I love to read and write. But I also love to sleep. What happens when I combine my love for all three? A type of Nirvana. Here’s a clip from the nightly movie-in-my-brain:
“She holds her small and square-ish hand, the nails chewed to the quick. “It’s an engagement ring,” she demurs.
I feel my breath quicken, “So it is.”
“He asked me to marry him last night when I left your room. Well, not immediately afterwards, but later.”
I nod as if this really isn’t the truth. I don’t believe her.
“I saw that ring of yours, the shiny one with the piece that dangles when you were in the bathroom,” she pauses and tilts her head looking at me as if I’m a child. “I slipped it on my finger and admired it in the mirror, twisting my hand around like a hand model might,” she looks to me for validation. “It fit, you know.”
I wince and bite my lower lip.
“Where did you get it? It’s different—unique.”
I think of the ring—cold sterling silver, a medallion in the middle. Some may call it a charm.
“Steve,” I whisper. “Steve gave it to me.” Our initials are engraved on it; he presented it to me on our two-year dating anniverary.
I am driving but the car is moving swiftly down a hill. To my right is a clear blue lake. Clear blue easy. The road winds sharply to the left, but I am too entranced by the view. Salty sea air hangs like a curtain—no, a shroud—I am dead. My life and vigor escaping once I hear Beth’s news. “We’re getting married—Me and Steve.”
It’s not that I didn’t expect this. I just didn’t really believe he’d go through with it—the particulars, that is, like going to a jeweler. In my mind’s eye, I see him leaning over a glass case, pointing to the rings that strike him. “This one. No-no, that one—up and over to the left.” Never minding the fact that his sloppy directions are reversed to the salesperson. Perhaps he is too blinded by love to notice—or care.
The salesperson delicately pulls the settings from the case, laying them on the velvet board on top of the case, highlighting their features, covering things like the 3 C’s.
And then, as if driven by some innate force around that sharp bend in the road, my car dips into the water, slowly sinking. A taste of the cold, salty water brushes my lips.
Isn’t this a fresh water lake? And then I realize I am nowhere near the ocean, but instead it’s my tears and snot mingling together, cascading down my face because he is hers now and forever. Again and again.
When I awake, I am sure it is seventeen years ago and I am lying in a twin bed in Creswell Hall, our shared dormitory at UGA—me, Beth, and Steve.
But instead, I’m in a king TepurPedic at the home I share with Joe on Halverson Lane. I roll over—the insistent humming of the digital clock on the bedside table, a toxic green glows evil, a slight form of envy festers. Illness.”
[this is an original work of fiction for my novel-in-process. Names and places have been tweaked. They do not represent any one living or dead]