It felt like time was standing still. All eyes were on her and she hated being the centre of attention.
Martin was on his knees, his arms outstretched, cradling the ring box. His eyes were eager, waiting for a positive response. This was the question were there was only one acceptable answer. Any other answer created more questions than she felt willing to answer. The eyes around her started to look confused and concerned.
It may have felt like time had paused but clearly it hadn’t. Their stares had now begun to turn into elbow jabs and whispers. Martin stood up and stepped closer to her. “Is something wrong?”
Now didn’t seem to be the best time to tell her almost fiance that her ex-boyfriend had been messaging her for months. They hadn’t split up because of anything untoward, a job opportunity he couldn’t turn down appeared out of the blue. She told him to go, he had her blessing, she had absolutely no issue with it. She was lying, he knew she was lying and he still left.
She hadn’t meant to meet anyone else, she was supposed to be saving herself for Thomas, for when he came back, professionally and spiritually fulfilled. Then she met Martin. He wasn’t Thomas, he didn’t even come close but he was sweet, loyal and didn’t have career ambitions that included him leaving the country for any amount of time.
That sounded awful and she knew it, that was why she hadn’t said anything to anyone. That wasn’t to say she didn’t love Martin, he just wasn’t topping the list of loves of her life. He was adorable. He was smart. He was funny. And he was kind. But it wasn’t enough and now he was proposing. Publicly. It was literally her worst nightmare. Especially when the answer was going to be no.
“Seriously, is there something wrong?” He looked terrified, his pale skin was starting to turn a frightening shade of red. A thin line of sweat was forming on his forehead. She wanted to answer but she was too busy of thinking how to reject the proposal without blurting out what had been happening with Thomas. She was painfully honest and in this moment, it was not a helpful trait.
Not that she could put into words what was happening with Thomas. They’d met up for drinks a couple of times which was wrong and she knew it but she couldn’t help herself. All the old feelings came flooding back. “I don’t think this is the right time.” She hoped no one else heard her but there was a big audience and all eyes and ears were on them. She just wanted to melt into the floor.
Her phone started to vibrate and she knew it was Thomas. He always had impeccable timing. Martin could hear the vibrating, “Are you going to pick that up?”
“No, I’m sure it can wait.”
She never ignored calls, notifications, any sort of alert from her phone. She always checked to see what they were, she didn’t necessarily deal with it but she always checked. This didn’t seem right to Martin.
“Just answer it!” He wasn’t loud but he sounded aggressive. The redness in his face darkened, this was anger not embarrassment. She didn’t understand the look but that was because she didn’t know that he knew about Thomas. “Answer it!”
“Okay.” She pulled the phone out and clicked the answer button.
“Before you say anything, just let me speak.” Martin grabbed the phone out of her hand and listened to the rest of the conversation. “This is going to sound crazy but I want to take you away for a weekend, I really need to know if these feelings I’m feeling are real or not. I haven’t stopped thinking about you, so much I think I’ve turned you into a fantasy. But I know we’re older now…” The phone hit the wall and smashed into several pieces.
The audience in the room had started to talk amongst themselves, that stopped them.
Martin looked at her, one last time before he stormed out, “I guess I’ve got my answer then.”
The room was silent and all eyes were once again on her. How she wished time would stand still or better yet, this moment just never happened.
xx woeful writes xx