This was it. This was my dream come true.
My prince was finally here and I knew that this was the thing I had wanted from him the most; his love for me to be proven through this little but grand gesture. Four years had come and gone with him by my side and from the first time that he told me that he loved me I had been dreaming of this day.
My heartbeat felt irregular and all my troubles felt like they had dissipated into the night sky above us. His outstretched hand appeared to scream at me: "Accept me, accept me!" like an injured animal worthy of a mother's love.
Eric watched me with loving eyes and whispered my name, which caused shivers to flow like ice cubes down my back. Looking into his eyes I placed my hand over his and held onto the ring.
"I do." I said happily, yet dreamily. This didn't feel real, I felt like pinching myself. Had I finally found my happy ending?
Eric's smile lightened the night as he hugged me after placing the ring on my hand. His embrace felt so warm, so protective.
So this is happiness?
I had to endure so much pain for this little bit of happiness… but in the end it all felt worth it. Eric was my one—my only. We held onto each other for only God knows how long and tears slowly descended down my cheeks.
Was I really this lucky to find such a man?
The night couldn’t have been better planned out. The picnic blanket lay under our feet and our empty food plates were gathered on one of the corners. The moon shone brightly above us and there was no sound, except for the occasionally sigh that escaped his and my mouths.
That was when I saw her.
Standing by the hillside just behind us was Becky. My first thought was that something must’ve happened to her family. But then I did I backed up a bit in my mind; how would she know where to find us? Surely, I had told her that Eric and I were going to go out and that tonight might be the night, but I had never told her where we were going… I didn’t even know! I had only found out when I had stepped out of his red convertible.
I gently pulled back from Eric and nodded behind him. “Isn’t that Becky?”
Eric’s face turned pale and an alarm began screeching its non-stop screams within my heart. With my steady hands still on Eric’s shoulders, I watched as Becky slowly descended the hill that she had been standing on only a second prior.
“Eric! Face me!” Becky ordered, the wind gently forcing her black hair to blow behind her.
“Becky, what’s going on?” I asked, dreading her answer. A quick glance at Eric told me that something was definitely wrong and I took a step back from him. “Why are you here?”
“You didn’t tell her? My parents knew you would do something like this, thank God I found you.” She said, almost screaming.
“Becky, please, I love her. You know that we can never happen!” Eric replied, trying to avoid turning around.
“But you promised us! My mom, my dad; everyone expects you to live up to your promise and take care of me!”
I watched helplessly as I tried to piece everything together. “What are you talking about? Do you have something against Eric? If so, I’m sure it is a misunderstanding, I’m sure you have the wrong man!”
My words echoed in the darkness as Eric slowly looked at me. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “It was a mistake, we were drunk and—“
My feet automatically took a step back. “What?”
“I’m pregnant,” Becky then focused her attention on me, “I’m three months pregnant and Eric is the father.”
“I…” My mind was blank and I started to blink the tears that had formed in my eyes. “Are you sure? But how did…”
“Tell her Eric,” Becky moved closer to the two of us. “Tell her how as soon as you found out you promised my parents that you would take responsibility.”
“Diana, I’m sorry.” He ignored Becky and turned to me. “I was drunk and it all just kind of happened, it was a mistake, I’m so sorry.” He grabbed my arm and begged me to forgive him, his tears now wetting his cheeks.
“So it’s true,” I pulled my arm away, my heart hurting and I made myself face the two of them at the same time. “I’ve always known you to be a man of your word Eric.”
“No… Diana please,” he slumped to his knees and stared up at me.
“Stay true Eric,” I gently pulled the engagement ring from my finger and threw it at his crying figure. “Protect her ‘til death do you part.”
I turned to leave with thoughts of wanting to write. Writing was my medicine for the harshest damage my soul could take, it was the elixir that allowed me to continue living. My stomach felt like plummeting when I felt Eric’s rough hand grab my wrist.
“Please don’t leave, I’ll make it up to you!” He croaked. “I love you! Please Diana, I love you…” His sobs overtook him and my heart pitied him because I loved him too, but what to do in such a situation? Prove my love to him by giving him another chance, staying by his side despite this over-the-top obstacle? Or running for dear life and leaving behind all pain and protecting my already decaying heart?
For a girl who had always feared love this was an easy choice.
“You love me?” I muttered without looking at him, “If you love me let me go! Let me go and live my life, I give you two my blessings, and may your child be healthy!”
Yanking my arm free I ran away. I ran away despite my heart’s protest and forcing myself to promise to one day forget the love I ever had for that despicable, two-timing man.