“Man, I’m hungry.”
She barely glanced at him before returning her attention to the the prism of lights twinkling at her from the jewelry store window.
“Hmmm? Okay, yeah, I guess I could eat something,” she said.
“Where do you want to go? The cafe at Tiffany’s for some rock soup?”
She glared at him. “Ha ha. Very funny.”
“Let’s go to Big Boy. We can even check out J. B. Robinson’s on the way if you want.”
“Sure. Then maybe you can look at me instead of all the sparklies.”
She beamed at him, and the joy in her smile cracked his heart. Grabbing his hand, she skipped over to the jewelry store and headed straight for the engagement rings.
“Oooh, look at that one,” she breathed, pointing at a small square solitaire.
“Wouldn’t you rather have one of those?” he asked, gesturing to the giant rocks glittering from the center of the case.
“Nah, I’d be too afraid of losing one of those. Plus, they’re just so gaudy!”
Just then a salesperson sidled over, smiling greasily. “Can I help you two lovebirds with anything?”
“Oh no,” she said. “I’m just dreaming.”
He looked at the longing on her face and his heart split a little more. “Actually, you can help us. Can we see that one right over there?”
“This one?” the salesperson asked, hovering over a diamond that was easily two carats.
“No. That one,” he said pointing to the ring that held her attention.
The salesperson handed it to him. His hand shook as he held it, examining the ring from every angle. “How many carats is this?”
“It’s just a third of a carat, but it’s cut for maximum sparkle,” the salesman answered.
He grabbed her hand and slid the ring on her finger. She looked up at him, uncertainty clouding her eyes.
“Well, do you like it?”
“I love it,” she whispered.
The crack grew again.
“You know, we have great financing plans,” the salesman said.
He listened to the spiel before nodding noncommittally. “Okay, thanks. Are you ready to get some dinner babe?”
They were both quiet as they picked at their hamburgers. Finally, she put her sandwich down and sat back with a sigh.
“When the time comes, I’d like something just like that, okay?”
His heart split in two.
“You mean in 2012?” he grinned. “I’ll try to remember that.”
“Whatever, smart ass. Hey, before we go, I’d like to stop at Vicky’s Secret, okay?”
“You know, I have something else I want to check out. Why don’t you head on over there and I’ll meet you in the center court?”
Once she was safely out of sight, he headed back to the jewelry store.
The salesman’s greasy smile grew wider as he greeted him.
“Back to buy the little lady a present?”
“Y-yeah. Can I fill out a credit application?”
A short while later he exited the store, the blue velvet box growing clammy in his sweaty hands. She sat waiting for him on a stone bench with a frown on her face.
He took a deep breath and walked over to her.
She glanced up. “Brian, where have you been? I’ve been waiting…”
Her words trailed off as he got down on his knee in front of her.
“What are you…”
“Amber, will you marry me?”
“Are you serious?”
He nodded, shaking hand opening the box.
“Well, I…yes! Of course I’ll marry you!”
Tears cascaded down her cheeks as he slid the ring on her finger.
“I’m sorry I’m so unromantic,” he said, voice cracking.
“Don’t worry. You’re perfect for me.”
And that, my friends, is how I got engaged in the mall. This post was inspired by this week’s prompt at the Red Dress Club, which asked us to write a 600 word story where someone tells a joke and someone cries. As usual, I took liberties.