Reads: 125

London, 2010

"She'll say yes. Don't worry about," Oliver Ito said to his reflection. He straightened his tie and smoothed over his hair.

"Indeed you are," came a smooth voice from behind him. Embarrassed, Oliver turned around to see his co-worker Spencer come up from behind him. "Going out with Anna tonight?"

"Yeah, man," Oliver replied, adjusting his tie again. "It's our anniversary."

"Ah," Spencer said, leaning against the frame of the doorway. "Got a nice date planned, yeah?"

Oliver shook his head. "I'm surprising her." He pointed to the roses lying on his desk. "See those?"

Spencergrinned mischievously. "So you're trying to get shagged tonight?"

"Lay off," Oliver said, returning the grin. "You're only jealous because you haven't been shagged in like, what, a month? A year?

"Yeah, it's been a while since your mum's been under me, hasn't it?" he smirked as he began walking away.

Oliver laughed and shook his head. He loved Spencer like a brother, but he was glad he wasn't him. After all, Spencer didn't come home every night to a gorgeous brunette with dark brown eyes and a brilliant arse. Spencer never got to eat her deliciously homemade food or run his fingers through her curly hair. No, he spent his nights at bars finding women who could only provide him half the satisfaction that Anna gave Oliver. Anna was the perfect woman for Oliver and he knew it.

He met Anna at a wine-tasting party. He originally didn't want to go, but his brother Adam begged him so he could meet Adam's new girlfriend Stephanie. Oliver reluctantly went and as soon as he entered the restaurant, he realized that this was one of the best decisions he has ever made. Anna Delancy was a small, petite and curvy girl. Stephanie, a good friend of hers, introduced Oliver to her. He was taken by Anna's delicacy and soft movements. She was so careful about everything she did, the way she spoke, the way she ate, and even the way she laughed. Oliver had never before been so swept away by a single woman in one night. To his delight, she seemed to feel the same way. Her gestures and questions seemed so desperate, wanting to be close to Oliver, wanting him to like her. By the end of the night, he asked shyly for a date this upcoming Saturday and she immediately said yes.

Despite their quick and immediate get-together, the rest of their relationship went slow. Too slow. Oliver didn't get a kiss until the third date. They didn't even move in together until two years into their relationship. When they finally did, it opened up an inevitable window of flaws and doubts. Anna was messy, leaving clothes here and there and she rarely washed the dishes. One time, Oliver saw a pair of blood-stained, unwashed knickers simply lying there on the floor. He and Anna would get into petty arguments that would sometimes even lead to days of not speaking.

Yet somehow, all of Anna's flaws pale against all of the things that make her wonderful. Maybe that's what love does to a person. The second Anna wrapped her arms around Oliver's neck and nibbled on his ear and neck, everything just...melted away.

That's why when Oliver got into his car and drove home, all he wanted to do was be with her. He couldn't wait to propose, tell her that she was the one for him, let her know everything was going to be perfect. He imagined tears clouding in her huge dark eyes, saying "yes" a thousand times, before taking him to their bed...

The ride home from work was only a short eighteen or twenty minutes. He parked on the opposite side of the street and clutched the roses in his sweaty hand as he made his way toward his home. As he rode up the elevator, he wondered if it was cliche to show up with roses and propose on their second year anniversary. Too late now.

After he unlocked the door, he slid it open to greet Anna, who he presumed would either be in the kitchen tossing a salad, painting her toenails, or watching the telly. However, she was doing none of the above. In fact, she wasn't there at all. Oliver glanced at the floor. Her shoes were there. He walked into the kitchen. Her keys, her purse were there as well. Anna was home. But where?

Oliver treaded down the hall toward their bedroom and flung the door open. Anna was lying on the bed, fully naked and eyes shut. She was breathing heavily as a naked man with a tattoo between his shoulder blades did more than kiss her between her legs.

Oliver's flowers slipped out of his hands. "Jesus CHRIST."

The naked man stupidly lifted his head and Anna's eyes flew open. She let out a scream and shrieked, "Fuck! Oliver, what the bloody HELL are you doing here?!"

He was speechless, feeling like someone just kicked him in the stomach. "Wh-what are you doing?"

Anna kicked the naked man away from her and sat on the edge of her bed. She let her head fall in her hands and breathed deeply. Oliver took in the sight of her pale body crouched over with her hair in her face and couldn't take it any longer. He stormed out of the bedroom, breathing quickly. He clenched and unclenched his fists, before leaning his forehead against the wall and shutting his eyes.

"Oliver."

He swallowed and turned to look at Anna, who had thrown on an oversized shirt that didn't belong to him. He could barely meet her eyes. "I'm sorry you saw that," she said weakly.

"I can't believe you would do this to me. I trusted -- I was going to -- " Oliver trembled.

Anna bit her lip. "You weren't supposed to find out."

"Unbelievable," he said quietly. "I wasn't supposed to find out? That's what you have to say for yourself?" His voice rose. "You shouldn't have been doing it in the first place. We're in a relationship! I was going to fucking propose tonight! What - what is wrong with you?"

She sighed. "I don't know, I just - "

He looked away from her. "Don't talk to me," he said in a low voice.

They both stood there in the hallway, not saying a word. Oliver stared at the floor, waiting her to say something. To apologize, to say that it wasn't what it looked like, and to beg him to forgive her. But she didn't even look remorseful. She looked tired, not knowing what to do now.

Finally, she slowly turned and headed to the bedroom. Oliver couldn't bring himself to watch her go. He didn't even want to be in the house anymore. He grabbed his keys and on his way out the door, he powerfully knocked over a vase of flowers that he had bought for her two weeks ago. The glass vase shattered on the floor, sending a pool of water spreading around the fallen white roses.


Submitted: August 09, 2010

© Copyright 2023 Claire van der Kerc. All rights reserved.

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