Who doesn’t love Happy Endings? Just FYI that’s a rhetorical questions and I do not, repeat, do NOT want a bunch of comments from sadists/weird pessimistic emo peeps.
‘Mmmhmm, that’s interesting’, I said as you started saying something about an ex. I was starting to lose track, not because of what you were saying, but because it was 11:03 PM waaaay past my bedtime. Then again let’s face it, no one wants to hear you talk about your ex now.
‘…you can’t just get out like that’, you said, not really ending the tale, the one I hadn’t been paying attention to anyway, but I felt my lips curl up in a smirk and in the dark, I tugged a cushion closer to my chest and said, ‘that’s what she said’. As you always did, you paused before bursting out laughing.
Here’s the strange thing about strange things, they’re always stranger when they happen than you imagined they would be.
I’d been sitting outside a classroom, trying desperately to make sense of Fourier Transforms and when you showed up arm slung over this guy I knew vaguely, and referred to as ‘the bastard’, in close company, it wasn’t hard to imagine that the impression you made hadn’t been quite the best. On a scale of 3-4 it was probably a two. I glanced up, smiled and went back, not to deciphering the transforms, but to praying that the guy sitting next to me would write big enough so I could cheat off of him.
The B and you were chattering and it was bugging me, quite a lot. I looked up, shot what I hoped was an icy glare your way and said in what I hoped was a silencing hiss ‘I’m trying to cram here.’
‘that’s what she said.’ you stated, matter-of-fact, without hesitation and proceeded to laugh at your own wit, unabashed, and somehow brazen. I couldn’t help laughing along.
When people asked us how we got together, I never knew what to say, I wasn’t sure how it happened myself, but there we were, holding hands, me trying not be uncomfortable, and you, with your long fingers stroking mine, urging me to just calm the fuck down.
‘Reservation for two?’, the hostess asked, her gaze unwavering, her eyes seemed to be judging me harshly, what for? I had no idea, but it made me wince, it made me want to get out of there and get back in my bed, alone, under the covers. My hand however, was locked in yours, like you knew what I was thinking, and you probably did.
A “proper date” you called it, I wasn’t sure what terrified me more, the ‘date’ part or the idea of the people around. When the hostess came back, she smiled warmly and said, ‘Right this way’, gesturing towards the beginning of a steep staircase.
As she led the way, she kept talking, ‘I’m sure you will love this table, it has an amazing view. It’s always better to be on top.’
You turned and caught my eye, for the first time since we’d gotten there. I saw the smirk coming before it actually did as you mouthed the words so hostess-lady wouldn’t hear- ‘that’s what she said.’
I had to laugh at that, because of the expression on your face, how accomplished you seemed to feel that you cracked so wonderful a joke.
I spent the seemingly endless climb smiling about just how much you made me smile, wondering what you were wondering as we climbed those stairs and squirming at the thought of just how much you would laugh if you knew what I was thinking right then.
We were packing things, moving to a bigger apartment and I hated the packing so very much. So, I stared at a picture of us, your arms around me and each of us staring into the others eyes, like there was nothing else we would rather look at. It was like those pictures that came with the frame when you bought them, the weddingy ones.
‘We look sickeningly happy.’ I said, turning to you holding the picture up.
‘I know, I know, it makes you want to gag and hurl and the whole thing is unbearably cloying, but honey, try not to throw up in the box okay?’, your response left me irritated, mostly because you knew me too well, but then you came up behind me and held me in that exact same way you did in the picture, and I managed to resist the urge to rant about how we were nauseatingly in love and we should stop being so mainstream.
Before I could wiggle away I heard you say it, I was sure I’d heard wrong. ‘Marry me?’, you asked again, this time louder, smiling, confident and not even down on one knee. It was funny how all I could think about was that you weren’t down on one knee.
‘You sure about that?’, I asked with a smirk, and you responded in kind.
‘I have given it considerable amount of thought fair lady, and all that consideration has led me to the firm belief that I am ready to take a wife, and I would be honored if you would accept my proposal.’How you said that with a straight face I don’t know, but you did.
‘You do realize that if I do say yes it’s only because I need a Greencard and possibly the fact that we will get tax benefits if I can start checking the ‘Mrs.’ box on the forms, and maybe also because I don’t actively despise you, probably.’ My own response came out a bit more sardonic than I had intended, but then again I wouldn’t want people knowing how excited I really was, now would I?
‘Maybe this will swing the odds in my favor’, you said with a flourish and producing a diamond ring, that is quite possibly the most gorgeous thing I have ever laid eyes on, yes including you.
‘Oh my God, it’s huge!’, I walked right into that one, maybe I wanted to, but I laughed as you slipped it onto my finger, still not bothering to get down on one knee.
‘That’s what she said’, you added after a kiss and that positively smug wink.
I was afraid the grass would stain my dress, then I realized it ended above my knee. I thought about how you laughed when I started babbling in uncomfortable silences, and I wished that I could see you, but apparently that’s bad luck and I wouldn’t admit it, for sure, but I wanted everything to be perfect.
The backyard looked surreal and I was sure it would look more so in the pictures. My shoes were sinking into the damp grass. The rain last night was an inconvenience I hadn’t accounted for in the rigorous planning.
When I finally came back out, everyone was there. Friends mostly and some cousins. I wished my dad were there to walk me down that aisle, give me away, not away really, just to you. I felt shy, weirdly and unnaturally so. Everyone had their eyes trained on me and the music was timed with my footsteps. I was sure I would fall and there would be a ‘wah, wah, wah’ sound. I pressed my eyes shut, took a deep breath and started down towards you. When you caught my gaze, you smiled and signalled for me to hurry up, because you just couldn’t wait.
In that instant I knew what they meant by ‘giddy with happiness’. I forgot about the shoes and the dress, the eyes and the music.
We held hands and looked at each other in a way that would make a 17 year old me cringe. Vows were said, in sickness and in health.
‘I do.’ I said
You didn’t reciprocate, you weren’t as concise at least
Hells yeah, that’s what she said.