“So, what are you going to do with the ring?” Daniel asked.
Dave looked down at the engagement ring in his hands.
“I’m not sure; I hadn’t factored in what I would do if the engagement didn’t go as planned,” Dave said.
“Well, you could always keep it, you know, for the next woman,” Daniel said.
“I’m not sure there will be a next woman,” Dave said.
“Do you think you and Melanie will ever get back together?” Daniel asked.
“I don’t know to be honest,” Dave replied.
“Let me get us some drinks before the game starts; it seems no waiter is coming,” Daniel said as he stood up and left.
Dave had a flashback about what had happened between him and Melanie. The two met at an art gallery opening, and since they were both art enthusiasts, they bonded over the pieces being showcased. Their love blossomed with time, and they eventually started dating.
Melanie had a difficult childhood, and it always reflected in her relationships. She always felt that because she didn’t have much growing up, the men she dated should be able to provide for her. Knowing this, Dave always struggled to ensure he could give her the lifestyle she wanted.
A year into their relationship, Dave lost his job at a well-known tech company due to a misunderstanding with his boss. This caused friction in their relationship since he had to survive with the money he had left, meaning he couldn’t give Melanie the things she wanted.
Day in and day out, the couple would fight, and with time Dave felt that his relationship would end if he didn’t find another job. He decided to apply to every tech company he knew, hoping one would consider him given his little experience.
A week after sending the applications, he received an email from a reputable company called Greenlight. It seemed suspicious that the company had reached out a week later, given that they weren’t looking to hire. Dave, however, took it as a sign of good luck. To him, the odds were in his favour.
On the day of the interview, he didn’t manage to get the job. The company was looking for someone with five years’ experience, and he only had two. The hiring manager offered to give him a job as a personal assistant to the boss since they were looking to fill the position.
Dave felt a little sceptical considering what had happened in his last job, but he accepted to save his relationship. The hiring manager assured him that he would be considered first if they ever needed another software engineer.
When he informed Melanie of his new job, their relationship went back to normal. This motivated him to work hard since he knew that if he didn’t, things would spiral again.
Dave struggled every day at the office with his boss’s demands. His routine consisted of getting coffee, sorting out documents and attending meetings. By the second month, he was already tired of his job, but he couldn’t quit.
Five months in, he had seen people being hired for the job he wanted, but he had never been considered or asked to attend the interviews. His salary was still the same as it was in his first month.
This frustrated him, but he decided to stay calm and move on. A couple of months went by, and before he knew it, the year had come to an end. Little did Dave know that his relationship was also about to end.
When the month of December started, the company decided to host an early Christmas party. The problem was that the party was on the same day as Melanie’s birthday. Her birthday was always a big deal, and he knew he had to do something to ensure he could still attend the party without upsetting her.
He decided to take a loan and buy her an engagement ring. He intended to inform her that he had a big surprise for her the day after her birthday. It worked to his luck, and she even offered to escort him to the Christmas party.
On the day of the party, Dave bumped into his boss, and things turned unexpectedly.
“Hi, this is my girlfriend Melanie,” Dave said.
“Yes, it’s been a long time,” His boss said.
“You two have met?” Dave asked.
Melanie didn’t say a word, and this scared Dave a bit.
“Melanie, you didn’t tell your boyfriend about us?” His boss asked.
“What do you mean? Why aren’t you talking?” Dave asked.
“It was a long time ago,” Melanie replied in a low tone.
“Don’t get mad at her; after all, she’s the reason you have this job,” His boss said.
“I was just trying to help,” Melanie said before she started sobbing.
“To help me or to help yourself?” Dave asked.
“You’re upsetting her kindly; let’s not do this here,” His boss said.
“So, I have been working like a pig, with no promotion or salary growth because you wanted my girlfriend!” Dave snapped at his boss.
“She doesn’t deserve you. I can take care of every one of her needs without struggling,” His boss replied.
“Stop it, the both of you,” Melanie said while still sobbing.
“You two can have each other!” Dave said.
Dave walked away that night and never spoke to Melanie again. He also resigned from his position at the company. It was unbelievable to him that the job he had persevered for so long was given to him out of pity by his girlfriend’s ex. He also couldn’t believe he was made to suffer just because his boss wanted her back.
“Earth to Dave,” Daniel snapped his fingers across Daves’s face.
“Huh? What?” Dave responded.
“What were you thinking about so deeply?” Daniel asked.
“I was reminiscing about what happened with Melanie,” Dave replied.
“Have you figured out what you will do with the ring?” Daniel asked.
“Remembering what happened has just made me realize that keeping it will only keep reminding me of what I went through with her,” Dave said.
“That’s true,” Daniel said.
“I’ll go back to the shop where I bought it and see if I can get my money back,” Dave said.
“That’s a wise choice, my friend,” Daniel said.
“To respond to your previous question, no, I don’t think I will ever be able to welcome Melanie back into my life. I did so many things to make her life comfortable, and, in the process, I lost myself,” Dave said.
Daniel moved closer to Dave and hugged him.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Dave asked.
“You just seem like you needed a hug,” Daniel replied.
“Please get off me; we’re in public, and I’m sure people are starting to think we’re a couple,” Dave said.
Daniel let go of Dave, and they both laughed.
“Let’s move to a table closer to the bar so we can watch the game,” Daniel said.
“Cool,” Dave said.
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