There’s a warm blanket draped over me. And I can hear a fire crackling softly on the hearth across the room. Before I even realize that, I wonder if I’m pregnant. Keeping my eyes closed, I move my hand across my lower abdomen. Still flat.
“Already feeling for a baby bump?” Michelangelo asks. I hear glasses clink as he sets them against the wooden coffee table. His legs brush against the couch.
“Why are you sitting on my coffee table? It’s two-hundred year old wood, it’ll break.”
“We’re in the lower levels of your apartment. I’m sitting on the steel one. Why don’t you open your eyes and see what’s going on?”
I reluctantly open my eyes and look around. I haven’t been in the lower levels of my apartment since my parents’ funeral. This was their part of our home. Mine are the upper levels. Everything is exactly as I left it, except dustier. I should probably hire a cleaning crew to come down here. But I don’t want anyone disturbing my parents’ mausoleum.
“Why am I down here and not in my living room?” I ask, trying to sit up.
Michelangelo props up the pillows behind my head. “I thought this was one of your living rooms? And you were freezing cold, and it was warmer down here. How you feeling?”
I shrug. “Little sore. But I’ll be okay,” I respond as I accept the warm, steaming mug he offers me. I take a sip and look at the fading blue and white china-print wallpaper.
“So I got you a ring. For the engagement. We’ve already signed all the papers, and I figured this would make it look more real.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a worn black velvet box that looks like it’s seen some mileage. Nestled inside is a beautiful silver diamond ring. It’s not huge or extravagant, but it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Much prettier than my last engagement ring.
“You’ve got that look on your face again. Everything okay?”
I look up from the box into his concerned blue-green eyes. “What look?”
He sighs. “You always get this look on your face when you think about Dean. What happened between you two? I’m the only guy you even look at after him. You act like the male population is diseased.”
I hand him the coffee mug and hold the ring box in my hand, slowly opening and closing it again as I try and find the strength to begin. I’ve never told anyone what happened behind closed doors between the two of us.