For those of you who have read multiple posts from me, you have likely noticed that my blog is a major hodge-podge of things. I never really intended it to be anything in particular, but it has definitely had a tendency to be about my daily life and things I experience thus far. This post is going to be a bit different. I recently had a dream and I kind of grabbed the general idea from that and wrote a short story, which I am going to share here. I am a very amateur writer so please do not judge too harshly and I will not be offended if nobody makes it to the end of this post. Here goes nothing
Seeing moving trucks in front of his house as I approach it for the first time hurts more than I thought it would and I have to choke back tears. Determined, I pull in next to his ancient Chevy and throw it in park. Just as I slam my car door, Henry comes out of the front door, holding it open for a couple of movers carrying the couch on which we had watched movies, kissed, and cried together. Someone shouts “Henry!” When he spins toward me, I realize I am the one who called for his attention. His face shows his surprise and unmistakable happiness as he jogs over.
“Did you come to see me off Liza? I was afraid I wouldn’t get to see you before I left,” he asks. His accent, distinctly British but with certain American undertones, melts my heart and I just want to kiss him. No. He’s leaving tomorrow. “I couldn’t let you leave without seeing you one last time!” I start off sweetly, but quickly turn serious”plus, I have something to say.” Henry’s smile disappears and his brow furrows in concern, “Is everything alright?” His concern touches me and I almost change my mind.
Before I could think of something else that could possibly be “important,” what I really came to say tumbles out of my mouth. “The last 3 weeks have been terrible. I know I broke up with you, but all the reasons I gave you were lies. My love for you hasn’t changed, but when you told me you were leaving…” my voice cries and Henry starts to break in. “No. Let me finish.” He graciously complies. “There was no way I could imagine drop everything right now–my family, my job, my friends–with barely any notice, I still can’t. And it would be selfish of me to ask you to turn down a dream job opportunity and stay here. I won’t ask you to stay, it’s unfair, but I couldn’t let you go without you knowing how much I love you. I’ve been telling my bedroom walls that I love you since the last time I saw you and I couldn’t let you believe a lie.” I finally breathe. “That’s it. I don’t want you to give me an irrational, purely emotional response so I’m gonna go.” I lean toward him, breathe in his scent, and kiss his cheek, “Goodbye my love.”
I run to my car, hop in, and back out of his driveway. His watchfulness is evident out of the corner of my eye, but I don’t look back as I drive away from my greatest love.
Curled up with my head in my sister’s lap, I sob. Laura pulls my hair back off of my face. “Lizzie, you cannot beat yourself up over this. It is what it is. I know you wanted him to able to go without worrying about you, but he probably would have worried about you unless you went with him. There was no avoiding that.” I slowly start to catch my breath enough to speak when Laura’s phone rings. “One sec,” she says looking down at her phone screen. “Hello? Uhhh, yeah I guess I could do that.” she covers the mic and whispers to me “I’ll be back in just a minute.”
As she walks up the stairs to her room, I flip over the pillow to the dry side. Laura is right, I know. Does that mean I’m okay with that? Definitely not. It is hard to believe that Henry only told me about the job offer in Chicago less than a month. Less than a month ago my life was nearly perfect, and now I don’t know what adjective to use.
My phone rings and I look down to see his lovely smile on my screen. My heart skips in my chest. Fingers trembling, I answer the phone. “Henry?” His voice warms me head to toe “Liza, what are you doing right now?” I try not to sniffle, “I’m at my parents’ house hanging out with Laura, why?” There’s a little mischief in his voice as he says, “I want you to go get ready for a nice dinner and meet me downtown at the gazebo.” I start to respond, but he cuts in “you got to do all the talking this afternoon. See you at 7:30 darling.” The line goes dead, but I just stand there.
Steps behind me break my trance and I spin around. Laura must see something different on my face and the corner of her mouth tics upward in a little smile. “What’s going on?” I let myself giggle a little, “Henry called me. He told me to go home and get ready for a fancy dinner at 7:30” Now she smiles for real, “what are we still doing here?”
Laura and my other sister, Sara, get me ready, only allowing to give my opinion a few times during the whole process. As I drive downtown, I must admit they made me look good and I smile. My hands are shaking a little on the steering wheel as I pull into the lot of the park where our favorite gazebo is located. There are no other cars as I park, but the gazebo is lit up like I have never seen and I make my way over to it. Henry is standing behind a table with candles, flowers, and plates with silver domes covering our dinner. He breathes out slowly when he sees me and grins. “Hello, beautiful. I’m so glad you could join me.” He pulls back my chair and I take a seat. “Henry, this is so lovely, but what are…” He shushes me gently. “Liza, I want you to hear me out. Okay?” I manage a smile which I hope appears sweet, but is probably more nervous looking, “Sure, I’ll try to be quiet.”
Henry is all dimples as he takes a breath. “I applied for this job when we first started dating, over a year ago. Never did I think my life would be what it was a month ago. I didn’t know I would be so madly in love with you…” His eyes are tearing up, and I smile encouragingly, but say nothing.”…I also didn’t think I would get the position. It was more of a dream than anything and I barely thought about it until decision time was coming up. When I actually got it, I was so happy! Now two of my greatest dreams were coming true. In the middle of some plans I was making, I read the email about when they wanted me to start and I was spun around. I had a lot planned for the day after you told me you didn’t love me.” Henry looks up and I can see he’s holding back tears, I reach across the table and grab his hand. “I’m sorry I lied to you. I thought it would help make your decision easier.” I whisper. He nods and continues, “That date I had planned, was similar to this one. It had the candles, the flowers, and this,” Henry lifts the silver lid off my plate and I suddenly can’t breathe.
Henry takes the box off the plate and gets down on one knee. “Liza. Being your husband is my dream job. I didn’t know that when I sent in that application all those months ago, but I know it now. My life is not what I want it to be without you in it. I don’t want that job if you aren’t with me and I don’t want for you to be unhappy. If your want for me to be by your side is selfish, then I’m selfish too because I never want to be without you by my side. Elizabeth Morris will you make me the happiest man alive and marry me?” I breathe “of course”
Over dinner I ask Henry about his job. “This afternoon, I thought about what you said for about 30 minutes and then I called the firm.” I giggle, “a whole 30 minutes, huh?” In all seriousness Henry states, “that’s all the time I needed to decide. Well, they are apparently accepting applications for a similar position that will be opening in a year and a half. They’re willing to consider me for that position and it’s far enough out that we can a plan the wedding and get married. It’s something for us to consider together and decide on, but it’s an option.”
One look at my sweet future husband and I know “I think, we can handle being newlyweds in the windy city.”
Well that’s it. Like I said this story is based very, very loosely on a dream I had. I hope you liked it or at least that you didn’t hate it. Thanks for making it through if you did.