Story #17

MARVIN

My hands were shaking. My mind was going a million miles per minute, racing with thoughts of what the future may hold for me and Mary. She’s my girlfriend of 3 years and I feel that it’s time to take the next step in our life together: marriage.

This is something I had honestly been thinking about since our 2-year anniversary. She was beautiful, intelligent, independent, charismatic, and the list went on and on. I listed all the pros and cons of marrying her a few months back. There were only 2 cons: 1. She seemed so independent sometimes that it seemed as if she didn’t even need me. I wanted to be needed. 2. She was so charismatic that, sometimes, it seemed like she was flirting with other guys. I wanted to be the only person she talked to the way she talked to everyone else.

I figured the cons were things that I could definitely get over because there were so many more pros. I loved her and thought that she was the one. It had only been a few days after our 3-year anniversary when I thought the timing was right. She was actually annoyed with me at the time when I decided I wanted to go through with the proposal.

I walked into our bedroom and saw her lathering lotion onto her long legs. Her hair fell over the sides of the head and framed her angelic face. She didn’t look up when I sat down next to her.

“What do you want, Marvin? I already told you that I want you to sleep on the couch tonight. We can talk about it tomorrow.”

Even while she was mad, she looked beautiful. I pretended as if I didn’t hear her. This was going to be a sure-fire way to change her heart. Mary seemed to be mad, but she didn’t tell me why she was mad. I didn’t do anything wrong that she knew about. She honestly had no reason to be mad.

I sighed, then began my whole spill. “We’ve been together now for 3 years, and I want you to know that I absolutely adore you.”

Mary sighed loudly and rolled her eyes. I continued.

“I know I’m not the best at showing my feelings, but…” I pulled the small, velvet box from my jean pocket and got on one knee. “Mary, will you please do the honor of making me the luckiest man on Earth and take my hand in marriage?” I popped open the box and took her left hand.

She immediately began crying and jerked her hand back. “No!” She dropped her head into her hands and continued to sob. I tried to hug her and she shrugged me off of her.

MARY

It was a long day. Things had been different for awhile. I knew Marvin seemed  to be acting different, but I didn’t  know to what extreme, nor could I pinpoint exactly what was different. Call it women’s intuition or something. He was just…different.

Today we went for a stroll in the park and it almost felt like old times. Marvin grabbed my hand and held it as we walked past the long row of trees. Birds were chirping. Happy couples strolled past us. Children were flying kites. The sun was out with a few clouds dispersed throughout the sky.

Marvin got a call. He looked at the number and clicked ignore. “Who was that, babe,” I asked, not really caring what the answer was.

“Wrong number,” he replied.

I shrugged and we kept walking. Within minutes the same number called again. Again, he pressed ignore. “Are you sure it’s the wrong number? This is the second time they’re calling.”

“That was a different number, babe. I guess I’m popular today,” he joked. He put his phone on silent and tucked it into his back pocket. That was weird. He always answered his phone. It was little things like this that made me think that something was up.

When we got home, he went in the bathroom to take a shower. As soon as he closed the door, I grabbed his phone out of his back pocket. A notification poppedw up on his home screen reading “5 missed calls.”

“Hey, Mary, can you please toss me my phone? I want to listen to music while I shower,” Marvin called from the bathroom. Shit. I opened the door and tossed him his phone.

“Thanks, babe.”

My mind was racing. Was he cheating on me? Who was this mysterious other woman? When Marvin got out of the shower, I was laging on the bed, scrolling through Facebook. “I’m going to pick up some food for dinner tonight, okay?” He smiled at me.

I casually looked up. “Sure thing. What are you picking up?”

“It’s a surprise.” He smoothly grabbed his keys and walked out the apartment. As soon as I heard the key turn in the lock, I opened our shared laptop. His voicemail was connected to his gmail, which already had his password saved on the computer. I clicked on his email and it loaded. In his inbox it showed that he had 2 voicemails from the same number. The number definitely didn’t look familiar. When I clicked on the email, it gave me the option of reading the voicemail.

Absolutely shocked by what I read, I slammed the laptop shut. Tears streamed down my cheeks. What the fuck was that about?! Forty minutes later, Marvin arrived with a meal from my favorite Chinese food place. “I want you to sleep on the couch tonight. You know why.” I stared at him with my puffy, red eyes staring into his soul. “But I brought Chinese food. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Did you want to talk?”

He held out his hand to touch mine and I moved my hand away. “We can talk in the morning. I’m not hungry.” I got up from the couch and walked into our bedroom. I decided to take a long, hot shower and try to organize my thoughts. I stayed in there until my fingers began to prune. With my towel wrapped around my body, I trudged into the bedroom and flopped onto the bed. Tears began to shed again as I put on my lotion. The bedroom door opened and Marvin walked in.

“What do you want, Marvin? I already told you that I want you to sleep on the couch tonight. We can talk about it tomorrow,” I said.

“We’ve been together now for 3 years, and I want you to know that I absolutely adore you. I know I’m not the best at showing my feelings, but…” Marvin pulled a small box from his jean pocket and got on one knee. “Mary, will you please do the honor of making me the luckiest man on Earth and take my hand in marriage?” He popped open the box and took my hand into his.

I was extremely shocked and immediately began crying, jerking my hand away from his. I continued to sob. He tried to hug me and I recoiled from him.

PRESENT

Marvin stared at Mary, simultaneously confused and worried. “What is it, Mary? It’s okay if you don’t want to marry me, but please tell me why. What did I do?”

Mary looked up, momentarily done crying. Her eyes were super red from crying all evening. “How dare you ask me what you did. You know exactly what you’ve done and  I do, too. I can’t believe you’re cheating on me! Something had been different about you, but I didn’t know what it was. Now I know.”

Mary’s voice sounded grainy and full of hate. I glimmer of truth flicked behind Marvin’s eyes and then went away. “Fine, you got me. I’ve been trying to hide from you for the past year that I was ready to propose to you.”

Mary laughed loudly and fell backwards on the bed. “You have to be kidding me, Marvin. Since you won’t say it, I will. I know that you’re gay and screwing some guy name Jordan. There.” Her laughing became crying again.

Marvin scoffed and acted appalled. “I’m not gay, but you’re right about Jordan. I don’t know how you found out about her, but it was a one time thing about 8 months ago. I’m sorry, Mary. She meant nothing.”

Mary stopped crying. She calmly opened the laptop she had quickly placed under pillow earlier. She opened his gmail account and clicked on the email with the voicemail messages. Marvin’s eyes widened. The first email said,

Hey this is Jordan. Thank you for last weekend. I can’t wait until next weekend. Maybe next time I can bend you over the way you bent me over. Call me back, boo.

“That was seriously a wrong number. The name is a coincidence. That person didn’t even know my name!” Marvin’s hands began to tremble. Mary clicked out of that email and on to the next email. This voicemail said,

Marvin, this is Jordan again. This is my 5th time calling you. I just wanted to say thank you for putting the spark back into my life. It’s been hard finding a man that meets my needs the way you do. Did you get the picture I sent you? I don’t usually send dick pics, but you’re special. Call me back and let me know what you think about next weekend. Talk to you soon.

Marvin slammed the laptop shut. He tried to touch Mary’s hand again, and again she pulled away from him. “Please, Mary. I’m so sorry. I should’ve told you awhile…” Mary slapped Marvin as hard as she could. Her chest was heaving, matching the heavy breaths she was taking before she started crying again.

Marvin touched his cheek, astonished at what just happened. “I’m so sorry.” He began to cry as well. Marvin and Mary both cried on the bed, unsure of what to do next. When the crying died down, Marvin decided to speak again.

“For the record, you’re the only woman I’ve ever loved. I was going to make it work with you, and I thought I could. I just missed the lifestyle I hid from everyone when I was in college. I hope you forgive me one day.”

Marvin got up from the bed and tossed the ring on the bed. “You can keep it. You’ll be a spectacular wife for someone else one day.” He walked out of the apartment without grabbing any of his belongings besides his wallet, phone, and keys.

Mary laid back on the bed and cried until she fell asleep.

This one just took all types of turns. I really tried writing a regular romance and immediately became bored. Warped romances are much more interesting to write.

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