First Love

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

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Walking out of the shower with a towel around his waist, droplets of water dripped from his hair all the way down to his abs. Chad admired his handsome reflection in the mirror. One might say he was narcissistic, but Chad just loved beautiful things—and that included himself. 


After pondering for quite a while, he pulled out a set of outfits from the wardrobe and placed them on the bed. The rays of the morning sun penetrated through the glass windows, falling on the neatly folded bed covers. A teacup stood next to a newspaper on the bedside table. Like always, everything was picture perfect. 


He stretched himself and went out to the balcony to take a lungful of the fresh morning air. It still had that petrichor smell from the early morning rain. A hint of a spunky smile was etched on his face. 


‘Today is a special day.’ The ghost of a smile had turned into a foolish grin. 


He went back to his room to dress up; a bottle green t-shirt paired with oxford-blue colored jeans and rimless eyeglasses. Gently tousled hair added a sexy charm to his appearance. He pulled out his favorite perfume from the shelves and sprayed it on his body. It smelled of roses; a scent that reminded him of someone very dear.. 


He ran his hands through his slightly wet hair, then took a comb, trying to brush his hair into a more presentable sight. Alas, no matter what he did, the darn hair refused to cooperate. 


After 10 minutes of intense combing, he went to sit on his bed, facing the mirror. A gentle ting from his phone pulled him out of his thoughts. He picked it up and swiped its screen. On it, a message was written: “Where and when?” 


His face flushed. A suspicious tinge of red crept up his neck and ears, making him look like a freshly plucked petal of a beautiful rose. 


His long fingers tapped across the screen to type, “George’s Park, 10 a.m., if that’s alright with you. ♥” He looked at the message once more, deleted the whole thing, re-typed it, deleted and re-typed it again. This continued for a number of times, but in the end, he kept the initial message and hit ‘Send.’ 


A brilliant smile appeared on his face. It felt like he was the main hero of a theater, where all the spotlights focused on him.


“What are you grinning for?” A lady’s voice could be heard from the doorway. 

“Nothing, Mum.” 

“Are you sure about that? What are you hiding from me?” The lady came into the room and held her son’s face, pulling it up to face her and asked with her long-tail eyebrows arched. Her beautiful skin was similar to her son, and the corner of her thin lips curled up into a smirk. “Date?” She asked again. 


Noticing the slight blush on her son’s face, she knew that she was correct. She tousled his already messy hair gently and asked, “Did you buy a gift already?” 

“N-no, not yet.”

“When are you going to do that, young man?” 

“Umm, Mom, please…” 

“Buy red roses and chocolate. All girls love those.” 

“Urghh!”

“Now move your lazy ass off the bed and come to the kitchen to have your breakfast. Is that clear?” 

“Yes Mom.”

“Good.” She tousled his hair a bit more before he followed her footsteps towards the kitchen. 


A man with honey-brown skin, dark set eyes and jet-black hair sat near the breakfast table, turning a page in the newspaper. He pushed his square spectacles up the bridge of his pointed nose, and said, “Good morning, Son.”


“Morning Dad.” He answered as he stuffed himself with a sausage. 


They chatted for a while over breakfast before Chad bid goodbye to his parents. He put on his white sneakers, ran his fingers through the black hair with bleach balayage, stepped onto the pavement and slowly made his way towards the florist shop. He wondered whether his mother’s advice would work and the other person would like it or not. 


Thinking of the other person made his heart flutter. It has been days since he met that person, but every time he thought of that individual, his stomach flipped. 


Looking at the bustling streets, he realized that he has always been rushing to do something or the other, similar to the persons who were rushing towards their office at this hour. They never stop and look back, and he was one of those people who never looked back, but today, he decided to look back at life, and thought that he missed a lot of things while growing up, and this person suddenly barged into his life giving him a jump-scare moment at first, but gradually he started falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of no-return, called ‘love’. 


Some say that love is suffocating, some say that love gives emancipation, while others say that it is nothing more than a snare of worldly illusions. Even some goes as far as to say that love is similar to lust and is only the desire for flesh. 


Chad disagreed with all. Love for him was the fresh smell of earth after the rain. Love for him was the sweet smell of morning tea. Love for him was his desire for love itself. Love can never be measured in mere words. No gem is more precious than love. 


After leaving the florist, he went to buy Belgian Chocolate from the nearest store. Chocolate reminded him of his childhood and the accompanied discrimination. Boys don’t eat chocolate. But, every now and then he would munch on chocolates to his heart’s content. Who cares what the world thinks? Who cares what they say? He didn’t. 


Chad re-organised his thoughts as he slowly walked towards George’s Park. It was almost 9:30 in the morning. The whole city was rushing towards their destination, and here he was strolling towards his destination. But a part of him was nervous. A part of him wanted to fly towards his destination and wait there for his beloved. A part of him wanted to run and hug his beloved. But he was a shy fellow, who had to gather a lot of courage to call the one he loved, out for a date. 


It might sound too cliche to some, but as they point out in those romantic stories, he felt that time seemed to have stopped around him. He felt that the minute hand of the watch he was wearing, was taking forever to move from 9:30 to 9:31. But he didn’t mind. He chanted the mantra of calming down, “Deep Breaths.” He muttered to himself, and took deep breaths in and out. 


As he neared the park, he saw couples kissing, and his face flushed scarlet. He imagined some not-so-innocent scenes in his mind, and his stomach did a double flip. The butterflies refused to let him alone. He wondered whether the same happened to girls or not. 


Walking inside the park, he spotted an empty bench under the cherry blossom tree and sat down. On the other side of the bench was a jasmine tree, and the branches from both the trees were entwined around each other to form a canopy on top. Some of the cherry blossoms were scattered on the ground, and it gave off an ethereal feeling. 


It was almost 9:57 a.m. The wait felt like ages for him, but he wondered whether the other person would be punctual or not. Not that he minded, but still… 


The flowers and chocolate laid on the bench, as the sweet fragrance of jasmine mixed with the earthy smell of petrichor and ensnared his senses. As he got overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of nature, another overwhelming sight caught his attention. 


The most beautiful girl in the whole world stood in front of him. Her beauty was more addictive than addiction itself. Standing at the gate, wearing a flowery-print navy-blue A-line dress was the person he was waiting for all along. An unknown force pulled him towards her. The strong attraction he had for her could not be denied. Putting his hand into the pocket of his jeans, he pulled out his cell phone and called her. It ringed, and he saw her fumbling with her purse. It was funny to watch her fumble for her cell phone. He could tell that she was nervous, just like he was. 


At the last ring, she picked up the call and answered in a sweet melodious voice, “Hello.”


“Over here!” He said before waving his phone high up in the air to catch her attention, and luckily, she looked over at the same time. 


With a gently nervous smile on her face, she walked towards him. Their eyes met and a force pulled them together. She knew Chad for a long time, and how nice of a gentleman he was. She knew that Chad was nervous to ask her out for a date. A part of her wanted him to ask her out. A part of her knew that he was very interested in her. A part of her knew that she would fall deeply and madly in love with him. A part of her wanted to reach out for his collar and pull him into a deep and passionate kiss. 


His burning gaze gave away the fact that he felt the same for her. She always wondered why love can’t be simple. Now she got the answer. The myriad of emotions running through her mind made her confused. She was nervous, yet courageous at the same time. She wanted to be bold for once. 


She went forward and held his left hand with her right. She gave him a gentle smile of encouragement. 


Chad was bewildered seeing her smile so gently. He thought that she would be nervous. Most girls are nervous during their date. On another note, Lanelle was different from other girls. She was always bold and to the point when she spoke. Many fleeting thoughts ran through his mind and he was so drowned in his thoughts that he could not register that she held his hand. When he finally registered, he felt light-headed and almost fainted. He wanted to scream to the world, “Boys are nervous too, okay?” 


Sitting beneath the jasmine and cherry blossom trees, they chatted on many topics including personal life. Lanelle started laughing when he mentioned that he was afraid to swim, and that he was not afraid of drowning but was afraid of floating from one side of a certain water body to the other. Her laughter was like the tinkle of bells, and was so enchanting and contagious that he started laughing with her. 


‘So, this is called first love.’ Chad wondered. Unknown to him, he spoke his thoughts out loud. 


“Yes, this is called first love.” As Lanelle answered him, his mouth formed a big ‘O’. 


Seeing Chad, Lanelle started laughing again. She noticed that when Chad laughed, his hooded eyes formed gentle creases at the corners. They looked so unique and beautiful to her that she had the urge to caress them. The dimples on his face were barely noticeable, as it was covered by his slight beard but her keen eyes noticed them all. 


Lanelle raised her right hand a little and caressed his cheeks with the back of her hand. A sudden passion arose within her to get close to him as much as she could. As she caressed, he tilted his head and her hand was sandwiched between his cheek and shoulders. A slight ticklish sensation on her hand from his beard, made the butterflies in her stomach go wild.


He took her hand into his own and then got up from the bench. He pulled her up to her feet. Making her stand in front of him, he reached for the bouquet at first. He bowed down on one knee, and then presented it to her. 


He waited with bated breath for her to react, and almost closed his eyes in anticipation, when he felt the load on his hand reduce. He looked up to see her sniffing the flowers with a wide smile plastered all over her face. 


As soon as he saw her looking at him with such a passionate gaze, he held the chocolate up and presented it to her. She took them and placed the chocolate on the bench they were sitting on. A single cherry blossom fell on top of it. She smiled. As she turned to face him, she saw that he was holding a ring with his eyes closed. 


She smiled and crossed her arms over her chest as she eyed his nervous face. Neither did she make a sound, nor did he. A few people looked at them, watching the spectacle of a nervous young man trying to propose a lady. Some whispered, others snickered. As he detected the audible whispers from the crowd, he opened his eyes to see Lanelle standing in front of him with her hands crossed over her chest and a small smile on her cherry-pink lips. 


A sudden courage burst inside him, and forced him to confess, “Lanelle, the first time, I laid my eyes on you, I knew that it was only you who could make my heart flutter. It was only you who could make me so angry for not picking up a call and it was only you whose small smile can light up my whole world. So Lanelle, would you do the honor of being my girlfriend?


All the surrounding whispers stopped. Only the slight chirping of the birds who paid no heed to anything, could be heard. Everyone’s gazes were fixed on Lanelle. With Chad, they were also waiting for her answer. 


Lanelle took her own sweet time, but inside her mind, the butterflies were racing and her mind was in turmoil. The moment finally came. He proposed. So many emotions, but she could tell that he was mainly happy. In fact, she was very happy. 


“Yes.” She said in almost an inaudible whisper, but Chad heard it, and so did the others. 


Chad blanked out for a moment, and wasn’t sure whether what he heard was right or not. Chad couldn’t believe his ears. He thought that someone was playing a prank with her. How could a short-tempered girl accept his proposal so early? He was almost ready for a slap. But the slap never came. Instead, he saw that she was grinning from ear to ear. 


“Could you repeat the answer?” he asked. 


“Yes yes yes. I said yes.” She squealed all of a sudden. The sweet, calm and composed girl was nowhere to be seen. Instead, standing in front of him was a girl who was almost like a teenager falling in love for the first time. 


He inserted the ring into her finger, and she admired it for a long time. He looked at her and thought, ‘Such a silly girl! Getting happy over such a small thing.’ But he himself couldn't deny that he was happy too. He was genuinely happy after a long time. 


He took her hands into his own, and slowly entwined his fingers into hers, and gently smiled at her. She slightly pressed on his hand to return the warmth, and they went to the nearest restaurant to have lunch together and spend their most memorable day with each other. 



July 17, 2020 14:25

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2 comments

19:06 Jul 23, 2020

Great story!

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Usha 412
16:01 Jul 24, 2020

Aww, thank you so much for reading.

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