A short story I started a while back, part two to come when things are less manic
Gracie sighed and smiled gently as she finished watching the online video. ‘The most romantic proposal ever’, it proclaimed as the title and it was pretty damn romantic.
The lights go down, a girl sits in a movie theatre and a preview comes up, all low grade and showing only the legs and lower torso of two men, the first man asks the other man in shot if he will give permission for his daughters hand in marriage and when the man says yes, the guy runs to his car, races in to the cinema. The girl realises it is her boyfriend; he is in front of her and the whole cinema asking her to marry him.
A deep snort followed by a rumbling snore distracted her attention and she shook her head in affectionate despair at the snoring drooling boyfriend at the other end of the sofa, so romance wasn’t dead huh? Well he was a pretty good catch and despite her inability to communicate it Gracie felt a deep well of love and affection for Rob every time she looked at him. He was smart, funny, liberal, open minded, interesting and cooked a mean chilli. They had shared their passion for walking, the countryside, travel and adventure across the globe and even on a cosy night in, the in house entertainment was brilliant-they still made each other laugh. Gracie couldn’t believe she had sunk into corny, chick flick, vomit-inducing thoughts like ‘I light up when he’s in the room’. But Gracie was tired, it was almost one am and she had to be up in five hours for work, there was no energy reserve left to think of something original. She resisted the urge to rest her head against the side of the couch and close her eyes for just a second in this moment of infinite peace and serenity and lent over to place a butterfly kiss on Robs nose to stir him.
‘Hey sunshine, come on time for bed we can’t claim flood damage for the pool of drool you’ve leaked onto the sofa’. Rob sleepily parted his eyes half open and smiled at her.
‘mmmmm’ he muttered, ‘always the wise guy huh?’ she kissed him again smiled at him and dragged him by the arm to bed.
Radio blasting the next morning Gracie and Rob almost in synch groaned and put their pillows over their heads, it was too early, after too little sleep and it was Monday morning, yes its Monday Gracie groaned to herself docilely still heavy with slumber, Monday morning she repeated to herself what seemed like only a couple of times before everything faded out again to the dark comfort of sleep. She woke suddenly with a jerk, ‘SHIT, we’re gonna be late’. The time on the clock radio read ten minutes till leaving for work time and Gracie leapt out of bed threw herself in the shower- which became more of a lick and a promise then a proper shower- before racing from the house for work. Boy did her day drag, even with endless cups of coffee and pop to prop her up she struggled to stay awake. It was even more of a struggle to keep her eyes open that night cuddled up in Rob’s arms, watching a docu soap about what some model did next. She was all against watching it despite conceding she’d probably sleep through most of it. Rob was a big, big fan and watched it devotedly every week. That was the thing with Rob, he was an intellectual yet watched almost religiously some crap reality show about a topless model and her train crash life – who said humans were simple? The TV blared senselessly, spurting sounds that formed sentences but yet conveyed no message to Gracie who was happily dreaming of nothing and everything in a world of her own, but then the TV miraculously changed language back to interesting as it started talking about the same short video that Gracie had watched the night before.
‘I’ve seen that’, Gracie looked up from under Robs arm, ‘It’s pretty romantic actually, not OTT, just really cute’ Rob looked at her in acknowledgement ‘Oh right’. There was a vague casualness about his response and Gracie snuggled down again, happy to rest there for a little while longer before bed.
The next couple of days passed uneventfully, busy days at work, happy nights at home with Rob. By the time Thursday had come around Gracie was starting to think about the weekend. They’d planned to maybe have a barbecue invite round a few of their friends, have a few beers and a few laughs and then pop to watch a movie on the Sunday. She was looking forward to it, a nice quite weekend after a manic week in the cut-throat, harsh rush and immediacy of the commercial world. Daydreaming about the weekend to come she floated into the office, grande latte with skimmed milk in her hand and turned her computer on. The office was already full; she’d only just made it into work in time. Mornings were not Gracie’s forte, she was really a stay up half the night kinda girl and even though she’d been office bound for over half a decade now she still struggled to get through the morning wake up routine. Typing in her user name and password she flicked open the screens she needed to start processing the endless stream of monotonous data and as an almost after thought clicked open her work email. Half a dozen new messages greeted her and she lazily browsed over the titles to see if there was anything interesting in them. Work emails, replies to work emails and the last unread message titled, ‘This is the most romantic proposal ever’, she recognised straight away it wasn’t an internal mail from one of her office friends and she didn’t recognise the senders email either, intrigued she opened the message.
‘A woman runs into her office, she’s running late. Grande latte in her hand, her hair is still damp from the shower she rushed through this morning. Sitting at her desk, she turns on her computer, opens her email and sees a message from a sender she doesn’t recognise. It is a message of love, telling her how much she means to him, how much he loves her for all she is and all she does and that he wants her to be his wife. Turn around the message commands. She turns around and there he is with a bouquet of flowers in his hands, on bended knee he opens a jewellery box, and asks her poetically to be his wife’.
Is this the most romantic proposal ever…………………..nope. You can hope for more than that.
The email ended, no signature, no clue who it was from, no further comments on the message. Gracie looked around, but everyone had their heads down, manically typing in a robotic trance like state. She shook her head, started her work, but she couldn’t quite shake off wondering what the message was about? Who had sent it? She threw ideas around all day, to no avail. There was no answer that made sense. It could be Rob she thought. Nah he’d go for something much more low key than this, he was direct, forthright, up front. If he’d wanted to ask her he’d have just taken her for dinner, or asked her at the top of the South Downs as they rested along the Cliff side path on one of their countryside hikes.
You can hope for better than that…was someone preparing to propose? if so it could only be Rob. Right?
Very very rough first draft. It needs a lot of tightening grammatically, in creating dramatic pace and in making the dialogue more natural. But the first draft always looks like hell. Hope you enjoyed it in its most elemental state.