the ring spun and spiraled on the table in front of him. it was late. the cool midnight air filtered through the occasionally open door, making the stuffy coffee shop a bearable location.
and the ring continued to spin, much like his head.
only minutes earlier, a beautiful girl sat across from him. she was all smiles and grins, her red hair blowing magestically in the flow of the fan, which rotated, and attempted to cool the room. he had been fingering the box of the ring in his pocket before she had even arrived, nervous. he was sure, he was totally sure that this was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
he remembered being with a girl. a different girl. they were in bed, alcohol drunk and love drunk, lust drunk and he was kissing her neck, holding her tight. it was the first time they had met, and had spent the last few hours exploring each other. hands and lips on ever inch, and now they lay there in the moonlight of her window, talking about poetry and music. she fell asleep with her head on his chest. she didn’t snore, and in the morning they made promises to see each other again.
he came back to the present moment, beautiful green eyes staring across from the other side of the table, meeting his hesitant and unsure eyes. “what’s up” she asks
he was there when she got her first tattoo. a small amount of text, up the inside of her upper arm. “be the trouble you want to see in the world” it said in very nice, rounded letters. she gripped his hand as the needle worked it’s way across her skin. days later she would leave, front door open and not a letter to be seen. she was like that, hot and cold. some days the best girlfriend ever, sometimes a total stranger, but he loved her so.
“nothing…just been a long day” he replies, coming back to reality again. in the moments past, he had been staring at the menu above the counter. luckily he had not been staring at another woman.
“well you said you had something to talk to me about…” she smiled, knowing what was going to happen. she had intuition of the ring in his pocket, that he’d produce it and whisk her away. she’d be a married woman within a year. her parents would be so proud.
it was about an hour of standing there in the door way, staring down the road when he realised she was never coming back.
“uh…” he was nervous, so very nervous. his mind wrangled in knots. trying to find words to give expression to what he felt. it was all so sudden, but so clear. to continue in this relationship would be wrong. bad faith, sartre would have called it, “i think we should stop seeing eachother..”
and there it was; so sudden and fast. like a knife blow to her, severing the connection that they had spent the last four years building up.
you’ll get over it, his friends said. but he knew she was the one. if such a thing existed, which he often doubted. but he knew that she was the one who would have made him the happiest. why should he settle for anything less?
“i am so sorry.” he meant it too. she was clearly upset; the fall from being engaged to being alone was a sudden one. she was upset and angry. her hand on his face hurt when she slapped him, but he deserved it. within moments, she had left.
and so he sat there, staring into the blurred metal lines of the ring as it span and slowed down and tumbled over.
at the end of the day, how many of us actually end up with the people we want to?