Month Seven: Cala Lilies
I spent thirty minutes searching for my left shoe, a black, four-inch heel with a tiny gold bow at the back. Thirty freaking minutes. Did I have half an hour? No. I didn’t.
But, that’s how it works. You never have time when you need it.
In my bra and panties, I lay face down, my arm as far as I could get it under my bed. As I stretched and wriggled on my carpet, Kaitlin stuck her head around the corner and into my door.
“Uh, whatcha doing?”
“Searching,” I said with a grimace, huffing loudly, “for a shoe. The black one. With the bow.”
She ran down the hall. I heard her shuffling around, something bang against the wall, and a loud crash.
“I’m okay,” she hollered. “And I found it!”
I sat up, brushing lint of my lace bra. I was a mess. But now I had two shoes.
“Here you are. You need anything else?” she asked, looking me up and down.
“Yep, about three more weeks. I have no make up on, my hair is a wreck, and I think it may be easier to blow up my room than try to clean it.” I sat on my bed, pouting a bit.
Kaitlin’s face softened into a broad smile as she victoriously handed me the shoe with a flourish. “You look great. Well, you will. I mean, no one looks great without a little work.”
“Thank you. I really needed that.” Sarcasm dripped from my lips. “I’m so nervous.”
Ethan told me little about our plans for the night, but he’d said it was special. I figured he was going to ask me to move in with him. He’d been hinting at it for a few weeks now that he was graduating and set to move out of th fraternity house, but I hadn’t decided if that’s what I wanted.
“Do you know where you’re going yet?” Kaitlin sat in my desk chair, fiddling with paper clips. I smiled to see how anxious she was for me.
I bent at the waist, sullen and nauseous suddenly, and hung my head between my knees. “No, he hasn’t said anything else. Just to wear that dress I bought a few months ago and to be ready at 7:30.”
“Mysterious.” She grabbed my hair brush and made her way to the edge of the bed. “Well, you should definitely wear your hair up. Show of your ballerina neck. Oh, and wear that sapphire your folks gave you for graduation.”
“Yeah, that’s perfect. You’re so good to me, Kait.” The blue of the tear drop pendant matched the blue in my dress, and the gold matched the bows on my shoes.
She ran the brush through my hair, pulling it up and back, twisting it into a smooth chignon. Next she grabbed a foundation brush and worked some additional magic. I seriously didn’t think I could move away from the goddess roommate I had in Kaitlin. As gorgeous, brilliant, and sexy as Ethan was, I figured his makeover skills were lacking.
“I’m going to miss you, G. I mean I’m absolutely thrilled about you and Ethan, but I can’t imagine living here alone.” She continued to grab brushes and powders, working on my eyes now that my foundation was flawless. “Or worse, with someone else.”
“What about Leah? I bet she’d jump the Beta Zeta ship in a minute and come live here.”
“That’s an option. I mean she’s no you, but I wouldn’t mind sharing a kitchen with her.” She reached down, painting my lips a soft, deep pink. We were both so convinced that Ethan would ask me to move in, but only Kaitlin was convinced I’d say yes. I wasn’t as sure.
As soon as I’d glanced at my full length mirror, Ethan knocked on the apartment door. I turned back and forth in front of the mirror, checking my appearance from all angles. Stepping into my heels and grabbing my purse, I looked around my room. Was I ready to leave it? Ready to move out and on with my relationship?
I pondered the idea for a mere moment before Ethan was calling to me from the hall.
“Gia, are you ready? We have reservations, honey. Let’s go.” His voice remained level, but I could tell he worked to avoid sounding frustrated.
“Okay, okay,” I called down the hall. “I’m ready.”
I closed the door to my room, noticing it was darker than normal and figured Kaitlin was prepping to watch a movie.
She met me before I entered our living room and leaned over to hug me.
“Have fun. And remember, I’m happy for you,” she whispered, a bright smile spreading as she walked past.
“Okay, I’m set. Let’s get…” I turned to find Ethan. His charcoal gray suit, set off by a pink tie, almost glimmered in the candle light.
I gasped. “Wait. What — what are you doing?”
Ethan was on one knee, holding an exquisite bundle of deep purple cala lilies.
“Ethan, seriously, what are you doing? Is that music?” I could hear the sound of string instruments wafting in from beyond the apartment door.
I stood there, silently listening to determine the significance of the sound.
The somewhat familiar melody made me laugh as it hit me what I was listening to. “Is that - wait - is that ‘Down with the Sickness’?”
“Sure is. The song from the night we met. Do you remember, Gia?”
“Of course I do. But I never thought of it as fodder for a string quartet.”
I continued to snicker, but he took one of my hands and put the flowers into the other.
“Georgia, I’ve never known anything better than being with you. You bring so much to my life. Things I hoped for, and things I had no idea I’d ever want.”
He set the flowers on the floor and reached inside his jacket. When he removed his hand, a light blue box tied with a white satin ribbon sat in his palm.
“I can’t imagine another step of my life without you beside me. Nothing I have coming my way could mean anything without you. And because of you, I’m ready to take the next step, and I hope you are, too.”
Speechless, I stood there, waiting. Unable to jump in, I needed him to say it. I wasn’t going to be caught making too much of this. What if the box held a key and I thought it was a ring?
“Gia, are you alright?” he asked. “You look like you’re going to faint.”
My head began to swim, but I refused to sit. Ruining this was not an option.
“I’m, well, I don’t…”
“Gia, honey, will you — do you want to — I mean, I want to spend my life with you. Will you please agree to be my wife?”
As he asked, Ethan removed a ring from the small box. He stood. Before I was able to respond, the huge, sparkling marquis diamond glimmered on my finger and his lips were pressed to mine.
Look for the continuation of Gia's story in "Love, Learn & Divorce"
coming out in April 2016.
coming out in April 2016.