Three years. Three fucking years Nadia had given to her boyfriend. She had given him nearly every weekend, every inch of her body, and every ounce of her soul. She loved Ollie with all her heart, but this. This one fucking picture said it all.
Ollie had cheated.
It was right there on the camera. He was sitting next to some beautiful woman with that familiar look of love in his eyes. The love he had given Nadia so many times, the same look he had when he told her of his thoughts and dreams and hopes and aspirations. And she had listened, really listened and tried to help him reach his dreams. She really loved him, loved everything about him. But this. This fucking picture told her it had all been an illusion.
But her heart told her she would do it all again just to be a mere memory of her dear Ollie.
Ollie sat nervously on the couch, twirling the ring he had picked out over and over again in his hands. Soon, and very soon he would propose to her. The one he loved. The one he spent every second thinking about, praying for, and working for. The one that lit his room up just thinking about her. His dear, sweet, beautiful Nadia.
He had sat at the jewelers for hours today, trying to make the perfect decision. What would she like? What would complement her personality? What would she like to wear on her finger for the rest of time? It was no small feat.
The jeweler had asked him questions about her, what did she like to do, what were her favorite clothing styles, what put a smile of her face, and a million other thoughts of Nadia floated through his head. His jeweler was genius, she knew exactly what to ask and had helped him narrow the selection exponentially.
He had chosen a ring, it was carefully shined and prepared, and he now had it in his hands. Tonight. Yes, tonight he would take her out and propose to her. He knew she would say yes.
Nadia stirred all afternoon, restlessly pacing her living room floor. How would she go about this? Would she call him and scream like a maniac? Would she light his truck on fire? Would she slap the smile off his annoyingly handsome face? Would she smash to pieces everything he had given to her, much as her heart felt at this very moment, smashed to smithereens and too broken to ever be put back into place.
She knew she would never really do these things, she would never hurt him the way he had just now hurt her. She was better than that, and under the hot rage of anger at the moment, she still loved him. She hated herself for still loving him, for knowing despite the hot poker burning her from the inside out at the moment that she would always love him. But she loved herself, too, and she knew she couldn’t continue to date someone who was unfaithful.
Or was he? It was suspicious that the pic came from one of his exes, one of his ex girlfriends that had made her intentions clear that she was going to win him back, she was going to be the one with the ring on her finger when all was said and done. Nadia needed to calm down and think this through. Was this just some awful joke the ex was playing, trying to separate their inseparable love?
She couldn’t overreact. Maybe he was innocent after all. She took the picture and forwarded it to Ollie. Care to explain? was all she wrote.
It didn’t take long before she got the reply. Love to, please meet me at La Ruge at six, or would you rather I pick you up?
Well, that was not an easy answer. He couldn’t be inviting her to the fanciest restaurant in town to simply dismiss her or break up with her. Or maybe the ex was there with him, and she would be the red faced one? Nadia decided she would drive herself in case she needed to leave herself, but hoping he could explain the picture without problem.
I’ll be there at six. She felt this simple answer was sufficient. Then her phone buzzed again.
Love you! He had actually written Love you. There must be some explanation, so she dressed herself well and made certain to arrive by six pm.
Ollie was more than excited, he was nervous as all get out. His fireball was about to show up, and she had learned about his ring choosing adventure. Somehow someone had sent a picture of him at the jeweler’s, and she was curious. She must know, so tonight was definitely the night.
He watched her arrive and quickly jogged out to open the door for her. She seemed surprised, and a slight blush crept across her cheeks. Odd, she was not one to blush so easily. He took her arm and tried to remember all those manners his mother had pounded into him as a child. He opened the doors, pulled out her chair, and had her full attention before the waiter even arrived. This was working out well so far.
They made it through the meal without her touching the subject. Dessert was ordered, and he couldn’t wait any longer. Across the table he took her hands in his and tried to repeat the lines he had memorized earlier in the day, and only removed his hands from hers long enough to retrieve the box. He opened it and finally sputtered, “Will you marry me?”
He was surprised by her rush of tears. She was crying, something he had never seen her do in public before. He was shocked, but she nodded her head yes as he slipped the ring on her finger, making the promise a solid commitment. She cleared her eyes and stretched across the table for a kiss.
He had his answer. This beautiful Nadia would be his for life. He couldn’t be happier.
Nadia couldn’t believe the words she was hearing as he started professing his unending love to her. Her mind instantly reeled back to the photo, and she realized it was set in a jewelry shop. Someone had been warning her of a romantic proposal, not of a cheating boyfriend. The smile on his face was him thinking of her as he picked out the band that would loop around her finger for the rest of eternity.
She was right, he only had that look of love for her. She didn’t hear his proposal and barely saw it as her eyes were filled with tears. When he slipped the ring on her finger, she couldn’t be happier. Life with her dear Ollie had just begun, and she couldn’t wait to be in his arms as closely as she was in his heart, and that was no illusion.