Furious Fiction - April 2019

On the first Friday of every month, the AWC hosts Furious Fiction. Participants are given a set of criteria to follow with a strict word limit of 500 words or less. Below is my entry for April.

"What's it going to be then, eh?” the jeweller yelled over the counter but Sebastian ignored him and stared blankly at the two diamond rings in front of him.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “he’s never done anything like this before.”

“Not my problem lady,” the man snapped back, “I got people to serve. Call me when you’re ready.”

He fiddled with the lock and placed the two diamond rings back inside the window.

I sighed, “cold feet Seb?”

He looked up at me and then back at the ring before he shook his head.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“How do you and Mikhail do it?” he asked and I could tell he was dreading this conversation.

“Why do you ask?”

“I’m…” he stuttered, “scared, I suppose.”

I took a long, deep breath and thought about my own marriage. It hadn’t always been as easy as it seemed on the outside, but the one thing Mikhail and I did have in common was our love for each other. With every fight came hope and with every argument came understanding and no matter how badly things got, we never, ever, gave up on each other.

“Listen Seb,” I began, “marriage is…complicated I guess,” I looked down at the diamond ring in the window and then looked at the one on my finger.

“Complicated how?” Seb asked again, keeping his gaze focused on the ring.

When Mikhail proposed, it came to me at such a surprise I almost said no. But staring into his beautiful blue eyes and watching them twitch from anxiety as he asked that terrifying question sparked a feeling in me I had never experienced before. I knew it was hard for Seb, coming from divorced parents always set expectations of marriage quite low, but I truly believed if two people really loved each other, then anything was possible.

“It’s hard to explain,” I began, “it is a beautiful and terrible thing and therefore should be treated with great caution.”

“Great caution?” he scoffed, “I’ll do my best but I’m telling you Annie, I’m not made for this. I’m not ready.”

“I understand. But don’t forget that you were the one who brought us here. You made the decision yourself to propose to Liz, no one forced you. In fact, nobody apart from Mikhail even knows that we’re here.”

“I’m just petrified,” he said again, his voice full of uncertainty.

“I know,” I gave him a quick peck on the cheek, “so was I. But don’t let fear pull you away from what you really want. Only you can make the choice.”

He rubbed his temples and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Did you decide yet, mate?” the jeweller approached us, his breath stinking of tobacco.

“Give us five,” I pleaded and he rolled his eyes.

“No wait!” Seb said, gesturing for the man to come back, “I’ll pick the one on the right, please.”

I looked up at him and smiled, “I’m glad.”