Love’s New Beginning
This is it. The night Kevin is going to break up with me.It was only a matter of time. Four months ago I lost my job. Unable to find another I had to move back in with my parents. My car had been repossessed the week before, and this morning I realized I had gained twenty pounds since the holidays. As I slipped further into a depression, I couldn’t imagine how someone like Kevin would want to stay with a loser like me.
When he picked me up, Kevin was full of meaningless chatter as we headed for town. Now, thirty minutes later the car became uncomfortably silent.He must be trying to figure a way to break it to me gently.
Perhaps I could forestall the inevitable or try to change his mind, but could I do that to him? I wanted him to be happy, not get drug down into my misery.
I studied his profile while he wove in and out of traffic. He’s so handsome, smart, and fun. I should break it off before he has to.
The problem is, I’m a coward and I want to hold on to him as long as possible. I sighed, shifted my weight to turn to look out the passenger window.
Realizing I had no clue where we were, I asked, “Where are we going?”
“Oh, Julie, I’m sorry. I forgot to mention I promised a friend I would stop and feed his dog while he was out of town tonight.”
“Who do you know that lives in the city?”
“I didn’t tell you Mark bought a house?”
“No,” Already failing to share part of your life with me.
We lapsed back into silence until we reached the house two miles later.
Kevin shut off the ignition, turned and stared at me.
“Julie, would you mind coming in with me?”
“You need help to feed a dog?”
“I might need help finding the food. Mark didn’t mention where he kept it.”
I turned, pulled the handle to open the door, and stopped to stare at the home.
“It would be nice to live in a place like this.”
“You think so?” he asked.
He stared at the house for a moment. “Maybe.”
My shoulders drooped. Here I was imagining a home with him one day. He obviously wasn’t in the same place.
I followed him up the path from the street to the front door. He had the key ready and turned the lock immediately. Then, he just stopped and turned to stare at me.
“Julie, I should have talked to you about this before…”
Oh God, he’s going to break up with me on the front porch of his friend’s house.
I stood frozen, unable to speak or move, until he motioned me to lead the way. I took three steps into the living room before stumbling to a stop again; this time in astonishment instead of terror.
In the center of the room a round table had been dressed with a white tablecloth. Two candles burned in their holders next to a bucket of ice and a champagne bottle. A plate of chocolate covered strawberries sat to one side.
I vaguely registered the sound of the front door closing. When I glanced at Kevin, he took my hand and led me to the side of the table. We stared at each other a moment, and I could feel nervousness and anticipation gathering my stomach muscles tighter and tighter.
“Julie, this house doesn’t belong to Mark. I bought it – for us. You are the most wonderful woman I’ve ever known. Your beauty is surpassed only by the kindness and love in your heart. I can’t imagine going another day without asking you to be mine.”
Tears flowed down my cheeks as he lowered himself to one knee and pulled a box from inside his coat pocket.
“Julie, will you do me the great honor of becoming my best friend, wife, and lover for as long as we both shall live?”
“Yes,” I whispered shakily sinking down next to him so I could pull him close.
He kissed me fiercely before pulling back. “You haven’t even seen the ring yet.”
“I don’t care about the ring, just you.” I laughed.
“Well, I hope you’ll like this one.”
He opened the box and I had to wipe my eyes again before I could focus on what lay inside.
I gasped as he pulled out the beautiful band. He was offering me his grandmothers’ wedding ring. An heirloom I had admired before the wonderful woman passed the year before.
“She wanted me to give it to you if I ever worked up the courage to ask. She knew how much you meant to me even before I did. I love you.”