I cut him off, I don't need to hear what else he has to say. "Yes"
"Yes, I'll marry you. I have no idea how this is going to work but I want to continue what we have. I like it. I like you. So yes. Unless you change your mind in which case, fuck you too." I wink.
"I'm not going to change my mind. Maybe tomorrow we can go pick out a ring together?"
"You didn't buy one?"
"I thought about it, but I remembered how picky you are and I decided I would take my chances without one and let you pick your own at the jeweler. Did I make the right call?"
I kiss him deeply. "You did babe. That works for me. Tomorrow sounds great!"
I had done it. I said yes to him. There was something simmering in my heart but I couldn't place what it was. I brushed it to the side. There were so many unknown variables. So many challenges that would face us moving forward but only one constant, he wanted to be my husband and I wanted to be his wife. The rest would have to sort itself out because this mean girl was going ring shopping!
The next day was a Sunday and we walked down the hill to the jewelers. I chose a sensible ring and he smiled deeply. "How did I know?" he chuckled as he shook his head.
This made me smile. The fact that he thought he knew me already was incredible. I had been with Mr. Sunshine for 3 years and he had no idea what I was thinking...ever. There was no way Charlie knew as much as he claimed he did. It was hard to deny that he would know what I wanted to eat, or what I wanted to drink.
He would smile when he'd recommend something and I'd say "Yeah, I was really wanting to do that"
There was something behind that smile that unsettled me. It knew too much and I had no idea how we would make this work. There would be distance. There would be a lot of distance for a long period of time. I was being stupid. I resolved myself to make him change his mind. I didn't have it in me to leave him. That had never happened before. Maybe close with Jeremy but walking away from Jeremy was possible, I had done it. Walking away from Charlie was impossible.
The pull towards him too great. The tug at my heart when he wasn't there ached. How could I walk away? I would need for him to decide that I wasn't worth it. He would choose to leave. I would break him but he would heal, he would heal because he would walk away of his own free will. One day he would find someone more suitable, someone, who radiated hope and love. Not me. I wasn't built that way.
That night we were out together and I picked a fight with him about his spending habits. Blue eyes glimmered in the night. "I don't know why I said yes to you!" I spat.
"Why are you being this way? I thought we had a good time today?" He pleaded.
"Why would you think that?"
"I just bought you a ring," he said.
"On credit! You couldn't even afford to pay for the ring because you don't know how to save any money. You are shit when it comes to taking care of your finances. So now I am supposed to be tied down to someone who couldn't even provide for me?"
"You make your own money! Are you saying I am not good enough for you because I don't make enough money?" he asked...he eyes grew a deeper shade of blue.
It was breaking my heart to say these words to him but I needed to. He needed to walk away from me. I just needed to push a little harder and he would break.
"I am saying that you would drag us both down if we got married. You are toxic. Being with you would be accepting a life of mediocrity and poverty."
His face shifted away from me. My breath caught in my throat. I was breaking him but it didn't feel like a victory. Why didn't it feel like a victory? His head was turned slightly enough that I could see a tear slide down his cheek. He puts his hands to his eyes and holds them there. An uncomfortable silence fills the space. When he pulls his hands away from his eyes I see that he is crying.
I had broken him.
"Cathy, I know you are afraid. I know you think this won't work out. I know that this is the way you behave when you are trying to push people away. I see what you are doing but let me tell you this. I.Do.Not.Deserve.This. Do you hear what I am saying to you?"
"I'm still speaking. What you said to me just now really hurt me. I will not allow you to treat me like your verbal punching bag because you are too afraid to tell me you don't want to be with me. If you don't want to marry me, you need to own your fears and tell me. What you will not do, is use your words to tear me down and try to break me. I don't deserve it. I love you but I won't allow you to hurt me like this. Never again. You cannot do this to the people that love you."
"Let me finish, please," he said, his body flexing as though he were trying hard to keep himself calm and centered. His voice trembled just slightly but it was enough that I could hear the strain.
"I let you say your piece," He continued. "I will still marry you, even after all of this. You just have to promise me that you will never try to hurt me the way you did just now." He takes a pause, just long enough for me to see the resolution spread across his face.
"If you don't want to marry me, I need you to tell me that too because I need to know that you want this," another pause. These next words come out splintered...pained...and raw "Now I know you don't love me...but one day, you may discover that you love me the way that I love you," he sighs.
"One day you will understand the way that I feel. I'm willing to wait," his words cut deep into me.
Silence. I feel an emotion building inside of me but I don't know what it is. I feel tears forming just under the surface but they never quite make it to my face. I want to scream, I want to cry. I want to pull him in my arms and tell him that I still want to marry him. The other part of me wants to push him harder, I hadn't tried hard enough.
Author's Note: Another cliffhanger. I know. Please let me know what you think of this scene and if you enjoyed it vote for it. Thank you for reading.
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