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Fiction Romance Happy

“What’s wrong with me?” I think to myself with tears trickling down my face, relentlessly. My heart aches, leaving a heaviness in my throat; I can barely breathe. Gregory’s been acting differently towards me lately; closed-off and distant. He suddenly wants to have dinner together tonight as he has something important to talk to me about.

He’s going to break-up with me, I know it.” I shake my head, in an attempt to argue with my own thoughts. I’m not ready for it to be over, not yet or ever for that matter. I’ve never loved anyone like I love him; I’ve always felt like he is the one. I glance at the clock, ‘2:24 p.m.’ slowly I remove myself from the couch and make my way down the hall to my bedroom.

 I sift through my closet until I find the perfect dress; a black, mini dress with a diamond cut out in the front. I dig through the pile of shoes at the bottom of my closet until I find my two-inch heels to match, anything taller and I wouldn’t be able to walk right. If he does break up with me, I’ll be a sight he won’t soon forget.

 I lay my dress down on the right side of my bed and then plop onto the other side, burying my face into my pillow. I hug my pillow tightly, sobbing heavily into it.

 “What’s wrong with me?” I plead to myself. “Did I say ‘I love you’ too soon? Probably. Am I too clingy? Oh, most definitely.” Desperately needing to calm down, I breathe in deeply. I slowly walk across the hallway to the bathroom. As I enter, I flip the light-switch on, leaving me with my reflection in the mirror. 

 I’ve never been a pretty crier, and today is no exception. My usually pale face has become flushed red, my blue eyes appear to be green due to the redness and puffiness surrounding them, and my head aches as if it’s trying to compete with my heart. “You’re way too ugly for someone to love.” The thought echoes in my head.

I shimmy out of my clothes, toss them aside, then I reach in the shower to turn the water on. I step in cautiously, testing it first. The warm water caresses my face, soothing my head and hiding my tears. I turn, letting the water drench my long, curly copper-red hair. I take another deep breath, attempting to calm my nerves. 

I stare blankly at the shower wall, drowning in a sea of thoughts until the hot water runs out, forcing me out of the shower. I comb my hair, scrunching curling cream and gel into it, and wrap it in a t-shirt to dry. I glance at myself in the mirror, my face still flushed from tears. I shuffle through the bathroom, searching for my rarely used make-up. 

~~~

 I arrive at Ristorante Stravagante, an exquisite Italian restaurant, around 6:00 p.m. I saunter inside, twirling one of my curls. The roar of romantic chatter fills my ears, along with the faint hum of the soft piano music. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling, dimly lighting the room. White-linen tablecloths drape over the small round tables; each adorned with a single, red rose and two small candles. I gaze in awe; the beauty of this place never ceases to amaze me. I slowly approach the hostess, a pretty dark-haired woman with green eyes dressed in a black pant-suit, 

“Hello, I’m supposed to be meeting someone here.” I say, almost inaudibly through the roar. 

“Last name?” She prompts.

“Howe.”

“Gregory Howe?” She questions, I nod my head. “Alright, follow me to your table.” she says in a sing-song voice. She grabs a menu from her hostess station and as she starts swiftly walking off. I follow as quickly as my heels allow, carefully avoiding tripping in them. I notice her heels are at least an inch taller than mine and I wonder how her gait could be so swift and graceful. 

Gregory stands up to greet me as we approach the table, he’s wearing a nice black suit, tailored to fit him beautifully. He smiles at me, though the absence in his hazel-brown eyes makes it obvious that something’s on his mind. His lip pursed, words sitting on the tip of his tongue yearn to be spoken. He helps me into my chair, and sits back down.

“Your server will be right with you.” the hostess chimes as she hurries off.

Tension clings to the air, resting on my skin; like the humidity on a hot, summer day after a cool rainstorm. I sit quietly as I anxiously wait for him to speak first. I began to study his face, for it might be last time I’ll get to see it.. 

He’s so damn handsome.” I think to myself. His short, brown hair suits him, matching his hazel eyes. His clean-shaven face brings out his strong jawline, and when he smiles dimples appear on his cheeks.

“Eloise…” Gregory starts, then trails off. “Eloise, I know I’ve been acting differently lately, and I’m sorry. I’ve had quite a bit on my mind, thinking about the future. These past few years together have been so wonderful and special to me.” He pauses, carefully selecting the words, as usual. My heart drops again.

 “This is it, it’s over.” I think, desperately trying to keep my composure. “Is this why he took me here? So I wouldn’t make a scene in a nice restaurant?” I take a deep breath.

“Eloise, there’s something I need to say to you. I can’t wait any longer, I just can’t.” he pauses again and timidly smiles.

“Oh, that smile. I’m not ready to lose that smile. Does he know what he’s doing to me right now?” I smile back, as I struggle to keep tears from falling.

“You’ve taught me so much about life, about love. You’ve made me want to be a better man, for you. I guess, what I’m trying to say is, I love you, Eloise. When I think of my future, there’s no thought that doesn’t include you.” He pauses, reaches into his suit pocket and pulls out a small gift box.

Gregory stands up and kneels on one knee in front of me, as he gazes into my eyes lovingly. “Eloise Marie Parker, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” He opens the gift box to reveal a small solitaire style ring, with a small square-cut diamond on top. He gently slides the ring onto my left ring finger, his eyes fill with adoration. He furrows his brow, anxiously waiting for a response.

I take a moment for the words to process, “Yes! A thousand times, yes!” I exclaim, hoping Gregory doesn't mistake my befuddlement for hesitation. The tears I’ve been fighting back began rolling down my cheeks, though they’ve turned to tears of joy. “I thought you were going to break up with me.” I murmur, in a high-pitched whine. Gregory embraces me with his strong arms; making me feel so safe and loved.

“I’m so sorry that I made you think that.” he whispers as he places a kiss on my forehead, gently brushing the tears from my cheeks. “I love you, future Mrs. Howe.” he grins.

“I love you too, Mr. Howe.” I gush.

“Are you ready to order?” the waiter interjects, which of course startles me. At this point, I’ve forgotten my surroundings.

“We’ll have two of tonight’s specials.” Gregory blurts out, not willing to admit that we hadn’t even opened our menus. 

I feel silly, slow-witted and perhaps a tad dramatic for coming to the wrong conclusions. “What’s wrong with me?” I wonder, wiping the last of the tears from my face.My heart warms as I gaze into the adoring eyes of my future husband, and I know, without a doubt, his love for me is unquestionable.

July 09, 2021 15:30

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8 comments

Janet Thorley
21:44 Jul 14, 2021

A sweet story and enjoyable.

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23:04 Jul 14, 2021

Thank you, Janet. I'm glad you enjoyed it!😊

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Anneliya Lydia
19:03 Jul 21, 2021

So sweet and fun to read!!!

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13:17 Jul 22, 2021

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!(:

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Writerswrite .
03:07 Jul 19, 2021

It was a very beautiful story, I love how you expressed how Eloise was feeling. I felt like I was watching a movie while reading this because of how well described it was!

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17:19 Jul 21, 2021

Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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18:17 Jul 14, 2021

Hi Shannon! I like your story not only because it's very romantic but also because it makes the reader reflect on his/her own way of doing/feeling things. Nice!

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18:40 Jul 14, 2021

Thank you, Henry. I was nervous to submit this story so I'm glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate your kind feedback!

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