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This is it.

"Hi? Yes, this is Owen Losberg. I'd like to order the Lovers Bundle. You don't know what that is? It's the one with the roses and tulips and stuff. No-I don't mean Valentine's Day Assortment. I mean the Lover's Bundle. It's out of stock? Come on! Fine, I'll get Valentine's Day Assortment. Yes. I'm 1649 N. Bullard Ave and my phone number is 573-802-8820. Ok. Bye."

This is it.

"Hi. I'd like to get the one with opal. Yeah. That one. You have it? Thank you. I'll pick it up at 6:30. Sound good? Yeah, sorry, my name's Owen Losberg. Yeah. Thank you."

This is it.

"Hi. This is Owen Losberg. Yes. I'd like to order the bread bowl and the salmon with mustard sauce on it. Yeah. And the fruit assortment. Ok. No pineapple, Vickie hates pineapple. Did you get that? Ok. The apple juice. Yeah. And the Chocolate Craziness. No. Delivery, please. 6:45. Yeah, my name is Owen Losberg. 573-802-8820. 1649 N. Bullard Ave. Yup. Bye,"

This is it.

Everything is ready.

"Vickie? Yeah, it's me-Owen. Can you come over for dinner? Yeah. 7:00. Okay, thank you. Bye. Love you."

I fidget.

This is it.

This is it.

I've been waiting to do this for years. Years and years and years. I flop onto my bed. I can't believe I'm actually doing it. Oh god. I don't know what I'm doing. What if I mess up? What if she says no? No. Vickie will say yes. She has to.

The doorbell rings.

"Hi, I'm Amy, you ordered Valentine's Day Assortment?"

I nod.

"All right, you can sign here, and we're all good. You already paid, so no need to get out your credit card or wallet. All righty. Bye!"

It's 6:15. I walk to the jewelry store. 

"Hi. I'm Owen Losberg? I ordered the Opal ring."

"Here you go. That'll be one thousand four hundred fifty dollars and zero cents."

I hand the man my credit card and he scans it. He hands the ring to me, and I peek at it before stuffing it into my pocket.

I walk back and find the delivery guy at my door. I bring the food inside. Fifteen minutes to get it all ready. Fifteen minutes until she comes. And then I'll do it. And I'll show her the ring. And she'll say yes. Or no. Maybe she'll say no. I hope she says yes.

I make it ready. Presentable.

Then there's a knock on my door.

I straighten my tie. I am the picture of calm. I do not fidget I do not worry. This will go perfectly. Not.

Alright. I can do this. I open the door.

"Hi Vickie, I ordered dinner. Thought you might want some."

"Thanks, Owen!"

She walks to the table.

"Wow! It's so fancy! What happened, Owen. Is this a bribe?"

"No! Of course not! If you think that then you won't eat any and that's too much for me to eat alone, and I hate leftovers!"

"Fiiiine." Vickie plops down into a chair and serves herself some salmon.

We eat to finish the salmon, fruit, and bread.

"Alrighty, now I'll tell you the real reason I invited you here."

I want to tell her now but I can't-I'm too nervous. So instead I pull out the Chocolate Crazzines.

"Yeeeeeeeeeessss!!" Vickie grabs it. "Chocolate Craziness!"

The Chocolate Craziness is an assortment of a dozen chocolate deserts. There are triple chocolate chunk cookies and double chocolate brownies with a chocolate spread, and chocolate milkshakes with whipped cream and chocolate chips.

Vickie inhales it all, and all she leaves me is half a milkshake, a brownie, and a small part of a chocolate chip silver dollar pancake.

I eat those.

This is it.

I can do this.


"Whaaaat." Vickie groans from the couch, her mouth full of something chcolatty.

"Can you swallow first?"

"Fine." She swallows the chcolate. I lick my lips. Then I kneel

"Vickie, ever since I laid eyes on you, I loved you."

Vickie sits up, staring at me.

"You were beautiful and smart and talented, and you didn't care that I was a nerd."

Vickie snorts at that

"So Vickie, after five years of being together, I'm going to finally make the move." I pull the case out of my pocket.

Vickie's mouth falls open.

"Vickie, will you marry me?"

"Yes." She throws her arms around me and we hug.

"Ok, for our wedding, we should do it in spring. That way it's not to cold, but it's not too hot either. We'll definitely have a whole table dedicated to chocolate. And we can invite. . ."

Vickie talks for a long time about the perfect wedding.


"I'll try to make that happen, but it's a lot."

"Nononono!" Vickie shakes her head. "I think you misunderstood what i was trying to say. I'm planning the wedding, and I'm making it. You'll interact with people and make it happen. I don't like talking to people."

"Well your talking to me."

"You're different. It's the same reason I said yes."

"And the reason I asked."

I kiss the top of her head.


I stare at the wedding photo. It's of me and Vickie, our arms slung around each other, laughing. All our family and friends surround us.

It's been a year since she died to Covid-19, and I carefully slip the photo into the frame Nelly, our daughter, made for it. It has twigs and acorns and leaves. Vickie would have loved it. Vickie loved nature.

I place it on top of her grave.

Our older daughter-Sam-comes up behind me.

"In a book I'm reading, they put stones on the grave instead of flowers because stones last forever and flowers don't."

Sam hands me a handful of stones. I pick the three best ones and place them on her gravestone. The first one is a rock from the river, smooth and oval shaped. The second is one flecked with color and a little bit of quartz. The third one is white, flecked with black spots like a splatter of paint.

Her gravestone is simple.

Vickie Onity

Mother, daughter, wife


There are flowers carved on the edges of her grave stone, twisting along the sides, grazing the words. Peonies, her favorite.

"Vickie, ever since I laid eyes on you, I loved you," I whisper to Vickie. "You were beautiful and smart and talented, and you didn't care that I was a nerd. So I finally married you. It was the best day of my life, and I don't-and will not-regret it."

February 18, 2021 17:50

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1 comment

Mijal Tohi
01:00 Feb 21, 2021

The descriptive language and cyclical sentence structure was beautifully written. I wasn’t expecting the plot twist. Great read.


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