“Babe, I’m heading out,” called Alcander.
“Have fun,” I returned, “Call me if you need a ride or anything, I’d rather you wake me up in the middle of the night than drive drunk.”
“Okay,” nodded Alcander, leaving my notes sprawled out on the dining room table to come say goodbye.
“Love you,” I smiled.
He gave me a quick peck on the cheek before jumping into his green Toyota Prius and speeding away.
I sighed, closing the door and returned to the dinner table to resume studying for the LSAT. The first time I had failed miserably and I wasn’t about to let that happen again. I settled down for the long night ahead.
Alcander and I met at my work place. At that time he was the representative of Polaris Enterprises, one of the publishing companies that my company had a contract with. I had seen him around and we knew of one another, we just never really talked or had the chance to work with one another. He was really shy and so was I, well sort of. I could be a bit rowdy when I was with my friends. When we were assigned to the same assignment, I discovered what a gentleman he really was. Gentlemen were a rare species in this day and age and as I lived for all things Victorian, I fell in love with him.
At that time due to our professional relationship I was hesitant to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Well that and he was fifteen years my senior. Neither of us had the courage at the time to ask each other out, but one thing that didn’t help was how oblivious he was to people crushing on him. I had dropped clues, inadvertently of course, but he was a thick as a brick and didn’t even notice that I liked him. I was certainly not the first girl who had fallen for him, but I also wasn’t the first girl he had fallen for. Like me, they were all missed opportunities, opportunities he would never get back. He had held back with every one of them, just like me. We were afraid of rejection and that fear prevented us from acting.
After we finished our assignment we kept in touch and went for the occasional treat, mostly frozen yogurt, but sometimes we’d grab a coffee if was early in the morning. And yogurt and coffee turned into lunches at cafes, dinners and movies and before I knew it, we had moved in together.
“Hey Alcander,” greeted Matt, one of his friends, “Glad you could make it. Did Grace make a fuss?”
Alcander laughed, “She never does, why?”
Matt shrugged, “Liz always does when I want to ‘spend time with the guys.’ I don’t know why, but it’s a huge deal to her. I’d trade her for Grace any day.”
Alcander smirked, but said nothing.
“Hey guys, sorry I’m late, is David here yet?” asked Luca breathless.
“It’s my party…so yeah, I’m here,” said David unimpressed.
“Sorry, Lily hid my keys,” Luca apologized again.
“Sure she didn’t just eat them,” joked Matt.
Luca stared at him in horror, “That’s not funny! Lily could choke if she did that.”
“Dude, we’re joking,” said David, “God, if Emily started eating my keys…I’d have a heart attack.”
“Makes you feel kinda old doesn’t it?” Ryan said to Alcander.
Alcander nodded, “Everyone has kids now…”
“Yeah, ‘cept you and me,” nodded Ryan.
“Yeah,” agreed Alcander.
“You’re not missing out on anything,” reassured David dryly.
“So, speaking ‘bout families and stuff, Alcander, you’re the only ‘single’ one left. I mean after tonight or whatever, David’s no longer a bachelor. When you gonna pop the question?” asked Ryan.
The question caught Alcander off guard.
“Sorry? I—um I haven’t really thought about it,” answered Alcander.
“Dude, just ask her, it’s not hard,” pressured Luca, “I mean you just buy a nice ring, take her to a nice place for dinner and ask her.”
“It’s not as easy as you make it sound,” muttered Alcander.
“It really is,” assured David, “I’m pretty sure she wants to.”
Alcander made a face, “Can we talk about something else?”
Alcander came home close to four in the morning. I rolled over at the sound of him tiptoeing into the bedroom.
“Hi babe, sorry, did I wake you?” apologized Alcander in a whisper.
I shook my head and reached out for him, “Why were you out so late? Or well I guess now it’s like early right?”
Alcander came over and kissed me on the forehead, “I’m gonna wash up first. I’ll tell you about it later.”
I nodded and stuffed my face back into a pillow. It didn’t take long for Alcander to return.
“Don’t do that,” Alcander laughed softly, slipping into bed, “You’ll suffocate yourself.”
“No I won’t,” I returned, muffled by the pillow.
Alcander slid his hand around my waist and pulled me up against him, “We spent most of the night drinking and talking and playing poker.”
“No hookers?” I teased.
Alcander gave me a dirty look, “I wouldn’t have gone if there were.”
I looked at him affectionately and snuggled up against his chest, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” said Alcander worriedly.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, sensing the tension in his tone.
“Just…they guys were…well I’m the last single guy,” expressed Alcander rather brokenly.
“And?” I asked impatiently.
“Well, I’m feeling a bit you know stressed out and pressured that I should…propose soon,” said Alcander awkwardly.
“That’s it?” I asked blankly.
“That’s it? What do you mean by that’s it?! Do you have any idea how stressful that is for me?” asked Alcander incredulous.
“Do you even know what stress means? I have the freaking LSAT and my road test coming up!” I exclaimed.
“You’ll do fine on them. You’re smart, I know that you will do well,” reassured Alcander.
“That’s not the point,” I insisted.
“Relax, you’ll be okay. The road test really isn’t as hard as you think it’s gonna be,” said Alcander.
“What do you know about that?” I muttered, “You used to be a driving instructor.”
“Babe, I’ve seen you drive, you’re not that bad!” insisted Alcander.
“Ok…I’ll give you that, but the LSAT! You’ve never done that so don’t tell me that isn’t stressful!” I said on the verge of exploding.
“I’m not gonna say that isn’t stressful, but can you understand where I’m coming from?” pleaded Alcander.
I sighed, “You know what. I don’t even care if you propose now or five years down the road. We’ve already been together for five years. Nothing’s gonna change. We’re already living together, nothing’s gonna change.”
“Really?” asked Alcander biting his lip cutely.
“Yes really,” I smiled, kissing his chin.
Alcander smiled, “Thanks babe. Look, if you need to vent about the LSAT, let me know. If you need a study buddy, just ask.”
I smiled again and fell asleep in his arms.
Prompt: Be inspired by a dream or nightmare