a story about a girl and two boys – 4

I am going to ask her to marry me today. I know we haven’t been in a good place for a while now. She’s been very frustrating, like I can do no right. But I love her. And I’ve always known that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I’ve got the ring ready. I hope she likes it. I hope I’ve bought the right one. The last thing I want is for her to pout and sulk about not liking the ring. That would ruin the night. And we’d fight once again.

It’s getting really tiring to fight over the silliest things. She keeps saying that I’ve changed, that we don’t have meaningful conversations anymore; that we don’t laugh at the same jokes anymore. Well besides the couple of pounds added to my belly, I don’t think I have. Sure we don’t talk and joke as much, but isn’t it normal for two people who have been living together for 4 years? I still love her most of all. My feelings haven’t changed. Sure I don’t buy her flowers as often as I used to, but she was the one who complained about what we’re supposed to do them anyway.

I remember the first time I met her. We were much younger, and she was the funniest girl I knew. A tomboy whom would ironically wear her shirts tucked neatly into her always-a-tad-too-short-skirts. She had this laugh that was infectious, and everything I did seemed to amuse her. We became the closest friends and she would follow me everywhere. People would tease her. They would say that she had the biggest crush on the boy that would never like her back. She didn’t care. Little did people know, I was the one who thought of the world about her. Growing up, she was my everything. I was just too embarrassed to admit that – even to myself. I was young.

I never asked her out. We just sort of became an item. One summer holiday we went to a party and played truth or dare. One of the dares I got was to kiss a girl. I looked at her, pleaded with my eyes, begging her to save me from the humiliation. Being the good friend that she was she nodded silently and I kissed her. It was just a peck on the lips, but I am forever in debt to that stupid game for after that kiss, everything about us turned one-eighty.

I cannot remember her not being a part of my life. She was always there. For every single achievement I made I had her to thank as she was the one whom cheered the loudest. She’s my rock. Always has, always will. I want to make her happy again, I need to. That’s why I have tonight planned. I’m going to go home early and surprise her. It’s Tuesday today, so I know she’ll be home writing. I’ll bring some flowers and we’ll go to her favorite restaurant. I’ve made the reservation. I’m going to ask her there – at least in public place I won’t have to get down on one knee…

It’s 4pm and I’m driving home. I keep reciting what I’m going to say. I’ve decided to keep it simple. Something like, “Will you marry me, Kate?” or maybe something that doesn’t give her the option to say no, like, “Marry me, Kate!” I chuckled silently, why the heck would she say no, dumbass. She would definitely say yes, you’re being irrational, I told myself.

Pulling over to the driveway I saw her locking the front door, she’s going somewhere. Odd. I thought Tuesday was her writing day, I didn’t know she had some place else to be. I need a new plan. I don’t think I can sneak in that flower bouquet. I’m just going to ask her now. Surprise, surprise, Kate… She spots me and the flowers, squints her eyes. Did I see a glint of irritation? I shrug my suspicion off and walk up to her. She has her hair tied in a ponytail, God I hate that ponytail, why does she always have to look so businesslike lately. And that pout, it’s like she’s never happy to see me. Once again I shrug whatever I’m feeling off and focus at the task at hand. Nervously I stand in front of her, smile and hand her the bouquet. “You look lovely today, Kate. Going somewhere?”

a story about a girl and two boys – 3

I told her how I feel today. I couldn’t help myself. I know how wrong it was but I’ve always wanted to do so from the moment I saw her walking into my workshop. I remember that day. Clearly. I think I always will. I remember sitting at this very table, scribbling. When I looked up I saw this tall girl, her long hair was tied in a ponytail. A little pout was on her lips. She nodded at me politely and then stopped in front of one of my paintings. I could tell that she wasn’t having a good day. She seemed quite upset and strangely I had this weird feeling of wanting to just walk up to her and comfort her. So I did.

She looked at me with this puzzled look. Well of course, I was this one stranger and had literally just mumbled incoherent words about the nice weather and if she should smile and a bunch of stuff that didn’t even make sense to me. I remember kicking myself in the head, I should have just said hi but no, I had to go and acted like a total idiot. She remained her poised self, still no smile, but she pointed and asked if it was my painting the one she was looking at. She made me super nervous – and trust me, I don’t get nervous. I said yes, introduced myself, and we talked a bit about my painting. I remember trying to think of something interesting to say just to keep her talking to me, but she moved on to the next painting, gesturing that she wanted to tour alone and I excused myself. Swearing under my breath, I promised I would get her name next time.

She kept coming back to my workshop. First it was once a week. On Tuesdays, I remember. She would come into the building with her usual pouty lips, nodded her little nod at me, browsed around and then stopped at one painting. Then she would take out her notepad and start jotting down. She did catch my attention, but since I was quite embarrassed with how our first encounter went, I would just sat and watched her did her thing from afar. She was one fine view. Aside from the sadness that seemed etched on her facial expression, she was really beautiful. How I wished to see her smile.

It then became quite a habit. I found myself wishing for Tuesdays. Wishing that there would be one Tuesday when she would return and instead of her usual sad-self, she would come and actually look happy. I remember wanting her to be happy about seeing me – albeit there was practically nothing exchanged between us but those pathetic first hello and little nods here and there – but I had this strange feeling that she might be happy about seeing my paintings. After all, she kept coming back. I kept my hope high until one Tuesday she didn’t return.

It was one weird Tuesday. Everything about it was wrong. I couldn’t concentrate, kept staring at the door willing it to open and reveal your face. I waited until late, much later than my usual business hour, but you never showed. It rained that night, and looking at the door I felt this unfamiliar pang at the center of my chest. I tried distracting myself by drafting an abstract piece, I kept drafting silently and the lines turned into a face, yours… That was when I realized that the pang wasn’t unfamiliar after all, I just missed you.

Sometimes I wonder if things would have turned out differently if you had showed up that day. Maybe if you had I wouldn’t have learnt how it felt to miss you. I wouldn’t have drawn that sketch of you. You wouldn’t have seen it and finally smiled at me. I wouldn’t have seen your smile. I wouldn’t have fallen for you. I wouldn’t have put you in such a messy situation – exactly where you are right now. But I guess I’m not sorry and I would have fallen for you anyway.

My Blackberry buzzes and it snaps me back. I pick it up, there’s a BBM from you. It’s late so I guess he’s finally asleep. I put my book down and start typing. It’s going to be a long night, we have a lot to talk about…