Then, and now, and forever. (for littlemissromance13's contest)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
For Littlemissromance13's contest.
Soleil never loved anybody as much as she loved John.
She just never realized it until he came to Portland.

Submitted: October 30, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 30, 2011

A A A

A A A


THEN AND NOW, AND FOREVER.
Maybe it wasn’t ever supposed to happen this way.
In fact, I wasn’t sure it was ever supposed to happen.
But it did, and I’m glad.
You see, we’ve known each other since childhood.
Soleil and John, the inseparable duo.
Soleil the superhero, and John the brainman.
John had to make up for his circumstance in getting good grades.
In fact, on our graduation, he was valedictorian.
Despite the praise, he still dealt with trouble.
You see, Utah wasn’t always Mormon-happy-land for him. On the border of Utah and Idaho, we lived by Bear Lake. The few upsides to this little town known as Garden City, were the fantastic shakes, and year long raspberry sales. Everywhere you went there were crates of raspberries for sale. Me and John liked to buy a handful of raspberries on our way home from school. His chin always stained a bright pink color, which made me laugh.
John always knew how too make me laugh, and I knew how to make him happy.
When he was hurt, I was there patching him up. Maybe that was a mothers job, but she wasn’t the best person. A smoker, and a drug dealer. Her greatest concern was to make sure that she had enough money for next weeks supply. They lived in a trailer park up until John was twelve years old. I walked with John from school, until we had to part ways. He would go left, and I right. I always worried about him. Was his mother in a bad way today? Does he have enough food? Nobody should have to grow up the way he did.
I admire him his strength and never-ending endurance; I don’t think I could’ve ever gone through what he did.
But things are better now, here in Portland.
***
God my hair looks atrocious, I think to myself. I rake my hands through it, trying to find a sense of order with it. But it resists anything I do to it: flat iron, curling iron, bunches and bunches of chemicals; nothing works.
So I put on a beanie, and hope to god I don’t look like an idiot.
Though Portland’s unemployment rate is sky high, I don’t suffer from it.
John and I always swore to each other that we would make our way out of that little town. Maybe it was a nice enough life, but we wanted something better for ourselves. Something bigger, something grander.
All through Junior and Senior year, we sent applications to every University that had the programs that we wanted. I knew that I wanted to stay in Utah, it was too expensive otherwise.
We were excited when we both received our acceptance letters to the University of Utah.
But I sensed hesitance in John.
I knew that he had gotten accepted to Cal-poly. With a full-ride scholarship to boot.
I knew that he wouldn’t be happy if he didn’t go, so I assured him that it was fine. We wouldn’t forget each other.
I felt sick when he packed up, and was ready to go. Tears ran down my face, and I hugged him as tight as I could; I felt like I was crushing him, fusing him to me.
He was such a big part of my life, and I didn’t want to lose that.
When I finally built up the courage to let him go he looked me in the eye.
He wiped the tears from my face, and told me something I’ll never forget.
“Soleil, you should be happy. I want you to be happy. You need to be happy,” he had said.
I knew the limitless ways that could be interpreted, but I knew exactly what he meant.
***
I’m working on getting my Architecture license for Oregon. I already have my Utah license, because I went to U of U.
But I can’t complain, Skylab Architecture is probably the most fun job to ever exist.
I’m in the need of coffee, so I stop at the coffee shop on the corner of my block. I grab four extras four my coworkers.  I always get a cherry amoretto latte decaf. I get strong black coffee for every one else. It’s about time I learn their order. I chuckle to myself as I pull my wallet from my black wool pea coat. I give the cashier a twenty and get twenty cents back. I laugh in my head at the weird math occurrence.
I take the tray and walk out to my Volkswagen rabbit that only cost me six thousand.
It’s a piece of junk, but it’s cute and the convertible top works. Chewy my Saint Bernard likes it. But what dog doesn’t like wind in his face?
I turn the keys in the ignition and watch the lucky rabbits foot vibrate on the chain.
I take a sip of my delicious coffee then set it into the cup holder.
I pull out and head to work.
***
As I pass through the shining glass doors, I feel a vibration in my pocket. Probably Layla calling me and telling me to get coffee. Good thing I’m on top of that. I pull the pink encased piece of crap Motorola, and gasp when I see the number on the screen.
I haven’t talked to him in a year and a half, what could possibly be wrong?
I flip the phone open and wedge it between my ear and shoulder , the whole time skillfully balancing the tray of coffee in my other hand.
“Hey John, what’s up? We haven’t talked in ages! How was graduation mister engineer?”
I hear the deep vibrato of his beautiful laugh.
“Pretty fantastic. I accepted a job there in Portland!”
I almost stumble and drop the coffee as I’m walking up the stairs.
“What? You’re not jonsing me are you?” I can tell that I probably have that deer in the headlights look right now.
“No, I’m not jonsing you. I’m going to be working with a minor fuel company that’s working on alternative fuel sources.”
I know it’s more than a little geeky, but that’s probably the second best job in the world. The subject interests me a lot. So you can imagine how excited I was for him. Not to mention the fact that the company was only two blocks from my apartment building.
“John, I’m so freaking excited for you!”
“I know right? I’ve missed you so much Soleil!”
“And I you John. You have no idea. It’s so lonely in my apartment.”
Okay, I have no idea where that came from.
Was I flirting with my best friend?
There was a long silence, a very, very awkward silence.
I hear labored breathing in my ear, and then a giant boom in my ears.
John abruptly starts into a gut busting laugh.
“Oh Jesus Soleil!”
“What?” I feel humiliated. I’m sure I’m bright as a tomato right now.
“You have certainly lost your innocence young padowon!” Oh boy, he hasn’t lost his stupid Star Wars humor? I totally thought he’d be over that.
“I see you haven’t lost your stupid Star Wars lingo though. And I was praying!” I say in an exasperated voice.
Dang, why is there no elevator? Sure I weigh 172 pounds, but that doesn’t mean that the stairs have to take it out on me!
“What are you doing? You’re breathing really loud. It hurts.”
Ugh.
“I’m walking up three freaking flights of stairs, that’s what I’m doing!” I huff and puff into the phone.
“Um, what happened to elevators?”
“Nothing, my building just happens to be energy conscious. So we don’t have one. Lame, I know. But this is Portland after all.”
“Yeah, I’m not really looking forward to that aspect of Portland. What am I looking forward to though?”
Silence.
“No seriously, that was a question.”
“Umm, the eternal freak show, the abundance of coffee shops, the weird cultural experience, the wildlife, the lovely people?”
“Just one lovely person, actually.”
I feel heat in my cheeks. And my breathing hitches in pace. Which is saying a lot, since I’m hiking up a treacherous amount of stairs with a tray of coffee in my hands.
“Who might that be?” I ask, even though I know the answer.
There’s just one more flight of stairs, and I can’t wait to get to work on the blueprint of our current project. Anything to distract me from the butterflies whirling in my stomach.
God, what’s wrong with me? I’ve never had this reaction to him before. I flit over the last three steps, my pack swinging heavily on my back.
“You silly.” I hear in my ear.
My heart skips a beat, and I thank God that I’m on the landing. I feel light headed.
I blow my hair out of my face, and try to gain my composure.
I take a deep breath and let it out.
“Hey John, I’m at work now and I need to let you go. Make sure you call me tonight though. Around seven? Is that okay? Well, never mind. It’s going to have to be.”
“Come on Soleil! I’m boarding the plane right now! I’m going to be so bored.” I can practically see his puppy dog face in my head.
“Trust me, I wish I could talk to you right now. But Jeff will have my hide if I don’t contribute today. And how am I supposed to contribute if I’m on the phone all day?”
Layla gives me a scowl as I walk through the doors. She makes the sign for phone with her fingers and shakes her head “no”.
“Layla looks really pissed, and I seriously need to go now. I promise that I’ll be done at seven.”
“Well, I was actually hoping you would pick me up at PDX.”
“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to. I’ll ask Jeff, but he’ll probably say no.”
“Well, do whatever he says and you’ll have a better chance. Kiss his butt.”
I sigh, “Goodbye.”
“Adios Amiga!”
I hear a click, and the call is over.
“Sorry Layla, it was John.”
“Oh! Well that changes everything! You need a rebound after Clay.”
“Jesus Layla! Don’t you know that John means a lot to me? So much that I wouldn’t even consider him a rebound.”
“Ooooh! So something is going on between you two!”
“Not even.”
“Whatever, now give me my coffee. By the way, the trio is in the brainstorm room. I’m just helping Jeff finish up some paperwork for the Salmon Ranch.”
“That’s cool. I prefer the brainstorming to paperwork any day.”
I lift the coffee from the tray, but it is stuck. I set it down on the table and hold the tray down with my left hand and pull the cup with my right.
I hand it to Layla and dramatically wipe “sweat” from my brow.
“Thanks chika.” Layla replies, beaming me a megawatt smile.
I beam back a somewhat white smile.
I walk into the brainstorm room, and glance around at the gleaming windows and masses of computers.
In the middle of the room sit’s the trio huddled together.
Dan, Liam, and Clay sit at the table, pointing out flaws and potential genius on the blueprint.
I slide an ergonomic swivel chair from an adjacent computer, and sit at the table.
I set the coffee down and like a bartender slide each across the table to their owner.
Liam and Dan smile at me, but Clay slides his back.
“Oh come on, I thought you were over this.”
I sigh, and grab the coffee.
“I am, but Jeff deserves it more. He’s been pulling an all-nighter trying to finish paperwork for the Ranch. He’s on serious energy withdrawal. Like I said, he deserves it more.”
“Ah, I see. I guess I’ll be right back then.”
I push myself up, and grab the plastic lined cardboard cup. It’s warmth seeping through the cup and into my palm.
I slip my pack from my shoulder, and drop it into the chair.
“Feel free to take a gander at my genius.” I tell them, then flounce out the door. I walk past a few other rooms, all built in the same knotted pine. Past the kitchen, past the copy room, past the interview room, past all our cubicles.
As I walk up the additional flight of stairs to the wooden box floating above the room, I admire the workmanship. Raw un-sanded wood with giant glass windows.
I make it to the landing, and cast looks at the people sitting in their desks. I’m sickly jealous, but know that I’ll be there someday. I might even get my own office. Maybe open my own firm…
My eyes turn glossy as I stand there like an idiot daydreaming.
But then Mika walks by and I snap out of it.
I walk past all of the stark white desks and their fantastic Mac book airs.
I take a deep breath and walk into the main office.
Jeff freaking Kovel’s office.
I can’t believe I get to work for Jeff Kovel.
I giggle, and Jeff gives me a funny look.
“What’s up Soleil?”
Jeff looks beaten and worn out. There are big black saggy circles underneath his eyes. I give him a sympathetic look.
“Clay told me about what’s been going on. He gave up his coffee for you. If you need an extra hand with the paperwork, I’ll be glad to help.”
I set the coffee on his desk.
“Do I need the extra help? I need all the help in the world! Would you be a doll and finish these for me? I have all of the signature spots highlighted. I’ve made put a statement in there saying that my employees can sign. I verify in the end. Anyways, here you go.” He hands me an inch thick of papers.
Inwardly I grimace, but outwardly I smile like a good girl.
“Sure thing boss.” I hesitate. Would it be disrespectful? I take the risk.
“Um, John needs me to pick him up at PDX today.”
I look down at my feet, and sway back and forth.
“If you finish that paperwork I’d be willing to give you a freaking promotion! So, if you finish the paperwork, of course you can go and pick him up. Those hours are on your vacation time though.”
Yes!
“Thanks boss.” I’m sure that I’m practically glowing right about now.
I definitely didn’t expect him to let me go.
I skip out of the office and run down the stairs.
I continue skipping into the brainstorm room.
I walk in on the boys reading my stapled stack of graph and lined paper. My backpack slung off to the side.
“Hey guys, Jeff has me working on paperwork in order to leave in an hour to pick up John.”
Clay gives me a hurt look, but I just give him a cow-eyed scowl and shake my head.
“John? He’s coming here? How exciting!” Liam says.
“I know! Finally, you won’t be Mrs. Grumpy Pants all the time!” Dan chimes in.
I laugh and shake my head.
“Yep, well, I need my papers guys. And next time be more careful with my bag! It cost me sixty five dollars!”
“Who would pay that much for a backpack?” Dan asks.
“Me.”
“Well it’s crazy,” he says, going cross-eyed.
“No it isn’t.”
“Yes it is.”
“No it isn’t! Gees, I’m going to go work on the paperwork now.” I grab my pack and start stuffing my papers back in. I pull the drawstrings tight, and pull the flap and snap it in place. The green canvas reflected in the gold of the magnet.
I walk out to the tables and plop down into a chair. Layla gives me a funny look.
“What are you doing in here? You should be brainstorming.”
“JK gave me some paperwork. Once I finish it I’m going to go pick up John.”
“He’s actually letting you? Wow, he must be pretty messed in the head right now.”
“All I know is that I need to get this stupid stuff done.”
I pull my golden red-streaked hair into a bun on top of my head, and push my glasses up.
Time to get to work.
***
After a laborious (so laborious that I think I’ve developed calluses) hour of signing multiple lines with my name, I’m done. I take the stack of papers in my hands and tap them against the table to get them lined up.
Satisfied, I take them up to the J’s office and set them on his desk.
“It’s all done. I’m leaving now. Don’t stay late tonight. I’m more than willing to do as much paperwork as you want tomorrow. So don’t stress yourself. You need the sleep.” I smile yet again sympathetically, and close the door behind me.
As I’m leaving the room I almost forget.
“Hey Layla?”
“Yes Sol?”
“Make sure that the boss leaves. I’m pretty sure he’s scribbling instead of signing by now.”
Layla salutes me, “Aye aye cappn’!” I roll my eyes and walk out the door.
***
I finally arrive at PDX. I take my bag and walk into the terminal. I’m giddy with anticipation, and wrought with anxiety. Will he recognize me? Will I recognize him?
I stand around with a bunch of other people waiting for family members, spouses, and long time friends.
I shuffle my weight from side to side, and jump up onto my tip-toes trying to see the people coming off of the planes.
And then I see him.
I think.
****
I see her.
I think.
She has that gorgeous blonde hair like gold, pulled up in a bun. Those wide innocent (well, not anymore) ice blue eyes that sometimes appear the lightest of grays, hidden behind geek chic glasses.
Her curvaceous hourglass figure. Her beautiful hips, and plentiful breasts.
Maybe she’s changed a little.
She looks less flighty, and more fighty. She looks carefree, and like she’s enjoying herself.
I’m glad that she acknowledged my request. She definitely looks happy.
****
I eye him, trying to figure out if it’s him.
That beautiful black hair and round wide set green eyes.
That stocky linebacker build.
His skin has cleared up, though.
He stares at me with those cat-like eyes from across the room, and I know that it’s him.
I start running.
****
She’s running toward me, and I spread my arms.
She runs into me, and I pick her up and spin her around.
I set her down and look into her eyes.
Those big arctic eyes, that I can see right through to her soul with.
She gets up on her tip-toes and kisses me on the cheek.
I blush and smile at her.
“Come on, there’s lots to talk about.”
I grab her hand, and pull my luggage with the other. She leads me out of the terminal, and towards the Rabbit.
I cannot believe that thing is still running.
I pick up my bag and throw it into the back of the car. The car bounces, and pieces of white paint drift to the ground.
“Wow, this is a worse piece of junk than last time I saw it!”
I kick the wheels, and jump over the door into the seat.
“By the way,” I say sheepishly, “I don’t have a place to stay yet.”
****
“What?!” I exclaim.
This is not good.
“Well, I didn’t want to tell you over the phone. But I’m guessing that was a bad idea.” He gives me the look, and I can’t help but give in.
“Ugh. You can stay with me for a week. You have a job, which means you can afford to find another place. It shouldn’t be hard to find a place.” He grins at me.
“Yay! Thank you Soleil!” He leans in and hugs me.
Laughing I say, “Okay, okay. Get off me. I can’t drive with you hanging on me like that.”
He lets me go, and I put the keys in the ignition.
As I pull out of the parking lot, I turn on the radio.
Lucky by Jason Mraz turns on.
How ironic.
****
I pull into my parking space next to my building. This stupid parking spot costs me one hundred dollars a month.
But I wouldn’t give my car up for anything.
“Okay, third floor, number two eighteen.”
“Righty o then.” He grabs his luggage, and hauls it after me.
I run to the elevator and desperately push the up button. In seconds it arrives, and I rush in and wait for the people to leave.
I feel like I’m being chased, but honestly I don’t want John to see my house in such horrible condition.
I pound the close button, praying for the doors to close. I see Johns face in between the cracks of the doors closing, and he looks quite confused.
I sigh and lean against the back of the elevator. I push the button with the number three on it, and wait for it to arrive on my floor. The door opens, and I rush to my apartment. I put my key in the door, turn it, go inside, and lock it behind me.
Phew.
I take my shoes off, and start picking up. I take random articles of clothing into my room, and put them in the hamper. Then I go back out to the living area and put cd’s and dvd’s back into their cases. I then move into the kitchen, and soak a dishcloth and wipe down the counter.
My goodness, I didn’t know I was so disgusting.
Suddenly I hear a knock on the door.
Dang, that didn’t take as long as I expected.
I look around, and it isn’t as bad as before, at least. Still kind of nasty though.
I check my shirt for water marks, and sigh with relief when I see none. I smooth my shirt down and walk to the door.
I open it.
“What the heck was all that about?” John says, looking at me like I’m crazy.
I put my hand on my hip, and tell him.
“Absolutely nothing.” But I can’t help a giant smile from developing on my face.
“I doubt that. You know I know you’re a terrible liar.”
“You’re right. I was trying to keep you away long enough that I could clean up a bit.” I blush.
“Seriously? Why the heck would that matter to me of all people?”
Oh.
“I don’t know.”
He chuckles and ruffles my hair.
“Silly girl.”
I walk into the kitchen and look in the fridge.
“Coffee, water, or doctor pepper?”
“Dr. P for the win!” He yells at me.
Idiot.
I grab two “Dr. P’s” and walk into the living area. He’s already made himself quite at home.
He’s sunken into the couch, his right arm flung across the back of it. His luggage laying next to him.
“Good, you found your bed.” I tell him, then fling the Doctor Pepper at him.
He barely catches it.
I sit down in the chair.
I love this chair. Some idiot person was giving it up, so I took it home with me.
It was kind of gross, so I brought it to the dry cleaners. Then I decided to reupholster it.
I went to a local fabric store, and ordered some upholstery fabric. It’s gray, with branches and yellow birds. I brought the chair and the fabric to a store that did reupholstery. They tufted it beautifully. It was an expensive process. In all, it cost four hundred and thirty dollars. But it was well worth it.
I rub my hand across the smooth material.
“So, I have to sleep on the couch?” John says sadly.
“Yuppers.” I reply.
“Bummer.”
“No, not really.”
“Well, not for you. This couch is a piece of crap.”
“Apparently everything I own is a piece of crap to you. But they’re all beautiful to me. Sentimental value and all that.”
“Whatever.” I turn my head and look at him, hurt.
“Not ‘whatever’. Jerk.”
“I’m not a jerk, I just don’t care.”
“Whatever.”
“See, that’s more like it!” I watch him as he opens his soda. He’s an idiot.
The soda fizzes up in his face and gets everywhere.
“Better clean it up. I’m sure not going to.”
“Am I not the guest? You should. You’re my hostess with the mostess.”
“I’m not your hostess. I’m you’re friend. And I’m allowed to treat you informally. So go get a rag, and clean it up.”
He gives me a puppy face, but this time I really don’t care.
“Go.” I say, shooing him.
He sticks his tongue out at me, and I return the gesture. I laugh.
“I really missed you.” I tell him. He just looks at me with a smile.
****
After a day of doing things for shits and giggles, I’m tuckered out. I pull out the bed that exists inside the sofa.
“Oh, that’s nifty.” John says.
“Yeah, but it’s kind of uncomfortable. I can go get a mattress pad if you want.”
“Nah, pain doesn’t bother this man!”
“Whatever Mr. Hyper. I’m tired and I need to get to sleep. So, goodnight.”
“Night Soleil.”
I open the creaky door to my bedroom, and turn on the light. My lumpy hand-me-down mattress actually looks comfortable.
I walk to my dresser and pull out a long white pin up tee-shirt. My standard pajamas that make me feel like sliding across the floor in my socks.
I pull my hair out of it’s bun, and take off my glasses. I get undressed, and pull the shirt on.
But I still have to brush my teeth.
Dang it.
I go outside to the bathroom.
I can feel John’s eyes on my butt.
I just run into the bathroom and close the door.
I brush my teeth, and put on some carmex.
I open the door, and John is standing right there. I jump a foot into the air.
“John, what the heck?” He puts his hands that are holding toothbrush and toothpaste up.
“Oh.” I mutter.
I try to walk out, but he blocks the way.
“Uh uh, I want to smell. It’s not really clean unless I can smell it.”
I give him a weird look, and open my mouth.
Butterflies fly in my belly, and my lips tingle in anticipation.
But he just sniffs.
Oh.
“You’re all good.”
“What about you? How are you going to know if you brushed well enough?”
Wow, I feel lame.
“Good point. Wait a sec.”
I walk towards the couch, and sit down on the springy mattress. I touch his blanket, the one he’s had since we were little. And I see the little green dinosaur I had given him on his seventh birthday. I laugh.
So, he does know about sentimental value.
He walks out of the bathroom, smoothing his short but shaggy hair down.
“You still sleep with this?” I lift the corner of his blanket up.
He gives me an embarrassed look, “Yeah.”
“That’s cute. There’s lots of good memories with this thing.”
“Sure are.” He says.
He walks over to me, and I can see something in his eyes. But I just can’t tell what it is.
He sits down beside me and looks into my eyes.
I can see it now.
Hunger.
“Maybe you should taste it instead.” He tells me. I laugh, but lean in because I want it just as bad.
I press my lips eagerly against his, the pressure sending fire through my veins. He slips his tongue between my lips, and deepens the kiss.
I break off first, panting.
I hug him.
“I missed you.”
“I missed you too.”
****
I walk into my bedroom, and lean against the door.
Did that really just happen?
Gall, I think it did.
What made us feel this way?
I walk to my bed, and pull back the covers.
I slip into bed, and in a few minutes, I fall into restless sleep.
****
He pushes me down onto the bed. His face nuzzles into my neck, biting and licking the nape.
I moan and wrap my hands around his defined shoulder muscles.
His mouth moves up the column of my neck and finally lands on my lips. Our tongues meld together, and my blood hums like a symphony. I bite down on his lip, and moan deeper.
His fingers deftly unbutton my shirt.
I sit up and remove the white blouse, and pull his shirt off. I lay back down, and the kiss is deeper now. Like our brains have a subconscious connection. His hands roam down my body, then back up, landing on the firm skin of my breasts.
I roll on top of him, unhooking my bra. My hands roam down to the waistband of his jeans.
I give a soft little cry against his lips, signaling that kissing isn’t the only thing on my mind.
How could it be?
“Yes.” He mumbles against my lips in a desperately low tone. I trail kisses across his chest and down his stomach. I look up into his eyes, unbuttoning his pants…
****
“Holy shit!” I scream, as I’m woken from my glorious dream.
I’m dripping in sweat, and I’m hot.
The door creaks open the rest of the way.
“You’re right, that bed is quite uncomfortable. I guess I’m not quite the man I claimed to be.”
My breath hitches in pace.
“Can I come in?” He asks.
“Yes.” I manage to eek out.
Silently, he walks across the room. He pulls up the covers, and slides underneath them.
He pulls me over, staring into my face.
I see his hunger, and love.
I love him so much.
A year and a half made absolutely no difference to how I felt about him.
We always knew that it would end up this way.
Maybe it wasn’t supposed to happen.
But nobody could ever compare to him.
No amount of love from another man could stand against the love that John has for me.
Our lips meld together, and the heat from the kiss has me in a frenzy of love again.
I put my hands around his neck and thread my fingers into the thick, yet soft, black hair at the nape of his neck. His fingers blindly unbutton my shirt. I roll over on top of him, consuming him.
His hands pull the shirt off, and I’m naked from my waist up. His hands move to cup the sides of my breasts.
“ I love you.” I moan against his lips.
He’s too caught up in the heat of his passion.
My hands roam down to the waistband of his sweats.
He stops kissing me.
“No,” he says, “not yet.”
I look defeated, but roll off of him.
He kisses my cheek.
“I’m not going to do that with you until I know that you truly love me. Not until we’re both sure.”
I smile a weak smile, “yeah.”
He wraps his arms around me, and I nestle my head underneath his chin.
“Go to sleep.”
I fall asleep.
****
He didn’t end up staying for a week. He moved in.
Every night was the same, going in deep, but never deep enough.
It was incredibly irritating.
****
“I think I want to marry her.” I tell Jake, as we skim the top of the algae that had cumulated on top of the water.
“Why would you want to get tied down like that?” He replies.
“You don’t know Soleil. There’s nothing to compare to her. She’s just…she’s something.”
“What kind of something?”
“Some kind of wonderful, that’s what.”
“I’ll pretend I never heard that awful cliché.”
“But it’s true. You know what? I don’t care what you say. I’m going to marry her.”
****
I can’t believe I’m doing this.
But I know that it’s the right thing to do.
I’ll never find another girl like her, and I never want to let her go.
I think I would die.
****
I walk into the jewelry store, and I feel incredibly nervous. I want to buy her the most beautiful ring in the world, but I can only afford three thousand dollars.
But I’m determined to find a ring as beautiful as her. Something as unique and wonderful.
I walk through the isles, scanning the cases of ordinary cookie cutter rings.
I lay my head across the top of the glass.
“ugh.”
“Sir, are you okay?” I hear a man tell me.
I look up at him, and see his badge. Ah.
“No.” I tell him, with my brow furrowed.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Yeah, all of these rings are so… stereotypical. Do you have anything special? Under three thousand?” It’s worth a try.
“Sure thing, come here.”
He pulls out a catalogue, and I walk over.
He hands it to me, and I open it.
And there it is.
That spectacular goldish-silver ring.
An interwoven design that connects to a beautiful blue gem in the middle. The band encrusted with tiny white diamonds.
“What is this?”
I point to it, desperate to know.
“That’s a Celtic ring. Meaning infinite love. Quite beautiful really.”
“What’s it made of? It’s such a beautiful color. And it’s interesting, the diamonds not being in the middle…”
“Well, the band is made of white gold, a mix of silver and gold. And that stone in the middle? That is an aquamarine. So, I take it this is the one?”
“Yeah,” I say, with a ginormous smile on my face.
****
I’m so jumpy.
She doesn’t even know.
I really can’t wait till I get that phone call.
****
I hear the phone ring.
My phone.
I reach over to the side table and pick it up.
“Hello?”
“John?”
“This is him. What’s up?”
“Your ring is in.” I hear a smile in his voice.
“I’ll be right there! She’s at work, and I don’t have to leave till noon.”
“Great, I’ll see you soon.”
****
I dash into the store, and stand bouncing on the balls of my feet at the counter.
“I’m here for my ring.” I tell the guy at the desk.
“Your name?”
“John.”
“Alright, I’ll be back in a second.”
He brings it out.
It’s held in a perfectly white case, nestled in between pieces of white felt.
It’s even more beautiful than the picture.
She’s going to love it.
“Thank you.”
****
Work, sweet, horrible work.
Ugh.
Paperwork galore.
Nothing could make this day better.
I feel so tired, I might face plant.
“You okay?” Layla asks.
“Yeah, just tired is all.”
“Yeah, tell me about it.”
Suddenly I hear the door open.
I though everyone was here?
Who could it be?
Oh god.
****
“What are you doing? This is my work.”
I silently walk towards her.
I kneel down, and her eyes widen.
Her face is priceless, I wish I had a camera.
I pull the tiny white box from my pocket.
“I love you Soleil.” I say as I open the box.
“And I would love to spend the rest of eternity with you. Every laugh, every smile. Every heartache, and every headache. I want to be there for all of it. Will you let me?”
I see her mouth open and close like a guppy’s.
“Yes.” She lets out a little cry.
“Yes!” She repeats. She falls down and wraps her arms around me. I pull her left hand from around me, and slide the ring onto her finger.
“It’s gorgeous, John.”
“Just like you.”
****
That night, lying in bed, I can’t believe what a day it was.
“I can’t believe you actually did that. I had an idea you would eventually, but not so soon,” I say, “I freaking love you.”
“I love you too, future Mrs. Rayburn.” John says.
“Hmm… Soleil Rayburn. That’s funny.”
“Why?”
“Well, my name means sun. And the sun has rays. And sun rays give you sunburn.” I chuckle.
“Hmm, you definitely make me burn.”
I kiss him.
I can’t wait till the wedding.

 

 

Link:

http://skylabarchitecture.com/

 

 

PS. the only factual thing in this story is Skylab Architecture. The rest is completely fictual. Made up. Well, besides Portland and Garden City Utah. So yes, the places are real.

So are the colleges. I.E. U of U and Cal-poly.


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