LONG READ, 1315 WORDS.
Gary took the backpack he had bought at Los Angeles, when he went for a 2-month vacation at his Uncle’s place. He sighed at the sight of the beautiful ring he had kept inside the smallest part of the bag, then he dropped it on the couch. He calmly sat down, spread his legs, and held his head. God, he murmured. He took a deep breath and rested his back on the chair, went into brooding, and burst into silent tears. I loved her, I loved her too much, he cried.
He remembered when he first met this beautiful tall blonde lady at the cafe, how they spoke for the first time, exchanged digits, and he could call that love at first sight. Every detail of those happy moments were still in his head. Mother saw him grinning ear to ear, and she asked in a low tone, ‘Gary dear, what is the news? Tell me’. ‘Nothing mother,’ he had replied. She was still surprised though because he smiles on a rare occasions. She added, but the Gary I know wouldn’t smile unless he is in a very happy mood; you know you can tell me anything or…He quickly stopped her before she could complete the sentence. Yes! yes! I think I found her. Who, she asked? He revealed his long white teeth as he said, at the cafe today I saw a very beautiful lady and at that moment something just told me that she is the the one. He was still giggling while his mother shook her head slowly, and said ‘I still don’t understand what you are saying, you’ve completely forgotten everything I told you about going to college to get a degree. She continued, girls are distractions and you can’t afford to have one now, get a degree first, she spat out.’ Okay mom, he rolled his eyes and walked out.
The reaction he got from his mother didn’t stop him from calling Henrietta up that night, she was also excited to hear from him, they spoke for hours, made a plan next day to go to the movies, and went to bed. He was already brushing up his hair, bringing out clothes from his wardrobe when his dad knocked at the door. ‘Come in,’ he blurted out. His dad brought him some money he would need on the date. Then, he cleared his throat and said be careful son, daddy loves you. That made him grin and blush, he replied ‘okay dad, I’m really looking forward to my first date, I hope it goes smooth and you are the best father in the world,’ he concluded.
Henrietta’s dress was flattering as it revealed her hourglass shape, she stood tall, waved at him and came nearer to meet him. For the first time, he looked into her eyes, gave her a warm hug and his heart began to race. She looked deep into his eyes and whispered Gary, take it easy, I’m not going to bite you tonight you know. What she said relieved the tensed atmosphere a bit, they both giggled and went inside the cinema. They occupied two chairs in the third row, made themselves comfortable, and held hands on his laps. So, what next? She asked as she readjusted her position to give her back more support. We are going to watch the movie, and get back home before it gets too late, he answered. They giggled again and enjoyed the rest of the night.
After three months of dating, they both got into Missouri University of Science and Technology. They were now in their 4th year of college and Gary’s mother was still unaware of their lovey-dovey relationship. He kept it from his mother, and his father didn’t say tell her anything either. Hahaha, LIFE IS GREAT! He said enthusiastically as he walked out from his dorm to go meet the love of his life under a tree. He came from behind, and tickled her unexpectedly. She was startled. I Gotcha baby, he said to which she chortled. ‘Heyyy babe,’ she greeted. Etta, I called you several times yesterday and you didn’t pick, you must be very busy, he teased. Sorry dear, I had an assignment I needed to turn in today and I didn’t have time to do it until yesterday, that’s why I sent you a message this morning to come meet me right here. How have you been, she added. Great, you? Fine, fine, she quickly replied. Their relationship has been going very smooth over the years until….
They finished school, went back home, both got different jobs but at the same time. Gary was still living with his parents, he felt he should, since he was not ready to stay alone. Even at 24, he would go to work and come back home everyday. One day he had a plan of settling down with Henrietta and since the pay from his job was okay, he knew there would be no problem with securing an apartment.
He sat quietly on the chair, still brooding, and he remembered again. She and her family had moved to Los Angeles, it wouldn’t be too bad for him since his uncle resided there. He thought of going for a vacation in his uncle place, and buying few things he’d prefer to buy for himself rather than shopping online, his backpack included. An idea of proposing to her in her new house popped into his head, and he smiled. ‘That would be amazing’, he said to himself.
He booked his flight to Los-Angeles and arrived there 3 hours and 50 minutes later. He kept his visit from her, he wanted it to be a surprise for her. Hola! his uncle’s wife waved from a distance indicating that she had been awaiting his arrival, he sighted her and came to her direction. Good afternoon ma’am, he greeted they shared hugs, welcomed him and drove off to the house…
The second day he went into town to shop and got a three stone engagement ring he had wanted to use to propose to his beloved. On his way back home, he checked his phone to search for the address she had given him a week ago. He heaved a sigh of relief when he found out that it was quite close to his uncle’s house, where he stayed.
On the third day, he had already practiced the way he would pop the question with the 1,000 flowers the florist had designed for him yesterday night. He located the address and got to a duplex type house with number 56, the same number she said her address was. He brushed his hair again, and kept the brush back inside the shoulder bag and knocked. No response, he knocked again, still no response, then he tried turning the doorknob. He was glad that it wasn’t locked, he saw a belt lying on the floor, with a pair of earrings. He went upstairs and shouted ‘anyone at home,’ no reply. He stood on one spot and heard a sound coming out from the room right before him, he was so sure it was Etta’s voice, so he quickly opened the door scared that she might be in danger.
And what he saw….. what he saw right across the room, on the bed was his girlfriend Henrietta moaning under another man. A tear dropped from his left eye, and the sound of the ring that dropped notified her that someone was in the room. She remained in shock, and kept on mumbling while he picked the ring, threw it in his pocket. He tried hard to move his legs as they became too heavy for him to carry, but he left slowly anyways.
That was his story, he finally snapped out of his brooding still sitting on the couch, rolling the ring and he voiced out, I WAS DISILLUSIONED.