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


Inspirational Happy Holiday


Grey eyes looked longingly through the large stained glass. There stood a hand mannequin, elegantly posing and advertising a golden glittering ring.


It was the late evening in December nineteen, Della stood in front of the jewelry store with freezing hands cupped to her face. Her tattered brown trench coat billowed as the cold breeze blew. Inside, she wore a simple green button-up shirt and blue jeans. Her brown boots dug into the snow piling up on the sidewalk.


Della rubbed her bare hands as she continued to stare. People walking by turned to look every once in a while but soon returned to their own agendas.


The snow continued to fall, some getting caught to Della's black wild curls. She would wince and flinch every time snow would touch her olive skin yet she stayed.


Carlos did tell her to stay.


She smiled and thought back when her six-year-old son dragged her in front of the jewelry store and told her to wait while he ran as fast as his tiny legs could go.


He inherited her untamed hair and olive skin, but his blue eyes were just basically a reminder of a mistake she made.


She shook her head at the thought, her smile turning into a frown, and the ring in the shop didn't look that pretty anymore. She never held it against her son, but the man who created him with her was simply a jerk. He had promised to marry her when they finish school. But the moment he found she was pregnant, he fled to another country.


Della bit her cheek and felt bitter.


She looked around to see where Carlos is, only to find he is nowhere to be found.


That little rascal.


Della pulled her phone and found that she had been standing there for fifteen minutes and Carlos isn't back yet. Worried, she looked at the tracker device she placed in his watch.


Her right brow rose when she found him inside the Jewelry store.


She slowly looked up to the stained window, eyes trying to find and wondering, how did Carlos get in there? She made him promise not to make any trouble before they left the apartment. She also noted that the front door of the shop never opened.


What in the world is going on?


She gripped her phone as her cold hands fell to her sides. She had given her mittens to Carlos as he forgot his. She just wanted to walk around the shops with Carlos, maybe eat some grilled sausage and buy a box of doughnuts to bring home as it was Carlos's favorite.


Why is he in the Jewelry store?


Della hesitantly walked over to the door and just as she was about to open the door, a loud bang echoed inside along with shrieks. Della did not hesitate to open the door, dialed 911 on her phone, and shouted for her son.


"Carlos?! Are you okay- Oh."


Carlos was holding a large party popper along with several children from the neighborhood. The adults at the back were either holding back their laughter or ashamed to be caught red-handed. Colorful streamers and red roses decorated the shop.


Immediately, Carlos raised his hands in surrender.


"I dragged them all to it, Ma!" He said it with lips trembling, his Christmas jumper covered in glitter and his beige pants have some ribbons tied loosely to it, "I-i-" and he burst into tears.


Della knelt and hugged her son, looking at the adults for an explanation. They all shared a knowing look and Gia stepped up to talk.


Della began to shush Carlos and wipe his tears away. Gia smiled and handed her a clean towel. The other adults began to usher the children, along with Carlos, towards the back door. Gia then guided Della to a chair to sit.


If your small elderly teacher in sixth grade is scary, Della was even more so. Her height barely hanging on to five feet, she is fairly small. But Gia never felt smaller when Della stared at her with intense grey eyes.


She took a deep breath and started to talk.


"Last November, when you told Carlos about his father's promise to marry you, He was determined to, well, see it through." Gia calmly elaborated, glanced at Della who was confused but stayed silent.


Taking this as a go-ahead, Gia continued.


"Remember he began to take some odd jobs in the apartment building and the neighborhood? He was saving money, including the allowance you give him." Realization began to show in Della's face, " When our children told us what he was doing, we offered to give him some money but he refused. So, we decided to just give him jobs."


Della is bewildered, her son saved up money for some hollow promise his no-name dad made?


But Gia isn't finished.


"Soon, he began to ask where he could buy a ring for you.," Della's eyes began to water as the back door opened once again, Carlos in front with a small box in hand covered in mittens, "So we helped him plan this for you."


Gia gently patted Della's shoulder who seemed to be stunned at her smiling son and slowly walked to the grinning group.


Another pop went out and confetti rained in the shop.


Della covered her mouth as Carlos knelt in front of her, his blue eyes shining with hope.


Why did Della compare him with that jerk?


Carlos is nothing like him.


"Hey, ma."


His grin was blinding.


"I got you this ring."


If Della wasn't sitting on a chair, she'd probably fell on her knees already.


"I'm sorry for not telling you, ma. Really. But, I just wanted to do this."


Carlos then opened the box to show the golden ring she saw at the front of the shop.


"Will you be my ma forever?"


Della couldn't stop herself and burst into tears and she knelt and hugged her son, who hugged back reflexively. The children and parents cheering at the back.


"Of course, Carlos."


The moment of Della and Carlos in that shop was more golden than the jewels in the store.

July 15, 2020 15:53

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Deborah Angevin
11:05 Jul 23, 2020

Loved the title and loved how the story flows! Would you mind checking my recent story out, "Red, Blue, White?" Thank you!


Quill Porter
11:44 Jul 23, 2020

Thank you! Don't mind if I do!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Mrudula Mohan
04:02 Jul 23, 2020

Aww it's soo sweet. Loved it!!


Quill Porter
05:06 Jul 23, 2020

Thank you!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
P. Jean
00:03 Jul 23, 2020

Very sweet and flowed well! I liked it!


Quill Porter
01:09 Jul 23, 2020

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Batool Hussain
16:26 Jul 20, 2020

I love the title and this story so, so much. Mind checking out my new story and sharing your views on it? Thanks.


Quill Porter
13:36 Jul 21, 2020

Thank you! I'll make sure to check your story out later!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.