The Proposal

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“It’s a princess cut D- colour internally flawless diamond ring! She’ll absolutely love it.”
“Yes, pack this one please. I’m in a bit of a hurry.”
“Alright, Sir. Good luck! I hope she says yes.”
“So do I, thank you!”  

The excited salesman delicately placed the ring in a beautiful rose shaped box and handed it to the eloquent looking young man. He seemed around 26, or 27, wearing a suit of the finest linen and immaculately polished shoes with his hair carelessly ruffled up. He seemed important, like his every word accounted for millions and he was handsome too, one of those men who’d have girls swooning over them. The young man seemed impressive, way too impressive for his age with gorgeous blue eyes and a dominating demeanor. In five minutes, he had paid the cashier and walked out of the showroom with a calculated grace. 

Next up on his list was to go to Fleur’s and buy an orchid bouquet. Emma had always loved those flowers, they were her favourite. And they were beautiful, but not more than her, he thought. Oh, how she would love those flowers. He was sure she’d be surprised looking at them. I mean, considering how he was so critically allergic to them and couldn’t be near them, she’d sure be astonished finding them with him.

“Good morning, monsieur. It’s been long since I have seen you around here!”
Mrs. Parker pleasantly greeted the young gentleman as he cruised through the flowers on display and offered her a meek smile.

He couldn’t hide anything from Mrs. Parker. She knew him too well for that. She knew everything about him even though she didn’t say much. She knew he didn’t like expressing his feelings. He was always better off at hiding those.

The young man covered his nose as he picked up a bouquet of orchids. It was magical, really. A pity to be allergic to such things, beautiful.

The old lady knew what to do. She gently covered the bouquet with cellophane and handed it to him. As soon as he took out his wallet, ready to pay, she put her hand on his and whispered, “This one’s on the house.”
 He resisted but she spoke, this time a little louder, “It’d be a shame to my shop having you pay for this. Just give her my love, please!”

“I will.”

And there it was! A hint of a faint grin finding a way to his face. But he gathered himself up before the grin actually made an attempt to knock. He didn’t feel very safe opening up. But everyone cracks under pressure. He would too.

The bouquet felt unusual in his hands. It had been a long time since he had last held one. But it reminded him of her and that meant everything.
Before walking away from the shop, he did something he’d generally never be caught doing. He stepped in closer to the old lady and gave her a warm and awkward hug, but a hug nonetheless and Mrs. Parker, taken by surprise, at first, eventually gave in and sobbed into his shirt with shaking shoulders.
This was it. He was letting someone in. Finally. Apart from all the alcohol and drugs he had been over- indulging himself in.

But he backed away. He couldn’t let this happen. Not now. Not today.
Today was too special for him, too important. It’d be a shame to give in today.

After a moment, he stepped away from the old lady, bid her goodbye and chose the shortest path towards his next destination.

How could he miss this one? The day would be incomplete if he did.

Emma had always had had a sweet tooth for desserts, on special occasions more than ever, and this was the most special of them all.

She would love this. Absolutely adore the thought. He was sure of that. After all, it was the place where they first met.

The bell above the door at Welma’s Bakery had a weird ring to it. But Emma loved it nonetheless.

Welma looked shocked when the young gentlemen entered her bakery. This was the first time he was paying her a visit since that day, after it all happened. 

“I didn’t expect to see you here today”, she offered with a sympathetic smile.
“How could I not have come? She’d kill me if I didn’t.”

Welma never really got his sense of humour but out of politeness, coughed out a laugh or two. After all, he had been her favourite customer.

Ten years ago, the young gentleman had met Emma at the bakery. That was the most beautiful day he had had in years. Since then, everyday became beautiful for him. With her by his side, he knew he could conquer the world. And with him by her side, she knew nothing could ever go wrong. They were just perfect for each other. They completed each other in their own little ways.

Since that day at the bakery, they had been coming there every year to celebrate the occasion. However, this was the first time he didn’t have her by his side. Well, some traditions are meant to be broken. And so are some promises.

“So, young man, what can I offer you today?” Welma asked with a smile playing on her lips. She knew what he’d say. She always did.

The gentleman smiled and pointed at the red velvet cake sitting lonely in the corner of the display.

“The usual, please.”

This was their ritual. It always had been one and he was not planning to break it, anytime soon.

Welma smiled and quickly added a short note with icing and cherries on the top. Before handing him the box, she whispered, “Happy Anniversary!”

“Thank you, Welma!”

This is perfect, he thought. Emma would absolutely love this. She was not one of those choosy types but she had always had a graceful taste. He was proof enough, wasn’t he?

Before heading towards his last location, he made a small detour. He had just remembered this gorgeous turquoise scarf that she had eyed on one of their evening walks a few months ago.

She had never really liked spending on herself. She loved shopping, but only for him. And when she finally found something she liked for herself, she would resist it until he found out and brought it for her. This was their system. Unique, isn’t it? Like I said, they were perfect for each other.

The lady at the counter at Tiffany’s eyed the young man holding the box from Welma’s and the orchids wrapped in cellophane. She smiled as she handed him the intricately wrapped scarf and whispered, “Prepping for a special occasion, are we?” The gentleman politely nodded and stepped out of the store.

This was it, he thought, making his way to the last destination. He was finally going to ask her to marry him. He thought about what he’d say to her but he didn’t need to. He already knew. He had known it for ten years. But she didn’t. And this was his chance to finally tell her.

Even though he regretted his decision to wait for ten years, he knew she would think that it was perfect. She always saw the best in everything. Maybe that’s why she could love him.

The white and grey gates glistened the corner. It was about to be sunset, the most stunning part of the day. And he would propose at sunset. She’d always loved sunsets. This would be gorgeous, he thought to himself.

The doors made a narrow creaking sound as he gently pushed them open. This place had become his second home in the last few months. In fact, he spent more time. here than he did at home. He knew every single spot and blotch of that place.

Today, nothing could go wrong. Everything was beautiful. Everything was set. This would be perfect.

And, there she was. Beautiful as ever.

He started walking towards her, with a boyish grin and a new found, exciting energy. This was how she always made him feel, infinite! 

She was his equilibrium and he was hers.

Stepping in closer, he gently removed the cellophane from the orchids, took out the cake from the box and the scarf from the packet. He set all of it on the ground and knelt down in front of her.

This was it.

He took out the box from his front pocket, offered her the ring and began to speak,

“Emilia Robbin Jackson, you look as beautiful as ever today. And I don’t lie when I say this, but you’re the most gorgeous lady I’ve ever set my eyes on.  

I fell in love with you the moment I met you and I never really got the chance to say this to you, but Emma, you're my angel. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me and I’m so eternally grateful for that. Thank you, for stepping into my life and completing me.

I truly love everything there is about you. Your tiny obsessions, your contagious laughter, your gorgeous smile, your sweet tooth, your undying optimism, your hopeful dreams, your unflinching curiosity, your incurable restlessness. Even your unexpected moods, your irrational decisions, your sudden outbursts of anger, your nonstop chatter, your irritating perfectionism, your crazy streaks, your nervous blabs. And you.

I love you. I really do. And I always will. Till the end of my time, and even beyond. Emma, I truly am the luckiest man alive to have you love me back.

There is not a single soul in this world whom I’d trust to be in possession of my heart more than you.  Thank you, for protecting my heart so passionately and ardently.

You're everything that makes me happy. And I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy. There is nothing that I want more than to just be with you.

I can’t imagine growing old with someone other than you, nor do I ever want to.

Today, I, Jason Carter Stevens, pledge my entire life to you.

Will you please do me the honour of being my wife?  

Emilia Robbin Jackson, will you marry me?”

Neither a yes, nor a no was ever heard,
Strange are the undoings of this weary world.

Where, the prince, betrayed by the chains of death,
Lives in desperate wait for his own last breath.

And his princess, snatched away from him before time,
Rests in her lonely grave, devoid of all rhythm and rhyme. 

And as the sun leaves and the sky grows dark,
Upon the prince, the silence leaves a loud mark.

Unable to take it anymore, he gets up and walks away,
Leaving the lonely ring on her grave, asking it to stay, 


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