Observe everything. Hair color. Eyes color if you can see their eyes. The colors of their clothes, style...how do they hold themselves...what is around the...

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Batool Hussain
05:06 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much!

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05:19 Jul 13, 2020

Of course. I just hope you find it helpful.

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Quill Porter
02:13 Jul 13, 2020

It was beautiful. I love the way how you portrayed her thoughts throughout the years as she patiently waited. Good job!

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Batool Hussain
03:58 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you! I literally woke up to this sweet comment! Thank you

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Pj Casyao
01:35 Jul 13, 2020

BH, this is amazing! Truly! I love how you divided the story into sections. It didn't bore me to read through it. The changing of settings, the maintained tone and mood, the protagonist's consistent voice, and the emotion portrayed at the very end reflects what I would I would associate with the main character's personality. I also love how the sadness/melancholy (even the tinge of insecurity she felt) was portrayed in your story. Well done!

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Batool Hussain
03:59 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much. You can't believe how happy I am

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נιмму 🤎
00:14 Jul 13, 2020

What a beautiful story. You continue to take my breath away with your amazing writing :) Plz check out my new story if u can???? *_* :P thx

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Batool Hussain
03:59 Jul 13, 2020

Thanks. Surely, I will!

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R L Brewer
23:42 Jul 12, 2020

Really nice. (Only one thing to edit? Proposing her probably should be proposing to her). I like the descriptions and the mystery of the counting. Pretty perfect. Anticipation is a great conflict. It seems as if their relationship was probably long distance.

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Batool Hussain
04:01 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much

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Felicity Edwards
21:27 Jul 12, 2020

A lovely story, I love the descriptions of each place, the scenery, the architecture and the proposals. Glad you included the old people, too often they are invisible. There are a few places where the narrative jars, most have been commented up already. A ring is placed on not in a finger. It would be very painful as "Noah inserts the ring in my left hand's fourth finger." Also why the fourth not the normal third? A delightful story overall.

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Batool Hussain
04:05 Jul 13, 2020

Thanks for the feedback;)

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Djenat Remmache
21:22 Jul 12, 2020

I like it ! We traveled with her over the different countries. Very well described. Keep writing ! ps: Can you read my first story, I need feedback. Thanks

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Batool Hussain
04:05 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you. Sure!

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Bee Kagz
21:10 Jul 12, 2020

Lovely story, creative too.

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Batool Hussain
04:07 Jul 13, 2020

Thanks

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Vicky S
20:53 Jul 12, 2020

Really enjoyed this story

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Batool Hussain
04:07 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you

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Courtney Stuart
20:36 Jul 12, 2020

this was such a sweet and heart-warming story! i loved how you counted all of the different cities that she saw other proposals in - it really helped to build up towards that AMAZING ending. i especially loved the concept of Paris being 'Noah's City' because as a writer, location always plays a big role in my writing, and i love it when other writers (like you!) do the same. overall, you did such a great job! keep up the great work! :)

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Batool Hussain
04:08 Jul 13, 2020

Aww thank you so very much

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Marsha Webb
20:22 Jul 12, 2020

Lovely romantic story, glad it worked out for her in the end. Good character descriptions.

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Batool Hussain
04:08 Jul 13, 2020

Thanks.

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Yoomi Ari
19:47 Jul 12, 2020

Love the picture first of all (I’m a photographer:)) and I love that each second you count, another droplet of water drops into a different puddle of place. Beautiful story and very unique. Different to others- which is good:D -Bee

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Batool Hussain
04:09 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much Bee! And you are a photographer? I'm very sure you're great;)

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Yoomi Ari
18:16 Jul 13, 2020

You’re welcome and thanks again :D I’m a photographer, yes, and I wouldn’t say I’m that great☺️ I’ll include some photos in my next story!! :D thank you Batool!

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Batool Hussain
03:54 Jul 14, 2020

Sure! I'm so excited to read your next story now!

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Yoomi Ari
15:33 Jul 14, 2020

:D

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Ranya Navarez
19:35 Jul 12, 2020

Well-done! I like how Tris sees six different proposals before she experiences her own. Good job, Batool!

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Batool Hussain
04:10 Jul 13, 2020

Thanks.

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Ranya Navarez
04:20 Jul 13, 2020

You're welcome!

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Eric Deitch
19:34 Jul 12, 2020

What a vivid story, but I still don't know how you've seen so many proposals. Are you Cupid? I like the bouncing around the world theme as well as I have been to most of those places. I love going to the City of Love, it's quite nice there. You paint the pictures with words well, although, since I've been to them I know what they look like, but I digress. Great job! I wrote an essay last night but missed the deadline for the prompt so I can't upload it. Ah well; next time. You've written a great narrative, and I wish you good luck in your w...

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Batool Hussain
04:10 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm sure your story is great too! Looking forward to reading it;)

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Emma Lin
19:26 Jul 12, 2020

Hello! You asked and I am here :) Batool, I thoroughly enjoyed the smooth transition, the build-up of the moment at the end, which I think is romantic (again, I am a hopeless romantic). Thanks again for liking my stories! I also appreciate the comments from you :) Have a great day! ~Emma

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Batool Hussain
04:11 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much! And, you're welcome;)

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