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.
So, I kinda managed to maim my left arm. How did you manage to do that, you ask? Short answer- I fell off a running treadmill, my hand got wedged under the belt and I couldn’t use my left hand for 2 weeks. There’s no long answer. As a consequence, I have had a startlingly, excitingly and positively tingly new excuse to put off writing a new post, despite the amazing post titles that line my dashboard with the content part empty, looking solemn under the brilliant headings. I’ve decided to give free reign to my inner environmentalist and recycle some old content. Besides, posting love stoires always seems to garner more attention than my witty commentary on American Television shows. So without further ado, here’s a tale I wrote some years ago, not based on fact or anything that really ever happened, but, you know it does have snippets of inspiration from real life, as most tales do:
I want to ask you this, out of curiosity more than anything else. From what I’ve heard, what happened and what should have happened are two very different things.
We were supposed to bump into each other on a rainy day, you would pick up the books you had knocked out of my hand and we’d smile at each other, shy from under a shared umbrella. I met you at a bar, a shady one at that.
Apologies were to have been exchanged, and then you would proffer an offering of peace, coffee perhaps. I bought you the drink at the bar, upon encouragement from a close personal friend.
You would pay for it like a gentleman, waiving my enthusiastic protests, and in a manner that is both cute and awkward you would ask for my number. I didn’t give you my number. You didn’t ask for it, you sipped the drink I’d bought you and flashed me a grin from across the room.
You would call three days later after a couple of casual texts, and ask me to coffee again. I would say yes, and spend three hours worrying about what to wear-something sexy, but also cute. I watched you make your way to me, striding casually, gaze fixed on me, hungry. You leaned into my ear, to make a whispered proposition, one I couldn’t refuse.
You would ask me about myself – my family, what I do and my interests. You would feign interest occasionally and more often than not you would like everything everything I had to say. I blushed at the forwardness of your proposition, squirmed on the bar stool and looked away.
You would smile and answer my queries about you in return, as you pour me a glass of wine. I made to get off the bar stool, when my close personal friend interrupted me. She convinced me that your proposition wasn’t in my best interests and that, come morning I wouldn’t be happy with it. I accepted her flawless logic, and with that I bade you a remorseful farewell, not without slipping you my number.
I would smile when I see your name on my phone, I would re-read your messages and feel warm and fuzzy inside. You messaged me alright, and I did re-read those messages, not once, but many times.
So, time would fly, when not spent in each other’s company. A couple of months later, something brought us together again. It wasn’t fate, I checked. You just came to that bar often, and everytime you did you would text me to come meet you.
We would meet each other’s families, exchange pleasantries and gifts even.You whispered the same proposition, this time knowing me only little more than you did last time. There was no one to talk sense into me this time, with a kiss the deal was sealed.
Schedules would me drawn up, Christmas with myfolks, Thanksgiving with yours. We did draw up a schedule- no strings attached was the only rule, that’s what I assumed. I didn’t ask, it occurred to me, sure, but I didn’t ask.
You would ask me to move in with you, give me a key to your apartment maybe. Or maybe we would get a house that is “ours” in the suburbs. It’s called a ‘Booty call’ apparently, what we were doing. I was amused, it was fun and fun was always a good thing.
We would check in with each other everyday, maybe twice even. I’d call you, tell you to get take out for dinner, or just maybe let you know I’d be home late from work. I knew what you did for a living-an artist, that was the extent of my knowledge, you knew even less about me. I would ask, as a friend of course, you replied courteously, but never with the enthusiasm I expected. It’s been 6 months since we last spoke. I keep count, but I won’t pick up the phone.
You would start acting funny, I would wonder if you were cheating on me, until I find a ring in a shoe-box hidden in your closet. You would propose, I would accept. There would be champagne, the company of family, friends and acquaintances. None of my friends knew you existed, mostly I am glad for that. You were my dirty little secret, and I yours. The sneaking around was fun. I haven’t deleted your number, but someday soon the courage will come. When 6 months grow to a year.
There would be a wedding to plan-flowers,cake, bridesmaids’ dresses. I used to be married a long time ago, that went to hell. He cheated on me, that’s why I was at that bar 6 months ago. In 6 months, I’ve turned down 5 men, who could have been Mr.Rachel. I don’t owe you anything, I don’t have to be faithful to you. It was in the contract. Then why?
I would see you standing at the end of that aisle, smiling like I’m all you ever wanted. I would walk slowly, in pace with my father, eager to get to you, seeing our whole life ahead of us. “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”. I do, love you.
I’m going through a weird phase right now, emotionally. Screw the long explanation, there’s a guy, I kinda like him. Blah blah. Whine whine. So anyway whenever I get bummed about this kinda stuff I write emo or semi-emo love stories, with the rare non-emo happy endingiy story. This one is a weird mix of both and also a weird mix of Shakespearean English and my show-obsessed rant English. The melding wasn’t as awkward as I expected, but then again what do I know, I like a guy who thinks getting free stuff is a bad thing. Read, enjoy and please do comment. :
There was a stage. There was a spotlight. And in it I stood on the tiptoes of my feet. My gown was long and abounded with ambiguous stains that come with years of storage. The play was Romeo and Juliet. My part was wonderfully agonizing. I stood there saying those lines. Meaning every one of them, perhaps some more than others.
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Okay, I didn’t mean those words at all. I barely understood them. These ones on the other hand:
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
Take all myself, I willed for you to hear. I sought your face in the audience. I saw it, as I always did when I closed my eyes and when I opened them as well. There you were smiling, watching, with your arms linked with her. I am not Juliet and you clearly aren’t my Romeo, or my Shawn Spencer even.
I do not know what love is, I never have. I do not believe it can be called love until there are two. When one heart longs for another, pounding in solitude, aching without solace, it cannot be love can it? I do not believe that could be the case. Love is not the term for affections unrequited, for an invitation declined. It isn’t love when your thoughts are of only one person and that person’s only thoughts are of Spanish supermodels.
The play concluded, the applause and consequent pride took up space in my heart. I smiled at you once again, and you, you winked at me, cheeky, forever playful, constantly tugging at the strings of my heart and as much as it pains me to admit, soul as well.
Behind the stage I was wrapping up when you came up to me. Thankfully you had left her behind. I stood there pretending not to be idle even though I had seen you coming in the mirror. You gave me a hug, one of those you always saved for special occasions- a dollop of warmth, a dash of softness, a wad of affection and just a hint of linger. You have no idea how much I loved the linger, how much I read into it, how many times I have analysed it, counted the seconds and even kept a journal( jk I am not that crazy). It’s been 2 years in the making and I still haven’t told you how I feel, mostly because I don’t like feeling this way, also because I want you to make the first move, ya big oaf!
‘Good stuff’, you said. You had never really been able to compliment me, not in superlatives anyway. Always good, never great. Always okay, never sure. It made me want to chop off your thumb, but then again I would consider the things you and I wouldn’t be able to do without your thumb and avoid succumbing to that instinct.
This instinct however, I was tired of suppressing, irritated with its persistence, positively disgusted with its intensity. I can’t describe it any other way. I didn’t thank you, I didn’t hug you back, I lunged. Grabbing your arms at my waist, I held them tight and kissed you hard. You pushed me up against a rather wobbly dressing room wall and kissed me back. I was tired no more, I loved the instinct, I was elated with its persistence, elated with its existence, elated by its intensity and just so goddamn happy with the response. I was in love and you weren’t far behind.