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A Little Romantic Scene I Wrote

to pass the time

Today we are going to do something different.  My goal is to post every day for a week, but while living in my house under quarantine, I’m not finding much irony in the day to day.  Today I’m posting a scene I wrote at the beginning of the year.  I’m in a writing Mastermind Group in order to learn more about writing and to keep myself in line.  I was assigned to write a romance.  A prompt was given to me and I wrote.  This isn’t my best.  But it’s kind of fun – it was hard for me to write.  I think the word “romance” freaked me out.  (There isn’t anything ‘untoward’ but I do make a few ironic references to stereotyped phrases attributed to the romance genre.  Some may not like those references.  Proceed with caution.)

Everyone relax

Shawna placed the ring on the kitchen counter where she knew Isaac would see it.  She didn’t care how much his member pulsed, she would not have a used engagement ring.

She considered herself down to earth.  She didn’t think she believed in the Cinderella story where a man would come in and sweep her off her feet, but she did want to be special to someone.  She wanted to be the only one.  Maybe not the only one Isaac had loved; she wasn’t that naïve.  She’d loved before Isaac.  But she wanted to be Isaac’s special love.  She wanted to be different to him than anyone else.  

Shawna looked back down at the ring.  She felt tears slide down her cheeks.  Why couldn’t she be special?

She heard the door open and Isaac walk in behind her.  She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand.  She sniffed and took a deep inhale through her mouth.  She’d wanted to be gone before he found the ring, but she guessed she wasn’t unique or special enough for life to give her that.

“Hey, Shawna,” Isaac said as he turned the corner into the kitchen.  He stopped when he saw her.  His eyes flickered over to the ring. She knew he’d see it there.  She knew him so well.  At least She thought she did.  “What’s that?”

“It’s your ring.”

He glanced up at me.  “I think it’s your ring.  Why is it on the counter?”

“I wore it to work today.  I was so excited to wear it to work.  I showed it to everyone.”

Isaac kept his eyes on her.

“You know Tiffany works at my building.”

“But in a completely different area.  I thought you never saw her and it wasn’t a problem.”

“It got around there was someone in marketing with a giant ring.  She came to see it.”

Isaac slowly closed his eyes.  He reached out and put his hand over the ring.  “She told you it had been hers.”  He opened his eyes.

Shawna nodded.  She tried to take a cleansing breath but it caught in her throat and she couldn’t let it out without a slight hiccup.

“This ring was meant for you,” Isaac said.

My eyes stared at his hand covering the ring.  “Then why did Tiffany have it first?”  

“It took a slight detour before getting to you, but it was meant for you.”

“You can understand why I don’t believe that.”

She could see him shaking his head out of the corner of her eye.  

“You have to believe me.  My future wife was always going to be the owner of this ring.”

“You told me you had it made especially for me.”

“And I did.  I just didn’t know you were you when I bought it.”

“You thought I was Tiffany.”

Isaac reached out to touch her and she backed away.

“I never thought you were Tiffany.”

“What then?  You couldn’t return it,  so you thought you’d save a few bucks?”

“A few bucks? That ring cost me $20,000.”

Shawna flinched.

“Wait.”  Isaac put his hand out but didn’t try to touch her this time.  “That isn’t what I meant.”

“No one wants a used ring, Isaac.”

“It’s not used.”

She finally looked at him. 

“Let me explain.”

She swallowed but kept looking at him.

It was his turn to take a deep breath.  “I never felt for Tiffany the way I feel for you.”

She rolled her eyes.

“It’s true.

She waved her hand at him.  “Okay.  Let’s pretend that’s true.  That you love me differently or whatever from Tiffany.  Why, in all that you hold dear, did you not at least change the setting from when you asked Tiffany?”

He looked at her blankly.

She turned around and sat at the kitchen table.  Shawna put her elbows on the table and her head in her hands. “I wasted over a year of my life with you,” she said under her breath.

“What?”

She looked up and over at him.  “I said, I wasted over a year of my life with you.  How did I not know you were this stupid?”

“I told myself my wife would wear that ring and I meant my wife would wear that ring.”

“And I told myself I’d marry an intelligent man.  If we go through with this, looks like we’d both be wrong.”

“I don’t understand why this is such a big deal.  It’s a gorgeous ring.  When I gave it to you, you said it was the most beautiful thing you’d ever seen in your life.”

“That’s because I thought it was mine and mine alone.  It lost some of it’s beauty when I found out you picked it out with Tiffany in mind.”

“I picked it out with my future wife in mind.”

“Who was Tiffany.”

He slapped his hand on the counter.  “That’s where you’re wrong.  I bought it before Tiffany.”

“So you bought it with no one in mind? That’s better?”

He wiped imaginary crumbs off of the counter.  It looked to Shawna like Isaac was trying to buy himself some time to come up with a good answer.

He kept wiping his hand across the counter.  “I’m not sure I’ll be able to explain this very well.”

She leaned back in the chair.  “I’m not sure you will either.”

He looked up at her.  “Hey.  Cool it.  I know you aren’t thrilled with getting a ring someone else wore for about five seconds, but you can at least be nice.”

“Nice?” She scooted forward and put her hands on the table.  “You want me to be nice?  I’ve just had one of the most important occasions in my life reduced to ‘also ran.’  I may be independent and have a great career, but I was still a little girl who dreamed about a royal wedding.  I don’t want quite as many ruffles on my dress as I did then and the pony rides at the reception went out at about age ten, but I still want to feel special.  Especially to you.”

“How does this ring make you any less special?”

“Every time I look at it, it will be just a ring you put on my finger.  There won’t be anything special about it. It’s a ring that you just had around and gave to me.”

“So the fact I want you to be the one who wears it means nothing?”

“But I wasn’t the only one you wanted to wear it.”

“That’s not exactly true.”

“How is that not true?”

“I made a mistake with Tiffany.”  He took a deep breath and pressed down on the counter.  “I shouldn’t have ever asked her to marry me.  We weren’t ever supposed to go there.  My mom had just died and I felt lost.  She was there and she was kind and I thought I was in love with her.”

“I’ve heard this before.”

“But I’m not sure you understood.”

Shawna wiped a tear off of her cheek.  She’d wanted to leave before he’d gotten home in order to prevent this type of scene.  She hadn’t wanted to cry in front of him.  She didn’t want to look so affected in front of him.

He walked over and sat in the chair next to her.  He put his hand on hers. she pulled hers away.

“She was never a true love.  She was in the right place at the right time and we both agreed we weren’t each other’s forever.  Then I met you.  I knew you were my forever.”

“Then don’t I deserve a special ring?”

“But this one is special.  When I was down and alone and I wasn’t sure I wanted to take another step, I made this ring.”  He opened his hand and put the ring in front of them.  “It became a symbol of hope for me.  A symbol of my possible future.  I would stare at it for hours, hoping and praying that one day there would be someone who wore it and was mine.  It took about five minutes of Tiffany wearing it before I knew it didn’t belong to her.  She wasn’t my hope or my future.”

She looked at the ring.

“So I told her I was sorry, but I couldn’t marry her and I needed the ring back.  Luckily, she felt the same and wasn’t resentful.  I don’t know what I would’ve done had she not given this ring back.”  He picked it up and looked at the diamond in the light.  Then Isaac looked at her.  “I knew you’d be wearing this ring for the rest of your life, so you’d need to love it.  But I also knew I’d be looking at this ring on your finger for the rest of your life and every day I’d see it, I remember that you are my hope.  My dreams.  My forever.”

Shawna looked into his eyes and she wondered if what he was saying was true.

He took her hand and put the ring back on it.  “I haven’t had a single second thought about my future with you since I gave it to you.  This ring was always meant to be yours.  It’s your royal crown.  Please.”  He folded her hand in his.

Shawna closed her eyes.  “I don’t know.  I want to believe you.”  She looked out the window at the flowers they’d planted together in the spring.  She thought about all of the plans they had made together and how everything had simply fallen into place for them.  He had asked for her number in that stupid biker bar outside of town and ever since that night, their lives had magically flowed together.  She’d never experienced anything as peaceful as their relationship.  Until Tiffany had seen her ring.  She turned her head back toward Isaac and cleared her throat.  “I still think you’re stupid.”

“It’s a burden I’ll have to carry with me for the rest of my life.”  He squeezed her hand.

“I think I may be stupid, too.”  She glanced at their hands and then up at him.

“Let’s be stupid together.”

“If anything else happens, the only way you’ll get this ring back is if you figure out which pawn shop I took it to.  Tiffany might have been nice, but I won’t be.”

“I’d expect nothing less.”

“We still have a long road ahead of us.”

“I can’t wait.”

“We haven’t gotten our parents together yet.”

“They’ll love each other.”

She took a breath and tried to relax her shoulders.  “You talk a good game, Isaac.”

He grinned at her.

Shawna inhaled deeply again and blew the hair out of her eyes.  “Okay.”

“Okay?”  He looked like he was trying not to be too hopeful, but he brought their hands in to his chest.

“Yeah.  Okay.”  

He stood and pulled her up with him.  He kept their hands between them at his heart and placed his other hand behind her head and kissed her.  When they broke apart, he looked at the stairs behind her.  “Should we seal the deal?”

She shrugged.

He turned and led her up the stairs.

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