I used to drag him around the jewellery shops. ‘Come on, let’s see how well you know me. Pick the engagement ring I’d want.’ He’d fake groan, and bumble around, starting with the hideous ones. Honestly, the trash that’s available these days.
But then, after a few months, he switched on. He started being more choosy, more specific in what he thought I’d like. He chose white gold in one shop, platinum in another, making sure that he properly registered my reaction. If in doubt, with me, always go for white gold. Platinum is just a bit pretentious. At least in my eyes.
We went through them all, sapphires, diamonds, rubies. Then we found it. It was perfect. A small, understated emerald, set into slender white gold band. I saw him eyeing up my reaction as he pretended to pass over it, but he knew. He knew it was perfect.
We left the shop that day without it. I knew that he’d pick it later, then he’d propose to me. It’s what I’ve wanted. It’s all I’ve wanted since I’ve known him. He’s everything to me.
So I waited. Patiently. For months. Nothing. I’d get excited every time we went for a romantic dinner somewhere, or we went for a long walk on the beach. But we’d have a lovely dinner, or a great time on the walk and then we’d go home. No sign of him on one knee.
So then I started waiting impatiently. Acting out. We’d go to parties with our friends and I’d get drunk. I’d tell stories. Some of them were true.
Some of them weren’t.
It got worse. But all I wanted was for him to propose. I wasn’t going to do it. I’d given him all the information. But nothing happened. We started rowing, proper screaming bitch fits at one another.
Charlotte and Micah told me it was normal, after I’d burst into tears after the third cosmopolitan. ‘It’s just a phase. It’s perfectly fine.’
Then I made it all not perfectly fine.
He came to the door after work one day. He knocked three times. I opened it in my underwear, knowing it was him.
He didn’t hesitate. He knelt, took my hand and managed to say my name.
‘Christina.’ That was as far as he got. He must have seen the man behind me.
The slender white gold band dropped to the floorboards with a clatter. He looked at me with tears in his eyes before walking out of my life. The understated emerald stared at me from the floor, accusing me.
I still have the ring. I’m waiting for him to come back, to forgive me, to give me the ring and the life I’ve always wanted.
He’ll come back. Won’t he?
The Idiot in Tin Foil