Awkward Proposal.


I sat in front of my laptop, fingers poised on the keyboard ready to type. But I drew blanks, not even my knowledge of morphology, phonology or syntax came to my aid. I had to tell him that I was finally ready, the course had come to its natural close and it was time.

I met him at the immigration offices when I was a student. I had won a scholarship to study there but the recent global problems had caught up with me somehow. My study visa was to be renewed every year but this year the process had been marred by bureaucratic issues that I didn’t understand. One thing I knew was that I had to finish my degree. There was nothing waiting for me back home, my family had spent a small fortune to send me here. I couldn’t even afford the plane ticket and I would probably be grateful if they deported me, worst to worst.

Mark was just the best. He asked me if I would like to eat something because I looked famished. Before I finished saying “No” he handed me a taco that smelled so good. He was right, I hadn’t eaten the whole day, famished was an understatement. He watched me as I quickly gobbled down the thing and gave me a bottle of water to drink.

I then told him about my student Visa issues and he showed genuine concern. He asked how he could help. “Ha-ha you could marry me until I finish my studies”, I joked. And believe it or not that what he did. We sighed a prenuptial that on divorce there will be no claims and I will go my way and him his. A month later I was back in class with no visa issues. I studied hard, we had the occasional lunch or dinner to catch up but nothing more. Two years past and I was finally done with school. He invited me to stay at his house as I planed my life after college. “After all we are married.” he joked.

My brilliant writing had caught some eyes and I was looking at getting a job soon. He loved to read my manuscripts, poetry and short stories. It almost became a tradition that I showed him everything I wrote before turning it in. He asked to make my room more comfortable and personalized so that I stay longer. He was going to be in and out for a while, it was better I stay and take care of his house. It was an amazing house, I said yes! And we were married anyway, right…

It’s funny how feelings creep up on you like an unwanted pests. One day you are completely indifferent to someone then suddenly they are the center of your being. I cooked, I cleaned, I looked forward to talking about our days in the evening. Then one night he didn’t come home. Then the second. I called, his cell was offline. I was worried sick. The evening of the third day he came home with a girl.

She was a striking beauty, the type that turns all heads when she enters a place. She had this poise and demeanor that drew me immediately and crushed me at the same time. “Sorry I didn’t call you! I am so sorry. We went on an impromptu trip to the Maldives”, he said as he hugged me and planted a kiss on my cheek. She smiled up at me and said,” You must be Anna, Mike has told me so much about you”. I smiled hard, biting down tears that threatened to fall in torrents, and welcomed them home then I walked up to my room devastated.

I hated myself for the tears that I shed that night. I could hear them giggling in the living room. Once or twice there was a knock and a voice at my door asking me to come eat. I couldn’t move an inch from the floor where I had slumped the moment I was alone inside that room. I couldn’t face the man I love when to him we were just a business transaction and truly so.

Once the storm was over, I knew it was time to leave, the relationship or whatever this was, had run its course and fulfilled its purpose. I was going to write him an email and give him an address where he could send the paper work. I sat in front of my laptop, fingers poised on the keyboard ready to type, but I drew blanks, not even my knowledge of morphology, phonology and syntax came to my aid. For a writer that was the worst piece of writing I ever did. The following morning, I left.

“What the..!” The loud doorbell jerked me out of my sleep. I trudged downstairs to the door thinking that sound will give me a heart attack someday. I opened the door and nothing prepared me to see Mike all red-faced and flushed and handsome at my door. I quickly tied my robe and pulled back my hair. “What are you doing here?” I asked avoiding eye contact.

“It took me a while to find you, you just left!”

“I had to”

“Why”

“You know why”

“No I don’t”

“Our thing had run its course, you need to be free to continue with your life and I mine’

“But, you are part of my life! We are married”.

“Stop this Mark, what do you want, where are the papers? Aren’t you late for some impromptu trip to the Maldives?”

“Is that what this is about!” he chuckled.

“Yes”, I looked at him bewildered.

He was smiling.

I was boiling with rage.

He went down on one knee and produced a little box and opened it. Inside was the most beautiful blue pearl ring I had ever seen. “This is the reason for the trip to Maldives, it took longer than expected but my sister and I searched high and low until we found it, I had to find the right ring and do it right this time. Anna will you marry me.”

“The blonde girl?”

“Is my step sister, Tony, the one I always talk about.”

“Shit, I thought Tony was a man!”

“She is going to be in stitches when she hears this. Anyway, I have loved you for a long time and I should have said it sooner, you are an amazing person and this time we have lived together cemented these feelings in me. I know that this is crazy and you may need time to think it over and….”

“Yes, goodness! I will marry you, but my dad might require some cows back at home”.

He laughed and for the first time in three years, we shared our first kiss.

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10 thoughts on “Awkward Proposal.

  1. Hi Joy I did enjoy your story. If criticism is what you are asking me for then I might say this:
    There are a few typos: eg: “”Shit, I thought Tony is a man”” the ‘is’ in this case should be a “was”….
    I like the use of repetition, I was wondering if as it opens the story it could go closer to the end to give a more rounded effect but then you might have to change what the outcome of the email might be.
    It has a good feel about it, everyone likes a situation that works out for the protagonist.
    I thought you held the story well…..if you were to extend it further you might like to delve into why Mark so easily married her. Does he like her from the word go? Is it more than a business transaction for him?

    So Joy yes write some longer stories the secret with short stories is to not get carried away with tangents but to stick with the central issue of the tale….good luck with it all…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael. Yes, I needed a critique. I had thought of including Mikes’ feeling for her somewhere but I also din’t want to give the reader a give away of the ending, I struggle a lot with multiple plots and I really over use suspense as a literary device… I have three versions of the ending to this one but I chose the one where there is a happy ending because I was in a good mood Lol. Thank you again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well so often our mood does dictate how things might end….but good you have thought through three endings, it suggests you have a flexibility about your writing and that is always a good thing…like anything the more you do it the better you get….have a good day…

        Liked by 1 person

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