The Proposal

The following is simply a short story. No crazy, barely lucid rant today.


The closer they got to the bottom of the stairs the more prevalent an odd sound became to Jessica. Paul opened the door and outside before them a line of horses marched down the street. It seemed odd to her that no cars were parked on the curb but then as the line of horses cleared she noticed there was a horse drawn carriage. Was this really Paul’s doing?

Paul stepped up on the carriage and extended his hand down to help pull her up. “Shall we be on our way?”

It all seemed so odd. Could this man actually have set this up? All of it seemed a bit much, especially for a second date and after how awkward the first was. Their first date was simple, a night of drinks. However, it seemed that Paul ordered a shot of whiskey with almost every beer. Conversation took a strange turn when he started to discuss in depth his idea for a cat-and-person tandem bike. He claimed there would be a valuable marketing strategy here seeing as how many older single women seemed to cling to cats. At one point he had explained that this way they could mock couples by enjoying something that normally only two people can share while spending quality times with the pets they loved. Oh god, and the way he described how the cat would fit on the bike. That can’t be what I think about; she thought to herself, I need to focus on this date ahead because it might actually be good. At that moment she noticed the carriage had stopped them in front of a romantic Italian restaurant.

Like a gentleman, Paul opened the door and soon they were seated in a dimly lit room where a soft glow came from all the tables adorned with candles. Paul looked at her and smiled, “Okay, so I know the last date wasn’t exactly the most perfect.”

“Yeah, I know. I had to walk you home and put you to bed to make sure you didn’t swallow your own tongue on the way. Trust me; I didn’t need that on my conscience.”

“True as that may be, I’m hoping this one makes up for it. I’ve got a special night planned. So relax and take in the setting. The food here is wicked.”

Okay, never mind the fact he just described the food as if he were a Bostonian. The restaurant is actually quite romantic. A waiter approached and poured them two glasses of wine. Jessica smiled at the waiter in gratitude while missing the sly hand gesture Paul made at him. The restaurant had quite a robust menu which it made it seem so odd when the waiter suddenly returned. Mid-sip, she almost choked when the waiter set a small box on the table as he smiled first at her and then Paul. She looked up from the box to Paul.

“Uhh…” She couldn’t muster a real response. This all seemed so odd but she noticed Paul was grinning ear to ear, looking at her in an adoring way. Is this a proposal? What the hell? Her mind flew into a flurry with thoughts.  Well… you are 30. You’re not getting any younger and you’ve never been proposed to. Definitely not saying yes to this on a second date but really, I should take the chance to be proposed to at least once. Paul still hadn’t said anything.

“What is this?” As she reached out to the box Paul reached out to hold her hand. She reluctantly grasped back and looked him in the eyes.

“Jessica, I wanted to ask you… Phew, this seemed so much easier upstairs here,” He said pointed up at his head. His hand loosened so she took her hand back pulling the box back with her. “Jessica, would you take my hand tonight and join me in the bedroom? You know, to do some dirty shit.”

As he said this she had begun opening the box the waiter left on the table. The only thing inside the box was a condom. Her eyes widened further than she ever thought they could, “What the fuck? Seriously? This whole elaborate thing was to ask me for sex?”

“Hey whoa, language, people are trying to have romantic dinners here. Plus, I was proposing to you to have sex with me. I understood that you might say ‘no’ but I didn’t think you’d flip out like this.”

She dropped the box, “How did you think I was going to react? Did you think if I didn’t say yes that I’d sit over here holding my chin, deep in thought as I weighed the pros and cons?”

Paul looked offended, “Well yeah, that is kind of what I thought. Are you saying that’s a ridiculous reaction?”

“Yes, Paul, yes I am saying that is ridiculous. In fact, I’m saying that is not just ridiculous. It’s stupid. You thought up the dumbest reaction I might have. Are you insane? Honestly, who thinks up something like this?”

“Okay, okay, it’s just that our last date didn’t seem to go that well. You weren’t very keen on my business idea, which in my opinion, is stupid on your part but I thought I could make up for it here. Plus, I really wanted to have sex with you.”

Jessica got up and started to turn away but before taking 5 steps she turned around and came back to the table. Paul looked up at her, suddenly the gloom on his face was wiped away as he looked up at her. Before he could say a word, she reached down, grabbed her wine glass and chugged it down. Then she reached across the table, grabbed his and drank it down as well before she stormed out of the restaurant.

Pondering why the plan had not worked, Paul sat at the table with his head propped in hand. An expression of sorrow was written all over his face. The two empty wine glasses seemed to be staring at him as the waiter approached. “More wine, sir?”

“Uhhh, yeah. Do you guys serve whiskey too?”

“Sorry, we do not. Will the young miss be returning?”

“Nah, she left.”

Suddenly the waiter seemed to have a bit of sympathy for Paul. “Oh, wow. I’m sorry.” It put him in an odd place to know that Paul’s proposal had been rejected. The waiter wasn’t aware of what he was actually proposing to Jessica. “Well, honestly, I have a flask out in my car. Do you want me to sneak you in a shot from that?”

“Seriously? Yes that would be perfect right now, thank you so much. Hey, also, umm… I kind of had this carriage rented and I paid for two rides on it. Seeing as how the ‘lovely’ lady left, do you want a ride around in it for a while with me? I am not letting that other ride I paid for go to waste.”


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