Inside was a diamond engagement ring. A
tear welled up, stunned, in a quandary of remorse, guilt. He finally said what
he’d suppressed saying.
"Will you marry me?"
Saying nothing I jumped up and ran to the bathroom, without the ring. On the toilet I tried to compose myself. After a while he tapped on the door but I could only croak out the word.
Sitting there I thought about family, husband, children, how much I loved them, how I couldn’t hurt them, how I betrayed them being in his apartment, how much they were my life and how I needed them.
I don’t love Elliot. I only blurted that due to the excitement of seeing the apartment. I’ve used him, to placate loneliness, for intrigue, to ensure self-esteem, for excitement, for sex but most of all because I enjoyed taming the rooster.
To love someone you must admire them. Elliot, what’s to admire? What’s he done?
Played golf, dissipated his life on a golf course, “professor golf” that sums him up. He’s never accomplished anything other than seducing women yet I turned the tables and seduced him. Now he wants me but I don’t want him, he bores me.
The latter thought summed it up for me. I re-entered the living room, still wearing my apron, our dinner cold and abandoned. He hadn’t moved, was looking down at the ring in its box. I sat next to him. I prepared for a rejection confrontation but instead he knelt down and put his head on my lap. I ran my fingers through his rooster hair, its pomade to hold up his comb greasing my fingers.
Not picking up the ring and putting it on said it all I just needed to let him save face. Tears, honest ones, not the ones I was preparing for his dumping, streamed down my face, tears for my truth.
“I never thought you were serious. I’ll never leave my husband. You need to find a good woman, get married, have children, children you can teach to play golf. I’ve used you, selfishly. I’m not the person you think. I’m no good for you."
I told him the truth but then lied.
“Yes, I do love you but it’s an impossible love, a forbidden love.”
He got up, our anniversary dinner forgotten and abandoned.
Thank God he swallowed it, believes me.
Just like that it was over. I sat in silence and waited in case he wanted to take me one last time. He made no advance. It my turn to be awkward I got up, took off my apron, picked up my purse, kissed him on the forehead, put on my coat and left with only.