I was walking to my next class when I noticed Sophie was under that same tree again. It was strang to see her without Broderick, because as I learned within a day was that they were attached at the hip. They had identical schedules even, although I'm not sure how that happened.
And the worst part of it all was that I had to realize that I wasn't number one on Sophie's list anymore. As I sat alone in my dorm room last night, staring at my Pyschology book, I began chuckling to myself for realizing how stupid I was. Of course she was going to find someone new. I mean, she's all-around perfect in every which way and every man on this campus probably felt the same way.
The rest of the night then consisted of me laying, defeated in my bed wondering what Sophie was doing every second.
So for Sophie to be standing under the tree, already turning red for the fall, and biting her nails alone was a big deal. I t was an even bigger deal when she walked up to me, "Coop, look, I wanted to say sorry for yesterday. I was still taking in the fact that you were here now.":
"Oh it's fine," I tried acting careless by blowing it off.
"No it's not and...and I want to make it up to you."
"Oh you don't have to do that, really-"
"But I have to," her hand landed on my arm and I felt the sudden need for more creep into my veins. What sort of favor did she have in mind? She continued, "Broderick and I are going out to eat tonight. You can join us. You can tell us how Grovewood's been."
"Eh...I don't want to intrude," and I didn't want to deal with the awkwardness that would probably be in the air, but I wouldn't tell her that.
But Sophie shook her head, "You wouldn't be intruding since I invited you," she squeezed my arm, pale green eyes begging for forgiveness.
I took in her face, soft with light freckles dotting her nose. Her blonde hair had its slight orange hue it always gets as it gets darker in the fall and winter.
And then her lips, soft with their sweet curve, were parted slightly as she breathed.
I smiled, "I'll try."
Relief flooded her face, "Great! 5:00 at Ella's. It's kind of fancy, so wear a nice shirt," she moved her hand off of my arm, "See you there," and with a wave, she was gone.
And as I watched her turn and leave, I placed my own hand where Sophie's was, noticing how bare I felt without it.
I was just about to sit down with Broderick, feeling upset that Cooper did not attend, when he came rushing in, looking all in a fuss. His button-up shirt he threw on was wrinkled, the buttons were out of line, and it looked as if he couldn't decide whether or not to tuck it in. His black hair was messy and looked windblown, most likely from him running here. I turned to glance at Broderick, who looked perfect, then back at Cooper, then blushed in embarressment when I realized the one I found attractive...I wasn't suppose to, "I'm so sorry guys. I forgot I had class until 4:45 today."
"Oh that's fine. I'm just glad you-"
"Whoa, who the hell invited him?" Broderick looked confused and almost angry. I immediately retaliated, "I invited him. I wanted to talk to my friend. Is that such a problem?" I felt awful when I saw Cooper looking down at his feet, face bright red. Broderick's face was just as red, but it was from irritation, "I thought this dinner was just with you and I. Why'd you have to invite him?" He pointed at Cooper as if he was vermin, which made me feel more furious than before, "Can't you just relax? There's nothing wrong with him attending dinner with us. Now sit down, both of you."
I was somewhat shocked when they both listened to me, "Now we're going to sit down and enjoy our meal."
And enjoy we did...or at least, Cooper and I did. We went on and on about school and what and who had changed since I had left, "Caroline still a heartbreaker?"
Coop laughed, "Of course she is. None of us could have her any other way. Well, at least I couldn't. She kind of isn't that bad of a person as long as you don't get attracted to her."
"I totally agree. As a person she isn't bad but-"
"Honey, can you focus on me for a second? Please" Broderick had seemed to quit pouting at that time and was literally begging. It was true that I had ended up accidentally ignoring him the entire dinner, so I decided to turn and look at him, especially since this was suppose to be a dinner with just the two of us, "Sure, what do you need honey?"
"Well, we have dated now for almost an entire year now," Out of the corner of my eye I saw Cooper stabbing at the remaining steak on his plate, "And let me tell you, this year has probably been the best year of my entire life," the stabbing of the steak was noisy now, and I shot a glare at Coop, "And I know that you've been just as happy as I have been, learning all about each other's perks and flaws, not that you have any flaws anyway," Broderick gave me a wide grin at that moment, "So I was wondering if...perhaps," He somehow made a tiny box appear and as he opened it he asked, "Will you marry me?
My jaw immediately dropped.
And Cooper's fork immediately dropped to the floor as well.
Now I realized exactly why having Cooper with us irritated Broderick so much.
The ring reminded me once again how rich Broderick's family was. The stone was a huge blue hued diamond cut in the shape of a rectangle. Around the main blue stone were tendrils of little white diamonds snaking, with a band definetly made of white gold, "Well, Broderick...I don't know what to say."
"Say yes honey! Say yes and become Mrs. Dufner!"
I stared at the glittering, obvious ring and glanced at Cooper and had a sort of epiphany.
Cooper was suppose to be in Broderick's seat. I was suppose to become Mrs. Plasse and get a nice, elegant ring with small, oval shaped gemstones. He was suppose to be the one I held every night and went to parties with and would have babies with and live in a house with and...and...and...
A lump formed in my throat and I was barely able to keep the tears in my eyes when I said, "Broderick, dear, don't you think it's a little early?"
"What are you talking about? It's been a year."
"Yes but, well, my parents dated for two or three years until my father proposed to my mom. And I doubt my parents will approve of a marriage this early in a relationship," I closed the box, "Please wait for another year, at least."
He stared at me for a bit. I didn't dare make eye contact with anyone and instead stared at my feet, "You sure you want that?" He asked me.
"Yes. Just a year, at least," I shuddered. How many times have I said "at least"?
He crossed his arms, almost like a bratty little kid, and grumbled, "Fine."
I smiled pleasantly and put my hand on his arm, "Thank you."
After all, I knew deep down why he wanted to marry me so badly anyway.