In case you haven't noticed, I've recently sorted out the old stories in my blog according to genres. Loads of gems included, even those old 'So You Think You Know' series and Cendol Stories. Quite amusing to see how I used to preface every non-long story posting with 'Writer's Block', and the dreadful lack of paragraphing. Having said all that though, my sheer volume of genius still amazes me.
Which brings us to today's story. I noticed that I have a surprisingly low amount of stories under the 'Romance' category - extremely unbecoming for a sentimental sop such as myself. This is my desperate attempt at increasing my Romance numbers, complete with sweet-as-candy chic lit-style cover. Prepare to be swept away.
"Will you marry me?"
She felt her cheeks flush red.
There he knelt in all earnestness, diamond ring in one hand and bouquet of red roses in another. How very old-fashioned. And sweet.
It was pretty much how she had always imagined it to be. Just more... for lack of a better word, embarrassing. Out of the corner of her eyes she could sense people looking and gushing. One side of her wanted to slowly savour the moment. Another wished to just quickly get it over and done with.
In no time they were walking down the aisle, reciting their vows in church. He lifted her veil and kissed her, and all their friends and family clapped.
Gosh, I can't believe it's been so fast. We're actually married.
Married life brought with it all the bliss and aches of living together. Sometimes they yelled at each other, but every time they kissed and made up. She was a carefree and whimsical soul; his was a meticulous mind. It seemed a recipe for disaster, but they always found common ground to share a part of each others' lives. She loved cheering him up with little thoughtful surprises, while he always made her feel really special on those big days.
Then came their first child.
How quickly their lives turned! Now the attention was no longer on caring for each other - everything went to the child. Over time problems started to surface. She complained that he was never there for their child. He was annoyed at her seeming obsession over the child.
"We never spend time together any more." he grumbled. "Like we once did."
"You're blaming me!" she retorted indignantly. "When was the last time you changed his diaper?"
Things became worse as his business suffered. As much as they both hated it, they found themselves constantly bickering over bills and spending habits. She found herself making one too many compromises, each layering her heart with more bitterness. Many a night she slept in silent tears, torn between the duties of a supportive wife and doting mother.
It frustrated him even more to see her like this. He felt angry at her for not trusting him enough to share her feelings, and angry at himself for being unable to make her happy. The more they tried to talk things through, the thicker the walls between them grew. Eventually they learned not to talk about it, preferring to revolve their conversations around the child.
Without warning, the years crept by and the child was moving out to college. They bade him goodbye without a single tear, though their hearts silently sank. He had been very much the centre of everything for almost two decades. It hurt deeply watching the meaning of their lives slip away.
It was strange speaking to each other again without the child. For the first time in years, they were forced to look into each others' eyes and talk about themselves.
It wasn't easy to reopen old wounds. And it wasn't necessary, they decided. Holding hands, they took a stroll down the beach where they first met and sat dreamily before a glorious sunset.
He held her chin up and smiled. "We've known each other for 26 years."
She rested on his shoulder. "Yeah."
"Remember when I proposed to you at the chalet grill? I wonder if that place is still around."
"You were blushing!"
"Of course I was, silly," she giggled. "Everyone was looking at us."
"Did you...expect it then?"
She paused, unsure. "Actually...I kind of guessed."
"I knew it!" he laughed. "But come to think of it, it's better you guessed. Otherwise you might've given the wrong answer."
She stroked a loose hair on his forehead and smiled. "I would never."
He returned her smile. "You'll always be that same silly girl I knelt before that day."
"Will you marry me?"
She jolted back to reality. He was still on his knees waiting for her answer.
The other diners clapped and cheered wildly.
It was the beginning of a beautiful love story.