They say time flies when you’re doing something you enjoy.
Well, the opposite is just as true. I’ve been waiting for him for over twenty minutes now and with every minute that goes by I am more tempted to leave. It feels like hours. I’m embarrassed and the waitress is getting moody.
But I can’t leave now. That would be even more heartbreaking than what is about to happen.
You see, he never takes me anywhere. EVER. We’ve been together for 5 years and I can’t remember the last time he took me out on a date, so I obviously grew suspicious when he asked me to meet him for dinner after work.
I thought he either wanted to break up or tell me he’s cheating on me, both options would require a public safe space because I can get really… intense.
After he told me he wanted to go out with me I went around the house on a mission, a mission to find evidence that he was cheating but instead, I found something I wouldn’t have expected in a million years: a ring.
A bloody ring, can you believe it? Why would he want to marry me? Perhaps it’s not even for me! I hope that’s the case because our relationship is so dead that its life insurance has paid out already.
I think our problems started as soon as we got together. We automatically adopted a lifestyle that made us resemble a long-time married couple. There was no mystery, no privacy, it was all about us being together. We both stopped working on ourselves, and things went horribly wrong.
We moved in together just a couple months into the relationship. He was renting a tiny apartment and I started staying over so much that I just stopped leaving altogether.
He did and still does, so many things that annoy me. He leaves the door open when he goes to the toilet, every time he eats he hoovers the food down like he hasn’t eaten in months, he leaves rubbish everywhere he goes, and the list goes on. And I’m absolutely sure I’m no saint either.
We got too comfortable too quickly, too soon.
He also does things that I find adorable, not all is bad, he leaves the light on if he goes to bed first so I don’t trip, he makes me a cappuccino every single morning, he does most of the chores because he wants to, and he loves me, even if he doesn’t show it.
But just because he does good things doesn’t mean I have to live with the bad things.
We also have very different views. I want to build a career, make good money and never have to worry about the end of the month. He on the other hand, not so much. He’s comfortable in life. Way too comfortable. He doesn’t mind getting minimum wage if that means routine, normalcy and no risks.
I’m full of ideas and interests. He only has one interest and I’m pretty sure that in 5 years, I’ve never witnessed him having an actual idea.
But he takes care of me when I’m ill, and he deals with my meltdowns like a champ. He does anything and everything I ask for.
That also bothers me, he does things because I ask him to. He never does something because he thought it would make me happy. It’s always because he’s following orders. And I need a partner, not a butler.
Our sex life is non-existent. Talking about having kids is somehow a thing, but how are we going to make them? I have considered looking for a sex partner elsewhere, but I don’t think infidelity would solve the issue. The issue is us. We don’t belong together. We don’t match. I don’t understand why he would propose.
When we met the red flags were there. Everything wrong with us today could have been predicted back then. He never showed that he craved me sexually, he never chose what we would eat that day and would conform to whatever I chose, later revealing that he hated the meal. His apartment was filthy, his mattress was bare! He slept on nothing but his mattress and used the tiniest blanket to stay warm.
Why did I even stay with him?
I think I see him through the window.
Yes! That’s definitely him. With his fancy clothing. Who is he trying to fool?
“Hi” Dry and uninteresting as ever. Good start.
“You’re late. You know how much I hate waiting. You know how much I hate being alone in public. Why did you think it was ok to leave me hanging?”
He never talks back. It’s frustrating. It always makes me nervous and I eventually explode with anger.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“Can we eat, please? I have prepared something for you.”
The waitress looks happier, she no longer has a loner occupying one of her tables without ordering.
She doesn’t look so happy when I order tap water and the soup of the day. I couldn’t care less.
Dinner is uneventful. We don’t talk much as usual. But I can see he’s visibly nervous, terrified even. I know social situations make him really uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable too. That’s probably why he never takes me anywhere. Neither of us really enjoy it.
“I took care of dessert. I’m sorry I didn’t consult you, and that’s why I was a bit late too. I’m sorry.” He says, almost sweating and visibly trembling.
“Your forgiveness will depend on what dessert you got.”
I can see a little smirk form on his face, and suddenly he signals to the waitress. Brave and exclusive. He avoids these situations like the plague.
The waitress brings an overly fancy tray and puts it in front of me.
Written on it with chocolate fondant is the dreaded question - “Will you marry me?”
“Is this desse…”
I couldn’t finish my question. He’s already on his knee showing me the ring I had already seen. But he doesn’t know that.
“I know we have our moments, but if it wasn’t clear already, you are the woman of my dreams. I don’t want anyone else in my life but you. And I know I can be difficult, but everything I do is for you. I want you to be the happiest woman in the world, and if you let me, I want to be the happiest man in the world with you. Will you marry me?”
I want to say no. Why am I not saying no?
Unfortunately, the answer is easy.
He makes me absolutely miserable, but I can’t imagine my life without him. He makes me laugh, he makes me look forward to the future and I can be my true self around him.
I don’t need filters, pleasantries or fake politeness. I am more me with him.
So, does he really make me that miserable? If I can only be myself around him, isn’t the problem me? Is being myself making me miserable? It would make sense. I’m irritable and sad most of the time. I get angry at absolutely everything and it only takes a second to make me go from 0 to 100. Truth is, when that happens, he is there to either calm me down or to allow me to take it out on him.
Perhaps I don’t hate him, I hate myself.
It’s so much easier to blame someone else for our problems than admitting that maybe, the problem is within ourselves.
He knows me better than I know myself. He sees all the ugly in me, and still, he loves me.
And if we’re being real, I love him. I love him more than anything in this world. I want to spend my life with him.
Is suffering worth it? Definitely. Because no matter if I’m with him, with someone else or alone. I will suffer. That’s just life. So if I have to choose, I want to go through life with him.
I look at his face and I see it differently now. He has the purest, most innocent and more beautiful face I’ve ever seen.
I touch it and it’s as soft as ever, his eyes watery and I can feel him shaking. He doesn’t need to wait anymore, my decision is made, and it has always been.
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"I need a partner not a butler" That made me laugh :) :) I do hope their sex life improves though!
Ahah yess! I mean, a butler doesn’t sound so bad either, but let’s keep it separate! Anything could happen! I may do a continuation
I love this story! I like how she is blaming him and soon realizes that she is the one at fault and soon begins to appreciate him. I also liked that we both ended our stories with "Yes" just totally different scenarios.
You got me curious! I’ll read your story now. I wanted to portray how our own flaws tend to influence how we view others and cloud our judgement. So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you!
What a cute story ! I enjoyed reading it.
Thank you! I’m happy you enjoyed
Do you mind reading my story and give me feedback ? I would really appreciate.
The stark sincerity in the story is simply amazing! The reflection of the narrator and the crisp sentences add to the excitement and uncertainty of the proposal. A wonderful story by all means!
Thank you! I’m really happy you enjoyed it!
That made me smile
I’m really glad! Thank you for reading
So close to a universal truth it hurts. Excellent introspective story. Well crafted and edited.
Thank you so much for your feedback and for reading my story! You’re right, it is something that unfortunately way too many people can relate to.
What a sweet story! And very thought provoking.
Thank you for reading my story! I’m very glad you enjoyed
Hey Monica! What a lovely story. I enjoyed riding on her thoughts and I feel like I got to know her well just through introspection. As someone else said, I liked how she started with blaming him for everything, yet not forgetting the good things (I agree, it's so easy to blame another, while it's ourselves who are at fault), and ended realizing he was actually the best fit for her. A fresh and different spin on the proposal, well done!
Thank you so much for reading! And that’s exactly right, we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. When that part is sorted, we will be able to effectively evaluate our situation and relationships.
Wow! It's a great story.
Thank you so much for reading my story!
I enjoyed the read! Someone else said a happy ending...maybe for the story but for life, I have serious doubts but I love the way you made me consider each example or mini drama that were really warning signs. Oh well. I thought the writing was excellent!
Ah yes! If i continued this story there would be a lot of things that could go wrong, for both sides! But let’s let the couple enjoy this brief moment of happiness. While they can! Thank you for your feedback and for reading my story!
I loved this! You did a great job showing her internal conflict but I love that it was a happy ending.
I was quite worried about this one since happy endings are not my specialty! I’m happy you enjoyed it and I may keep doing a happy one here and there
It worked really well for this story! I definitely thought she was going to reject him but how it all came together at the end was lovely. Great job!
Interesting character study. It was enhanced by your masterful use of first person. The protagonist's introspection makes you think this will be an epic fight over the proposal, but then she has her satori moment and says yes, making it a tale with tension, not from action, but from internal monologue.
That’s such great feedback! Using first person and focusing on the characters thoughts and feelings is definitely my favourite thing to do. I’d go as far as saying I found my “style”! Thank you so much for reading and I’m so happy that you enjoyed!
Monica, I thoroughly enjoyed your story. It was so true to life of how relationships can be. There are ups and downs, and you can get annoyed with each other, but as it is said in the story, it wouldn't matter who you are with because no one is perfect; there will be issues with every person because we all have our good points and quirks which is what makes us who we are. I like that you had the character come to the realization that she should take a look at herself. Many people in relationships tend to blame the other person, but it tak...
Thank you! Your feedback means a lot! I try to steer clear from sensationalism and capture mundane, every day situations in my writing. I believe that the most fascinating revelations and developments happen inside one’s mind.
I was so afraid she'll say no, Nice story Keep up the good work
Thank you! I actually had a version for her saying “no” too but preferred this one!
I'm happy you chose this one, If you don't mind could you please check out my story too, it's my first time writing
I love this piece. It reminds me of my entire marriage. He knew me as I am and with all the flaws and good. I went through all those thoughts to, and in a flash when he proposed. Your technical side is great, nothing to find in the way of punctuation or grammar problems. So Kudos there. I always find something in my own work. I hope to see more of your work.
Thank you so much! I’m really happy you enjoyed!
A very nice story and well told. It has the wow factor.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Very good. Begins with internal dialog, then to external dialog (more interactive between characters) then back to internal until the final "yes". That is your story structure.
Loved it. The nuances of their simple chemistry are beyond commendable.
Thank you! I’m happy you enjoyed!
There was no other way this story could be dealt with :P
It was beautiful, short and sweet story yet powerfull . I liked it.
I’m really glad you liked it! Thank you ‘
Wow! I love this story, it touched me actually. Well done!
Thank you!! I’m really happy you enjoyed it