Weekly Assignment: Sylish Imitation, Cormac McCarthy

THE PROPOSAL

He set up the room. Candles, rose petals and Bach in the background. He meant to spend more time on it, but he worked late plus the traffic was horrendous. Sitting back he took it all in.The candles were the cheap ones from the grocery store. No scent. He used his lighter to light them. She liked yellow so he got the yellow ones. One by one he plucked the petals. They fell to the floor. He tried to arrange them in the shape of a heart but he became frustrated and stopped. The music was something he thought she would like. He’d thought about playing their song but felt he would need something that lasted longer than four minutes.

He had known her all of six months. Love at first sight. Couldn’t take his eyes off her. She wore a black sweater and jeans that first day. Down at the end of the bar. Eating biscuits and gravy and a poached egg. They looked at each other casually at first. Finally he got the guts to walk down and say hi. She smiled and made a comment about his cap. The cap was green and dirty and had the words “Southern Junction” on it.

Two days later he saw her again. She was walking out the door.

Hey.

Hello.

I think I saw you here the other day.

You did. I’d made a comment about your cap.

Oh, that’s right.

So where you headed to right now?

I’ve got errands to run.

He asked if he could go and help.

They walked to the end of the street and turned left, heading to the grocery store. Inside the store she placed milk and white bread in the shopping cart. Boxed macaroni and cheese, canned peas and chicken noodle soup. Dove soap, mascara and tampons. This was their first time together.

She knocked on the door. Come in, he said. She opened it slowly, not sure what she would find on the other side of the door. She knew as soon as she saw the yellow rose petals but didn’t say anything. He poured her a glass of cheap Chianti and asked her to sit on the bed. She was all smiles and looked directly at him. What’s this, she asked.

He quickly got down on one knee, almost losing his balance because he was so nervous.

I’ve got something to ask you.

You do?

We haven’t known each other very long.

No, we haven’t.

I already know what I want and I want you to marry me.

Oh shit.

Will you?

Oh my God.

Will you?

Yes.

Later they talked about the future. They wanted a little wedding in a church. Family and friends. Pink flowers, a best man, her sister as maid of honor and her four year old daughter as flower girl. She wanted a white dress. I’ll wear a suit, he said.

And off they went.

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