Penny Love (Not in Book Format) [Long Read]

Penny Love (Not in Book Format) [Long Read]

A Story by Uihara

Slice of life and Romance. The story begins with a young woman named Emilia Chan preparing for her birthday dinner with her significant other.


Penny Love

Part 1

“Today’s THE BIG DAY!”  Janis pranced to and fro her WC and me.  Each time, she returned with a different gadget that she used to refine me.  Every last one being equally indispensable to making me, immaculate.  Of course they were all beyond me.  It was clearly her expertise and not mine.

I appreciated her help - I really did - but when she offered to spiffer me up, I didn’t expect for her to operate on me for a cumbersome three whole hours. I spent the entire time in a seat facing her bedroom wall.

“Mhm...”  I answered back turning the page of the magazine I was reading. I couldn’t tell if she was intentionally making this undertaking more mundane than it had to be, but I couldn’t really complain.  She was doing all the work after all.

“He’s totally going to drop the question,” she beamed.  “Aren’t you excited, EMILIA?!”  The guttural way she uttered my name sent chills down my spine.  Peeking over my shoulder, I watched as Janis bounced off the walls.

We’ve been friends since forever; ever since I became a part of my local choir several years ago.  It was there that I met the timid and quiet Janis.  She almost resembled a mouse that would scuttle away at the first sign of danger; she, of course, sang like one too.  Oh how times have changed.  You never would have guessed that once upon a time, Janis was a precious little thing.

At this point, I was hoping that the ordeal would be over soon.  Then, Janis looked at me from over her shoulder.  With eyes and grin as wide as Dr. Frankenstein’s when he completed his monster, she held up another one of her toys.

“I mean like… sure I’m excited for the dinner, but you’re acting as if I’m going to be crowned The Queen of Canada tonight.”  I sat still as she tugged on my hair with the new device.  With each pull, I could feel my discomfort rising.

Once she was done with that, she began vigorously applying a skin-colored cream of some sort to my nose and cheeks with a sponge.

“Emilia! You don’t know how happy I am for you!”  She said as she grabbed a soft brush to varnish the rest of my disgruntled face.  Of course I knew how happy she was.  She was even more excited about tonight than I was.

“We don’t even know for sure if tonight’s gonna be the night.  For all we know he could wait another year or two.”  I kept my eyes shut so that Janis couldn’t scatter any of her pixy dust into them.

“Don’t be like that. Have some faith in Alex.” Almost like magic, Janis’s maniacal smile disappeared.  “He’s a way better man than Wilson will ever be.”  She put down her brush.  I could see the poutiness in her face without having to turn to look.  She was about to go on another one of her eccentric rants about her boyfriend of three years, but I stopped her before she could start.

“Still having trouble getting Lil O’ Willy to tie that knot, huh?”  Now was my chance to poke fun at her.  “Shoulda listened to me when I told you that he wasn’t the type to lie down and be tied down.”  My smirk amplified the irksome tone that I was taking with her.

I could see that she’d become flustered by it.  “Screw you.  He’s just a shy turtle.  That’s all.”  She headed to her WC to grab something else.

“Then?”  I asked raising my voice so that she could hear me.

“He could propose to me anytime now!  And I’d say yes in a heartbeat!  If only he would grow a pair and just do it!”  Her yelling was deafening.  I swear that Wilson probably could have heard her from his home on the other side of town.

“Couldn’t you just make it easier on him by proposing to him instead?”  I finished reading the magazine and laid it flat on my lap waiting for her to hand me another.

“He wouldn’t like that.  It’d make me seem overeager.  Plus, I’m sure he’s planned something a million times better than anyone else has come up with.”  She was coming back with what looked like eyeliner and lipstick.

“Didn’t you just say that Alex was a better man than Wilson would ever be?  Wouldn’t that include the way that he plans to propose?”  I slyly turned to looked back at her, anticipating her reaction.  She lowered the small bottles that she was holding.

“Hey.”  She looked at me, clearly irritated.

“Hey.”  I answered back provocatively.  I made sure she could see my grin by tilting my head towards her ever so slightly.

“Hush, you.”  She snatched the magazine from my lap and playfully swatted the back of my head with it.  We both began laughing.

Our banter continued for another fifteen minutes or so, until she finally set me free from the confines of her ‘beauty chair.’  She held up a mirror allowing me the privilege of finally seeing the product of her labours.  I wasn’t expecting a considerable difference, but the moment that I saw myself, I gawked at what couldn’t have possibly been me.  The woman in the mirror’s hair glistened in the dim lighting as if it were comprised of thousands of slim cords of shimmering bronze.  Her eyes seemed larger, more defined.  Her skin glowed and was devoid of flaws.  I reached for my face in disbelief.

“Holy s**t.”  I turned to her in astonishment.

“This is why you shouldn’t doubt me.”  Jan sneered. “Maybe next time, you’ll have a little more faith.”  She was clearly proud of her work.

“So...  how much do I owe you for this and this?”  I tugged on her elegant black dress that she was letting me borrow.

“Oh nothing…  Just the rights to being your best friend, for the rest of eternity.”  Her eyes glinted with a bit of her typical nuttiness.

“Why would you want that?”  I laughed.  “I’m horrible.”

“Emilia.  Don’t be like that.  What would Alex think if he heard you say that?”  I could see the poutiness build behind her mouse face again.

I brushed her off.  “Fine fine.  We both know that he could do better than me anyways.”

Janis froze.  “You don’t actually believe that do you?”  As I turned to look at her, I realized that our lighthearted banter was over.  Her eyes, stern with concern, did the speaking for her: “Do you realize how important you are to all of us?”

“Okay, sorry.  You know me.”  I don’t handle confrontation well, I never could. “I’m just being me, so quit it with the glaring.”  I couldn’t look her in the eyes while saying all that.

“What did I tell you about saying self-degrading crap like that?  It’s no wonder you have no backbone.”  She was definitely mad at me now.

“I’m sorry Jan.”  The feeling was reminiscent of me getting scolded by my mother.  She definitely cared about me, but just didn’t seem to understand me.

“Quit it with the apologies and just go.  You’re going to be late to being early for your birthday dinner with Alex.”  With that she shooed me away.  I kind of regret leaving the mood like that, but I was a little glad to be finally out of there.  She handed me my jacket, and I grabbed my umbrella and purse on the way out.

Part 2

The closest bus stop was three blocks from Janis’s apartment. I stared at my cheap umbrella after shutting Janis’s front door. Alex had gotten it for me at a yard sale for two dollars about three years ago, but over the years it became notorious for being unreliably hard to open. This was in part due to the joints becoming warped because of the weak metal that the shaft was made up of. Each time that I struggled for more than three minutes to open it, I’d tell myself, “What do you expect from a two dollar umbrella?” I’d then promise myself that I’d buy a new one later down the line, but the occasion just never came up. I rarely went shopping after all.

I tried my umbrella. Thankfully today of all days it decided to be cooperative and open within the first two tries. I began making my way down the Knight Street. The rain was light, and the sun could be seen. The streets were moist but there weren’t any thick puddles that I had to worry myself about. I looked over at the horizon. The sun was setting. I thought to myself, “Vancouver is such a gloomy yet beautiful city. But it’s my city. I grew up here after all. It’s a shame that I don’t come out more often to experience days like this.”

I made it to the bus stop and sat down on the bench before checking my watch. 6:21pm it read. Our dinner reservation at the Japanese restaurant, Miku, wasn’t for almost another two hours at 8:15pm. We’d been planning this for months.

“Hello, excuse me?” I was startled. Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t notice when a somewhat elderly man had decided to sit down next to me.

“O-oh hello s-sir. Sorry.”  I was stuttering.  The man seemed to be in his early fifties with a receding hairline and the beginnings of wrinkling features.  His big nose reminded me of my grandfather’s.  He seemed warm but now had a look of confusion on his face.

“Why are you apologizing?”  He asked.  “I was just wondering what a lovely and beautiful girl like you was doing out here all alone.  Are you waiting for someone special to pick you up here?”  He laughed heartily.  It was at this point that I realized that I was garnering a lot of attention.  Normally, I’d blend right in, but today… today I stuck out like a sore, thumb.

“No. I’m here waiting for the bus.  Just like everyone.”  I was nervously fidgeting with my umbrella.  I could feel glances here and then from the people around me.  I could feel my heart rate rising from each and every one.  I prayed to god that I could just magically become invisible, and that no one here would see or look at me anymore.  Like how it usually was.  I was so embarrassed that I wanted to just disappear.

Suddenly bus 52 arrived.  It let out its signature puff of air before rolling the doors open.  Everyone at the bus stop except the elderly man and I boarded.

The conversation had stopped dead in the water.  I could tell that he hadn’t intended to put me in such a distasteful position.  I could feel his eyes glancing at me every now and then but I didn’t dare look back at him.

Not short after, bus 54 arrived and both him and I boarded.  I swiped my bus pass on the coin counting machine next to the driver.  I didn’t dare make eye contact with anyone.  The bus driver scratched his head seemingly surprised that I had a bus pass at all.

“How many stops?”  The bus driver turned to ask me out of curiosity.

“About 10 to 13.”  I answered back reluctantly.

“Ah, so you’re heading off to Van Centre huh?”  The elderly man from earlier chimed in.  “That explains why you’re dressed so nicely.”

I didn’t answer him. Oddly the bus had plenty of seats left.  Most people don’t venture out from their homes during rainy days it seems.  I sat near the back in a feeble attempt to dodge the gazes of the other passengers. The elderly man was counting quarters out of the palm of his hand and inserting them into the machine.  When he finished, he walked up to a vacant seat at the middle of the bus and sat down. He had given up trying to make conversation with me it seemed.  I sighed as I knew I was being unreasonably cold, but it was his fault for getting me so agitated regardless of if it was intentional or not.  I peered out the window into the sunset.  The rain had picked up, but the clouds were a delicate shade of orange-red.  This whole mess reminded me of when I first met Alex.

He was a complete dolt (and still is).  My first impressions were that he was comparable to a court jester who was lacking in every aspect except gusto.  He was the kind of stranger that I hated the most.  The kind that wouldn’t leave me alone.  I was in a foul mood that day too too which severely compromised both my patience and courtesy.  My unreasonable and emotionally unstable dad, kicked me out of the house for talking back to him earlier that day. Usually when this happens, I’d have to wait until he fell asleep, and then get my mom to sneak me back into the house.

I’d been sitting alone at a table at McDonald’s for about two hours now playing with my phone when this boy with an idiotic amount of energy and equally idiotic smile tried to hit on me.  I gave him the usual cold treatment that I gave to strangers but he wouldn’t let up.  Finally he asked me about why I hadn’t ordered anything and why I was alone here.  I remember telling to shut up and that I hadn’t purchased anything because I had no money before storming out of that McDonald’s.  Usually I’m not one to make scenes like that, but I definitely wasn’t in the mood to think twice or feel guilty or embarrassed for my actions.

After I left, I had no clue where I’d go to kill time.  My dad wouldn’t be asleep for another four hours or so.  With a bit of thought, I finally decided to walk to Strathcona Park and sit at the picnic tables there until my dad would probably be asleep.  It was about two kilometers from where the McDonald’s was but I made my way there in no time.  Janis always complained about how she couldn’t keep up with my walking speed.

I sat down at the wooden picnic tables and pulled out my phone.  Less than a minute later, I started to hear footsteps approaching. I looked up. It was Alex Lane.  That moron had followed me all the way from McDonald’s.  I tried to ignore him and establish my attention back on my phone but the battery had pretty much ran out by then.  He sat down across from me at the table and didn’t say a word.  His stupid smile was gone too.

“Why did you follow me?”  I said in an annoyed tone. “Are you some kind of creepy stalker too?”

He didn’t answer back and kept playing with his phone.  I became a little worried but it quickly subsided.  Without my phone I had nothing to do.  I began to study him a little closer.  He was slightly taller than me, with short black hair.  He had childish features but he was definitely around my age; probably older by about a year.  His stupid face was round and boyish.

“Heh, so your phone ran out of batteries huh?” He said with prying eyes.

“What?!  No!”  Unable to hide my surprise, my voice cracked.

“Oh? So I was right?”  He was definitely toying with me now which made my blood boil.  The frustration began to set in and I wanted to punch him in his stupid face.  He looked up from his phone.

“It’s ok Beautiful. I’ll stick around to keep you company.”  It was dark and I was fighting back the urge to nail him square between the eyes.  Finally I decided against it and got up from the table and began to walk off.  It was probably around 10pm by then but I couldn’t tell exactly without my phone.

“It’s dangerous for pretty girls to wander around alone at night you know.”  When I turned, he was right behind me.

“And what? Are you going to teach me a lesson?”  I clenched my fists and gritted my teeth ready to punch him.

“Easy now. I was just going to suggest that I walk you home.  How does that sound?”  He was genuine this time.  I could see it in his stupid eyes.  I felt the agitation leave my body as I walked back towards picnic tables, defeated.

I sat down.  I felt like an idiot for being so hard on him.  “I can’t go home.  My dad kicked me out.”  I hunched over the picnic table.

“You should sit up straight. That’s bad for your back.”  He was smiling again.

“Why do you care?” I groaned.

“Of course I’d care about my future wife’s back.”  His stupid smile widen after his wisecrack.

I gave him a look of disgust and groaned even louder this time.  “Could you cut the crap out and just act like a normal person?”

“Nope.”  He answered back still smiling.

For the remaining four hours, he kept me company, but most of his talking made me feel like he was putting me on some sort of pedestal.  During which, I told him everything I could to try and make him care less about me.  All my… problems.  It was the first time I had been so open about my life to anyone.  How my family was too poor to own a car.  How we struggled to make ends meet in general.  I told him how my dad was emotionally unstable and verbally abusive towards my siblings and me.  He listened and listened occasionally commenting with a sarcastic, “Oh poor baby girl,” or something equally irksome.  I told him how I hated attention and people in general.  I told him about how I wanted to become a singer.  Eventually the remaining 4 hours had passed.  At the end I took him up on his offer to walk me home.  On the way I asked him if he still liked me after learning all the bad stuff about me.

He didn’t answer me which, at the time, I assumed meant a no, but when we reached my house, he turned to me and said.  “Would tell me your name before I send you off? My beautiful future wife.”  He grabbed my hand.  Usually I’d never let anyone touch me.  Even the thought of physical contact made me very uncomfortable, but something about Alex was different.  It was probably his stupidly exaggerated but clichéd humor or it was his ridiculously tenacious persistence, but I couldn’t tell for sure.

“Emilia Pamela Chan.” I told him before heading off.  I remember seeing him wave at me before I snuck back into my house.

For the next month and a half he’d show up at my window every weekday at around 4pm begging me for my phone number and email address.  He was relentless and I was sure that he would have given up before I would have.  He didn’t.

Part 3

“Vancouver City Centre.” The bus driver said prominently into his loud speaker. I got out of my seat and thanked the bus driver for the ride. As I stepped off the bus I checked my phone. It read 7:33pm. The rain had gotten heavier and the sun had completely set. I quickly made my way to the restaurant. My umbrella wasn’t as cooperative this time and wouldn’t open at all. I gave up and decided to try it a few more times elsewhere with cover from the rain.

Finally my umbrella opened. I was relieved because a part of me knew I’d feel horribly guilty if I let all of Janis’s hard work go to waste. I still had another four blocks to walk before I would reach the restaurant. I was a little glad that it was raining this hard. There were far fewer people walking through the Van Centre. The plaza was beautiful in the dimly lit evening night. I quickened my pace.

By the time I reached, Miku Restaurant, the rain had increased tenfold in intensity. I folded my umbrella before going through the restaurant’s double doors. The hostess greeted me with an, “irasshaimasu.” She was dressed in sharp and recognizable attire, which without a doubt, exhibited her as being part of the staff.  She had a black vest with a red tie with a clean white undershirt.  Her shirt was cut just above the knees and her stockings were a dark shade of maroon. She wore lipstick and had a considerable amount of makeup. Her smooth copper colored hair was also tied in a bun. I’d expected as much from a fine dining establishment.

“Have you made a reservation for today Madam?” She asked with flawless English.

“Yes. For 8:15.”  I answered a little nervously.  I watched as she checked the time.  It was 7:50pm.

She began flipping through the reservation book.  “Can I please get the name that the reservation was made under Madam?”  She stopped on page that marked Miku’s April 5th evening dinner service.

“Alex Lane.”  I answered back somewhat embarrassed that it wasn’t under my name.  I was gripping my purse and umbrella tightly.

“Ah here you are.”  She said as she circled the time slot with a blue pen.  “Right this way.  I’ll show you to your seat.  Your server should be with you shortly after your partner arrives.” She led me to a window seat for two and pulled the chair out for me before gesturing for me to sit.  I wasn’t used to any of this and she definitely could tell by now.  “If you need anything don’t hesitate to ask.”  She said before leaving. I sat there staring at the fine tableware for what seemed like ages before waitress brought me a glass of water.

The restaurant was lively and filled with the quiet of chattering families as well as couples.  Miku Restaurant is well known being the best fine dining Japanese restaurant in Vancouver for its atmosphere and tasteful décor.  I couldn’t really tell though. My phone buzzed. 8:04pm from Alex: “I’m going to be a bit late.  I can’t tell you why but I hope you understand.  Phone 2% battery.”

I smiled. If anything could fix this day for me, it would be seeing Alex’s stupid smile.  I hunched over the table.  I thought that coming to Miku Restaurant would make me happy today, but I felt so drained that I couldn’t enjoy any part of it.  This was something that both me and Alex had been saving up for.  Both of us work part time minimum wage jobs and we’d each saved two months worth of wages to enjoy this night of luxurious Japanese food.  Alex didn’t even like Japanese food but he knew that I wanted to try it since I was in grade school.  He was that kind of man. I remembered our first actual date as boyfriend and girlfriend. It’d taken a while for his goading to finally pay off but he managed to slip past my cold, hard shell.  A year and seventeen days to be exact.  I’d fallen for him.  His stupid nicknames.  His dumb smile.  His cheesy one liners.  All of it had grown on me.  But most of all, his rare moments of lucid sincerity pulled at my heartstrings.  They were so rare that I had somewhat developed a yearning for them.

The excitement had gotten the better of me and I had decided to tell my family about the new development happening in my life. Biggest mistake of my life. I was at the ripe age of 19, when my dad immediately grounded me after I told him who I had begun dating. He forbade me from leaving the house until I chose to pair up with someone who came from a more affluent household.

I was devastated. All I could think about was Alex and how I might have to leave him right after he became the most important person to have ever come into my life. My dad even confiscated my phone and computer so that I would have no means of contacting the outside world. For the next three nights I cried harder that I ever had in my life. I couldn’t sleep and I refused to leave my room. I prayed for Alex to come and take me away so that I could run away. It was the most agonizing three days and nights I ever experienced in my life.

It was at around 5:00am in the morning when I heard a light tapping sound on my window. I got out of bed. My eyes were swollen and hurting. Suddenly I heard a faint whisper.

“Emilia. It’s me.” His voice was muffled by the glass. I began sobbing. I moved the curtains with one hand while covering my face with the other. There he was, watching me weeping like a child. “Open the window and let’s go.” He showed me his smile then gestured with his right hand.

I shook my head. “N-no. I can’t.” My voice was cracking. I was sobbing uncontrollably now.

“Just open the window Em.” Obediently I reached for the latch. My hands were shaking just as wildly. I opened the window and he extended his arm. He was still giving me his signature stupid smile. I grabbed his hand and he pulled me out my window.

Our first date as official boyfriend and girlfriend was pretty dumb looking back at it. We walked to McDonald’s as it was the only place open as early as 5:30am. We’d walked the entire way with me tightly gripping his hand. I was still in my pink polka-dot pajamas. My eyes were red and puffy; the signs that I’d been crying heavily. If I were alone, I would’ve died from embarrassment by now. But I wasn’t. The only things we ordered at McDonald’s were two soft serve ice cream cones. I didn’t have any cash on me and felt guilty if Alex had to pay for anything more. We’d been silent the entire way until we sat down there.

I told him everything. He sat there listening intently trying to gauge the gravity of the situation. I told him how I didn’t even want to go back home after all this. “I’ll talk to my parents so that you can stay at my place tonight. How does that sound?” He said still smiling. I remember the humiliating half hour bus ride to his house the clearest.  

Part 4

I’d been staring blankly at a photo on the wall the entire time.  The waitress came over and handed me the menu.  I didn’t have the heart to turn her away.  I checked my phone for the time.  It was 8:22.  I was expecting him to arrive at any moment now.  I stared intently into my glass of water waiting for him.  Alex was good to me.  Sometimes too good.  But we had already settled this a while back.

About two months ago it finally happened.  I'd finally told him about a seed of doubt that had grown into a plague in my mind.  We'd been dating for just short of a year and a half but I couldn't understand why someone as outgoing as him would want to be with an antisocial ball of angst like me.

"I don't deserve this.  I haven't done anything to deserve this  sort of happiness.  Why do you even like me?"  It was something that had bothered me for months now.  I didn't see myself, or any trait that I had rather, as special or particularly alluring.  

"So you want to know eh?"  He turned to me cartoonishly with his chest puffed.  He gave me his stupid smile.  "Well it's because you have great legs and an exquisite waist to match."  I was about ready to slap him.

"Why can't you just be straight with me for once?! God damn it."  I watched him as his smile faded.  "You could do so much better than dating deadweight like me.  I don't have anything to offer anything except maybe being the object for your ridiculous standup comedy routine."  I was fighting back my bitter tears.  My frustration with his toying had reached a breaking point.  

He probably finally realized that I was at my limit.  He threw one last look of annoyance at me before acting.

He grabbed me by the shoulders and stared intensely at me.  For a moment, I refused to look him in the eye.  "This is what you asked for though.  Right?"  He whispered.  "That I be straight with you.  Now ask me again."  His face was now mere millimeters away from mine.  I felt like I'd crumble now if I looked directly at him.  I could feel my heart rate rising; my body was warming at an uncontrollable rate.

He then clasped my face with both hands and forced my gaze onto his.  

What couldn't have been more than five seconds felt like an eternity.  It was the Alex that I'd witness once in a blue moon.  My fingers had begun to tremble.  Why me?  I thought.  Was I really worth all of this?

My breathing and heart rate had both become increasingly erratic.  My face was completely flushed and I couldn't hide any of it from him.

"Why do you try so hard for me?"  I finally averted my eyes.

"Because I like you."  He said with the utmost sincere tone that he had ever used with me.  I looked back at him to affirm what I had just heard.

"Is that the only reason?"  I reached up to hold his right hand.  I could feel his warmth.  I stared back as if unsatisfied by such a simple means, but my heart had already come to accept it.

"Do I need another reason?"  He spoke with a gentleness that made him seem unrecognizable.  

He seemed to be contemplating his next words for a moment. "Because I want to be strong like you.  How you can be true to yourself all the time.  How you aren’t afraid to speak what’s on your mind."  His eyes had become lustrous from the room light.

It was at that moment that every piece of his complex mystery had been revealed.    He had reasons all along.  All notions of the boy who had seemingly, arbitrarily given me all his affection had disappeared.  In his place was a sincere, yet vulnerable man.  He had unmasked himself before me.  He had given me the emotional security that I desperately needed at the risk of his very own.  His veil of the fool was a shield for his true feelings.  If he got rejected while playing the part, he'd have no remorse and blame it on how he wasn't being himself.  It was that very disconnect that allowed him to act in a way that grossly ignored nearly all emotional consequences.  If I pushed him away now, at his point of greatest vulnerability, this time he'd be absolutely devastated.

"I'm not strong Alex.”  He hugged me.  “I'm just honest and open with myself.  I acknowledge my flaws and where I'm lacking, sometimes a little too much.  That's all."  

Someone who he was close to in his past had wounded him deeply.  I didn't know who, when, or where it happened.  Perhaps an ex girlfriend.  Perhaps someone who was a part of his family.  What I did know was that it was to the extent where he couldn't trust anyone with his true self.  Anyone until now.  But I forced his hand.  I forced him to gamble on me.  

I decided that I'd take responsibility for it.

He sniffled.  "I'm sorry for being a coward.  I'm sorry for hiding behind an idiot."  I wasn't sure when my tears began flowing.  It was most likely right after he hugged me.  "I promise that I'll be honest with you from now on.  I'll ditch the idiot act."  His voice was shaking but still sincere.  I sunk my face into his shirt.  I felt guilty.  I had driven him out of his impenetrable fortress of Alex Lane.  Somehow I wanted to protect him or at least make him feel safe again.

"But I don't hate him."  I pulled on his shirt slightly and looked up at him.  This was the least that I could do.  I had already gotten what I wanted.

"Huh?  I thought you would have gotten tired of it by now."  He looked at me with a baffled expression on his face.   I shook my head no.

"It's grown on me.  You idiot."  My words dragged out his stupid smile once more.  

After that day, I had a smile that wouldn't fade for weeks.  It probably looked as stupid as his.  I could play the part too.  Admittedly, I don’t have to try too hard to look and sound like a happy idiot when I’m with him.

Part 5

“Excuse me Mam. I’m sorry to say that we will be closing soon, so this will be your last chance to make an order.” The waitress looked at me with genuinely sympathetic eyes. She didn’t have to say anymore. I could practically read her thoughts.  “I’m sorry that your date didn’t show up. I hope that you can still enjoy your visit.”

I smiled and got up from my seat.  I looked at my phone.  Over an hour had passed.  My chest tightened.  Alex is the type of person who is a bit clumsy, but his text message earlier surely meant that he would have made his way here unless some ungodly force was keeping him from.  “That’s okay, I’ll be leaving.”  I said, with a bit of worry in my voice.  I couldn’t hide my concern for Alex’s well being.  Could he have gotten hurt?  There was no way he would have gotten lost.  We both grew up in Vancouver.  I quickly started making my way towards the doors umbrella ready and determined to find him.

As I was approaching the double doors, suddenly Alex, who was drenched from head to toe in rain burst in.  His hair was slick from the rain.  His pants and shoes were covered in mud. His blazer was an ugly coffee brown and was two sizes too big for him.  It was so weighed down in rain water, that I could see the unmistakable outline of a ring box in the breast pocket.  He was completely out of breath.  Worst of all, he was lacking his signature stupid smile.  My concern for his well being had immediately turned into a silent rage.

“I’m… Looking… for my… girlfriend...” He wheezed to the hostess.  I was a bit annoyed that he didn’t recognize me.

“Ahem…” The hostess awkwardly pointed at me.

“Hi!”  I was furious with him but I let my glare do the real talking.

His jaw dropped. Cartoonishly so. Wide-eyed he was tongue tied and still out of breath.  What came out could only be described as incoherent babbling.

I patted him on his soggy shoulder.  “I’ll give you two minutes to catch your breath, Buddy.”  I gave him a toxic grin as I left through the double doors and waited outside.

It hadn’t even been a minute before he came out behind me.  He was speaking a million words per minute. “I’m so sorry Em.  I didn’t mean to be this late.  I was supposed to bring something but I lost it, so I went home to go and find it.  I didn’t find it, so I tried to rush back here as quick as I could, but the bus that I was on got into an accident, so I ran the rest of the way as fast as I could, but I’m still this late I’m sor-.”  I stopped him by squeezing his hand and hushing him.

“It’s right here stupid.”  I reached into the left breast pocket breast pocket on the inside of his blazer and pulled out the ring box.

“H-how’d you know it was there?” He was taken aback most likely by his own stupidity at this point.

“I saw the outline of it on your blazer when you burst through the doors.  Now let me hear it.” I stood akimbo facing towards him.

“I’m so sor-”  I stopped him again before he could apologize.

“No, not that you idiot!  Let me hear what you came to say!”

“Happy twenty-first Birth-”  I pinched stupid his nose.  “Agh!”

“No, not that either!”  I was glaring straight into his eyes now. I released his nose.

“Will you marry me?”  He held the ring box with one hand and opened it with the other.  It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but it did have a diamond.

“Nope.”  I answered back casually.  My answer made Alex react as if he had the wind knocked out of him.  I gave him another smirk before saying.  “But I might reconsider if you say it again.  This time, say it like you mean it.”

I could see the beginnings of his smile. Then the whole stupid thing formed.

He was silent. He stared me right back in the eyes. He knew what I wanted.

“Atta boy.” I said and pulled him in close, by his stupid tie.

© 2016 Uihara

Author's Note

WC is a abbreviation for the term 'water closet' which is what restrooms are typically called in Canada.

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Featured Review

I liked the story. You used the description of bus ride, people and situation with great skill. I like the realistic feel of the story. Giving the girl life and history. I like the flow of activities leading to nice ending. Thank you for sharing the excellent story

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Year Ago

I'm surprised you read it so fast. Thank you for the review Coyote! I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
Coyote Poetry

1 Year Ago

I love to read and I did like the story with a positive ending. You are welcome.


I liked the story. You used the description of bus ride, people and situation with great skill. I like the realistic feel of the story. Giving the girl life and history. I like the flow of activities leading to nice ending. Thank you for sharing the excellent story

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Year Ago

I'm surprised you read it so fast. Thank you for the review Coyote! I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
Coyote Poetry

1 Year Ago

I love to read and I did like the story with a positive ending. You are welcome.

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1 Review
Added on November 17, 2016
Last Updated on November 23, 2016
Tags: Romance, Slice of life, Vancouver, Emilia Pamela Chan, Alex Lane, Love, Penny Love, Uihara



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Aihara Aihara

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