Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

A Chapter by Ocularfracture
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At their fancy dinner, Remy is overcome by an impulse which ends in disaster.

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My watch beeped seven o’clock as I rummaged through my room, digging around for anything even slightly formal that I could wear to dinner. Following our unusual trip to the pharmacy, Sunny had excused herself back home to change into something less casual and suggested that I do the same. She departed, promising to meet me there in an hour. What Sunny didn’t realize, however, was that I, being poor and socially deceased, had very little in the way of “formal” attire. I never went to parties, and the only wedding I’d attended had been my brother’s-- an occasion for which I had rented a tuxedo.

Half an hour of digging and searching through the closet and all my drawers, and the closest I got to formal was that pair of black jeans with the black vest. I went just a step further with a red, button-up shirt which I wore beneath the vest, but I still wasn’t sure that it was enough.

I stepped into the bathroom, looking myself over in the mirror. My hair was clean, my face recently shaved, and for once there didn’t seem to be anything keeping me from jetting out the door.

Grinning, I left my apartment and descended the many flights of stairs down to my car where I hopped inside and started the engine. Before pulling out of the parking lot, I stole a glance at the starry night sky.

Everything was so strange and wonderful, I thought. Whatever had happened in that field with Sunny was magical- a demonstration of the enormous and awesome impact she had on me. Some part of my mind still felt at peace from the experience, and as I drove, I thanked whatever deity had allowed Sunny and me to cross paths.

She wasn’t one in a million. She was one in the whole entire universe, and who was I, so lucky to have her to myself? Oh, how I hoped that this bliss would last… An entire lifetime I’d gone with only one other relationship, crushed and broken by something I probably did wrong. And while I had loved Abby, I was never quite as attached to her as I had grown to Sunny. This being the case, there was always a sort of nagging at the back of my mind, warning me to be cautious and not screw things up.

Subconsciously, I was always dwelling on the idea of Sunny leaving, trying to figure out how on earth I would ever handle it. Even though I trusted Sunny and couldn’t imagine why she would ever leave me, it was just one of those OCD things that I could never really stop thinking about, presumably because it was my biggest fear.  I didn’t know how I had ever lived before she came along, and I simply could not imagine living without her.

I shook my head as I pulled up to the restaurant, realizing that I was once again dwelling on the subject, and tried to put it out of my mind, focusing instead on the task of finding a parking spot.

As I drove around the lot, I noticed that Sunny’s car didn’t seem to be there just yet, and I wondered what was keeping her.

I finally settled on a spot clear at the back, as far from the restaurant as one could get, and parked, switching off the engine. As I approached, I could see that the restaurant was dimly lit, resembling a castle the way its outside walls seemed to be comprised of different sized stones.

“Incoming,” came a voice I instantly recognized. I turned to see Sunny approaching, baffling me in all her grace and beauty.

“Just a head’s up,” she said. “So I don’t sneak up on you again.” She smiled warmly.

Hanging gently around her delicate frame was a luscious red dress, coated in sparkling red sequins which twinkled magically in the dim light. Her hair was pulled up on top of her head in several neat, ornate braids with little pearl hairpins tucked perfectly between crimson locks.

“While I was home, I called in a reservation,” she told me. “This way, they’re expecting us. We’ll have a table all ready for us!”

She slipped her hand into mine and guided me inside through large, mahogany doors, carved with intricate designs. The atmosphere of the restaurant was just as dim and magical as the outside had been, with the same cobblestone walls, and sconces that looked like something straight out of a medieval castle. Sunny was feeding her reservation info to the greeter, whose eyes moved over me in some mixture of what I perceived as amusement and distaste. I knew he was asking himself what someone as radiant as Sunny Skye was doing here with someone as pathetic as me. Suddenly, I was self-conscious about my second-hand clothes, and I could almost hear the man telling Sunny what a kind heart she had for bringing a poor homeless man out for a nice dinner. The way he kept transitioning between flashing a charming smile at Sunny and a scornful look of disgust at me… It made me uncomfortable.

You work at a restaurant, I seethed in my mind. You’re just a much of a loser as I am.

He forced a smile, looking me over once more, and ushered us toward our reserved table where he pulled the chair out for Sunny and watched, expectantly, as she sat down.

“Your server will be along shortly,” he said to her, “but if you need anything, anything at all, please don’t hesitate to ask me.”

To my disgust, he raised Sunny’s small, porcelain hand to his lips and planted a kiss there. As he stood, and just before he sauntered away, he shot me a smug look, shaking his head. I grunted, letting my head fall to the table as he disappeared.

“What an a*****e,” I muttered. “Why did we come here, again?”

“I thought he was quite a gentleman,” Sunny said with a smile. I raised my head a bit, looking at Sunny’s folded hand on the table, where a waxy lip mark shined in the dim light.

“Wipe your knuckles,” I urged. “That metrosexual d****e left his cherry Chapstick all over you.” Sunny examined her hand, and then slid her napkin away from the silverware, blotting it against her skin.

“You know you’re the only one for me,” she said, softly. “Why are you getting so jealous?”

“You didn’t see how he looked at me,” I argued. “Right before he left, he gave me this ‘I’m better than you’ look. Right in the eyes, too!”

Sunny giggled, placing the napkin in her lap.

“He is just jealous that I picked you, instead of him. He knows he isn’t any better than you. In fact, he envies you. He wants to be you.”

“Just long enough to get that dress off,” I grumbled, hastily seizing my own napkin and stuffing it haphazardly into my lap.

“Then it’s a good thing I picked you, and not him.” The smile she pierced me with eased the acid back down to my stomach, and calmed my nerves.

“You know,” I grinned. “I never got a chance to tell you how beautiful you look tonight.”

Sunny bowed her head in silent thanks.

“You look rather handsome, yourself, Mister Remy.” We sat for a long while, just gazing at one another, our hands clasped over the varnished wooden table.

“See,” Sunny whispered. “He is jealous.” Discreetly, I followed her gaze over to where the greeter was seating a group of business men, his face looking sullen and disappointed until he noticed me looking and quickly disguised it with smugness. I nodded coolly, and turned back to Sunny who was grinning at me with teeth.

“Kiss me,” she commanded, and, leaning across the table, I obeyed happily. When our lips parted, I stole another glance at the metro, who reached up a hand and casually itched his nose with his middle finger.

“Ooh!” I said. “He just flipped me the bird!”

Sunny tossed her head back in gales of laughter as the poor sap shook his head and shuffled away hastily.

“Let that be a lesson to all the other men in the world,” she said, squeezing my hand. “I’ve got my one and only right here! “

The rest of the dinner went smoothly and beautifully, the greeter apparently too embarrassed to show his face around us again. We enjoyed several glasses of white wine which complimented our sumptuous meal quite well, and afterwards, we shared the most sinfully delicious piece of chocolate cake. As the evening seemed to be coming to a close, something occurred to me.

This was a fabulous place, much more fabulous than I could ever afford again, with my own money. It was the kind of place you’d bring a woman to propose.

Before I knew what I was doing, I had slipped my ring from my finger and was kneeling on one knee at Sunny’s feet.

“Remy, what are you doing?” she whispered. I raised a hand to silence her.

“You said I was the only one for you,” I reminded her. “And you are the only one for me, just the same. You will always be the one, and I will always be with you. So will you take my last name and vow yourself to me for the rest of our lives?”

Shakily, I held up the ring for her to see. As I held it between our faces, I noticed her expression, which wasn’t at all what I would have expected, and I was suddenly aware of the people at other tables watching us. Waiting.

“Remy…” She took the ring from my hand and slid it back onto my finger. “How many times do I have to tell you? This is yours, I can’t take it from you.”

My heart sank, and I felt the heat from all those eyeballs, resting on me.

“But it’s all I have,” I argued. “I’d rather buy you diamonds, believe me, I would! But I just can’t afford that. This ring is special to me, just like you, and I want you to have it… Please…”

Sunny shook her head, frowning.

“I just can’t accept it,” she said. “Understand this, please…”

People were talking. All around us, people were muttering quietly to each other, shaking their heads, embarrassed for me, some even stifling laughter.

“I don’t have another ring…” I admitted. “But… the ring isn’t what’s important. It’s the question I asked you. Remember? Sunny? Will you… will you be my wife?”

I tugged her hand desperately, shocked when she retracted it, looking around the room uncomfortably at all the staring faces.

“Remy, please… can we… can we talk about this later?”

“Yes or no,” I pressed, tears standing by, eagerly waiting for curtain call. Sunny was blank, her eyes staring right through me. “Yes or no?”

She shook her head, slowly at first, then gradually getting more vigorous, until her neatly pinned braids started to unravel and fall to her shoulders.

“This… This isn’t the right…” she trailed off, her mouth flapping open and closed, as though someone had pressed a mute button in the middle of her sentence. I felt the heat of tears as they trickled down my cheeks, doused in embarrassment. I stood, shaking my head, crushed and angry that she would humiliate me in public. Why couldn’t she have just played it up for the sake of my feelings and then had her real talk with me later, when we were alone?

“Right,” I said. “I’m sorry. I just thought you said you were in this for good. Maybe I misheard.”

“It’s not-“

“No, no,” I interrupted. “I’m the idiot here. Haha, joke’s on me, everyone!” I raised my hands into the air and turned around, meeting the eyes of each and every single person who was staring at me. Then I took a deep bow.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here until Thursday! Don’t forget to tip your waitress!”

With one last, seething glance at Sunny, I strode away, leaving her alone at the table. I had my hands on the double doors, about to step through, when a voice stopped me.

“Nice one, Casanova.” I turned to see that pretty boy d********g gazing at me, a sly grin on his perfect little face. “What will you do for your next act?” he asked. “Publicly humiliate her by asking her to have your babies?”

White hot rage pumped through my body, focusing itself into my right hand as it balled up into a fist.

“I think she just feels sorry for you. After all, she clearly deserves much better than-“

Before I knew what I was doing, my tight, balled up fist was slamming hard into the pretty face of the smug little b*****d, knocking him back against his podium which clattered to the floor with him.

All around, people were gasping and shrieking. Someone shouted for 911. And without another moment’s hesitation, I was out the doors, running back to my car and tossing myself inside before driving away quickly.

I pounded on the steering wheel in frustration, accidentally honking the decrepit old horn. I shouted at the top of my lungs, my voice loud inside the tiny car. What had come over me? Was I stupid?

What idiotic force had compelled me to act so rashly? There was no question in my mind that I’d definitely blown it with Sunny for real this time. I was such a dick.

I sped home, angrily, letting all the embarrassment run out of my eyes in fat, salty drops. I couldn’t help but think about my brother and how happy he was with his own wife. How had he done it?

It was definitely a brother to brother moment, and as soon as I reached the inside of my s****y apartment, I threw myself into my arm chair, and dialed Floyd’s number.

He answered after only a few rings, greeting me with the chipper voice of a man who was truly happy with his life.

“Hey bro, how are you doing?”

“Not so well,” I admitted, my nose stuffy from crying.

“Uh-oh, what’s happened?” In the background, I heard the shrieks of a baby- his daughter- laughing as a woman cooed playfully at her. “Just a second,” he said. “I’m going to step outside so I can hear you better.”

After a moment’s shuffling, the shrieks could no longer be heard, and there was only Floyd’s voice on the line, asking me again what was up.

“How did you propose to Miranda?” I asked.

“What?”

“How did you propose? What did you do? What was it that made it all so special?”

Floyd chuckled and walked me through the story of how they’d been in dire straits together, nearly losing their lives.

“It wasn’t special at all,” he said. “I actually popped the question right there in the hospital room!”

I sighed, sitting back and resting my head against the hard wall.

“Why do you ask, anyway? Kind of random, don’t you think?”

“Not so much,” I said. “I just… had a bad experience.”

“Wait, are you telling me you proposed to someone? Remy, I didn’t even know you were seeing anyone! Was it Abby? Did you two get back together?”

“Not at all,” I said distastefully. “There was someone else.”

“Since when? How dare you leave your brother uninformed?”

I sighed, heavily.

“I didn’t mean to… She was really special. I just forgot to share her specialness with anyone else.”

“So what happened?” Floyd asked impatiently.

“We went to a nice restaurant… After we’d finished eating, I got down and proposed in front of God and everyone… You know, I punched someone….”

“You punched someone? God, what happened?”

Holding my head in my hand, I retold the entire story from front to back, only slightly downplaying the bits where I was a terrible coward.

“Well, I won’t say that a*****e didn’t deserve it,” Floyd said finally. “Any guy who flirts with someone else’s woman right in front of him… Well, he shouldn’t expect anything less than a fist to the face. As for your girl, though…” I heard him sigh. “Well, don’t give up. If she’s really that special, she’ll still love you in the morning. And if she doesn’t, then she can’t really be all that special, can she?”

I shook my head, staring at my feet. Floyd didn’t know her like I did. I was lucky, and I blew it.

“Well… Don’t forget you can always call me if you need to talk, okay? And keep me informed.”

“I will,” I told him.

We said our goodbyes, and then suddenly, I was all alone again in a quiet apartment. As I looked down at my phone, I noticed I had several missed calls from Sunny, along with a text message telling me she wanted to talk about this.

But I didn’t want to talk. Not now. I had already blown a fuse on her, and I didn’t want to blow another so quickly. Turning my phone off, I crawled back to bed, hoping to rest for the night, and try things again the next day, after I’d had time to cool down.

 



© 2013 Ocularfracture


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Added on September 24, 2013
Last Updated on September 24, 2013
Tags: Sunny, skye


Author

Ocularfracture
Ocularfracture

Bennington, NE



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I've been writing since I learned how. I'm not saying that 5-year-old work was any good. All's I'm sayin' is that the passion has been there as far back as I can remember. My mother always read me sto.. more..

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