It was St Valentine’s Day and Molly was excited. Last year her boyfriend had given her even more than a bunch of roses. She knew that the next year (which is this year) it would be a ring.
Molly rose early. Her heart soared. She dressed in casual, comfortable clothes. No good dressing up to the nines and letting the cat out of the bag. Before she had finished breakfast she had changed her attire twice. What she wore would be captured forever on her phone. Her phone was charged. She would show the photograph to her grandchildren years down the line and say, “This is your grandmother getting proposed to by your late grandfather.”
Late grandfather! Oh! How sad that day would be! for almost inevitably he would pass on first. And she, by then not Ms Molly Liggins like today but Mrs Alexander Snooks, would be left alone in her world of widow’s weeds.
And children! She had already named all three! There would be Nicholas, and Eadlin, and Lillian. Not to mention their house mortgage free and with a lovely view. And the car! “Limousine” would be a better word. She would have her driver’s license by then. It would be the first thing her fiancé would do: give her driving lessons, in between smooching and kissing in the back seat. Oh! The future! Who doesn’t dare to dream doesn’t win.
There was a knock on the door. It was the florist delivery personage. Was this the prelude? “Mother!” called Molly from upstairs, “could you get that. I’m getting changed?”
And when Molly swept down the stairs she was greeted by a bouquet of yellow carnations wrapped in black paper and a note that said “Sorry”.
(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Terry of ARANEUS1. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future closing sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)
I’d put it off for long enough. Leonie-Lee was my life and light. We had been dating now for three years. It was time to propose marriage, but to be honest, what if she said “No”? The possibility of a “No” – no matter how improbable it was in reality – had always come in the way of proposing. I wish she’d taken advantage of that quirky thing (I believe it’s the case) and proposed to me herself last Leap Day.
I caught the number 12 tram. It stops almost outside my house. There’s no need to walk far except down the garden path. In fact, when it rains, I simply wait in my porch and when the number 12 tram approaches I dash out and board the tram raincoat-less and umbrella-less. Crossing the road can be a bother, but there’s a place for pedestrians to cross, although these days who can trust the road-raging drivers? Of course, I carry my coat and umbrella, because when I reach the tram stop where I alight I still have to walk a good half hour to arrive at Leonie-Lee’s house.
I had the engagement ring and everything. In fact I’ve been so excited about this decision that I haven’t slept for two days. Not the briefest forty winks.
When I got off the number 12 tram the sun was shining. The day couldn’t have been more pleasant if I’d planned it myself. I practically skipped my way to Leonie-Lee’s. This was to be the happiest day of my life thus far.
Anyway… that was a couple of hours ago. Leonie-Lee said… well… it doesn’t matter. Same as last time. Afterwards, I headed straight for home. As I stepped off the number 12 tram, dodging impatient traffic, it started to rain.
Anne had lost her wedding ring, but she knew exactly where it would be. Every day she made a loaf of bread. It had happened before. It would be in the baked loaf. It would have slipped off while she was doing the kneading. She was constantly telling herself to take the wedding ring off before make the bread. When would she ever learn?
She had just enough time to take the bread out of the oven before scurrying off in the family van to take her son and some of his friends to their hockey match. She would worry about the wedding ring later. And then on the way home she would pop into the supermarket to get a few things. Another parent was to drop the boys home.
Of course, when eventually she did get home the inevitable had happened: her son and his friends had scoffed down the entire loaf with heaps of butter.
“You make excellent bread, Mrs McElwey!” said Angelo Whatnotski.
“Did anyone find a wedding ring in the bread?” asked Anne.
No one had. Oh well, how stressful!
Later that day, just as she was peeling the potatoes for dinner, Anne spied her wedding ring on the bench next to the flour bin. She had taken it off after all! O happy day! O happy, happy day!
What a pleasure it is to behold a surprisingly happy conclusion to a stressful experience!
(a pantoum, with seven footnotes to aid scholars) (1)
I know you’ll say no No! No! The answer’s yes!
But can we give marriage a go? I thought you’d never ask, I must confess.
No! No! The answer’s yes!
I went and bought a ring(2) in case. I thought you’d never ask, I must confess.
I didn’t want to lose face, Stace.(3)
I went and bought a ring(4) in case. I’ve already said I will
I didn’t want to lose face, Stace.(5) You’re not listening to me, Bill.(6)
I’ve already said I will
I knew you didn’t love me You’re not listening to me, Bill.(7)
You think you’re way above me.
I knew you didn’t love me Now you’re pissing me off
You think you’re way above me. Yeah right, I’m one of them highfalutin toffs.
Now you’re pissing me off
But can we give marriage a go? Yeah right, I’m one of them highfalutin toffs.
I knew you’d say no.
(1) “A Modest Proposal” – Not to be confused with Jonathan Swift’s literary work with the same name (2) An engagement ring (3) Her name was Stacey; Stace for short. The shortening of her name implies that he knew her quite well (4) Probably the same ring as in note 2 (5) This is the same person as in a couple of footnotes back (6) His name was Bill (7) This is the same person as in another footnote, not the footnote regarding Stacey but the one about Bill