I had been dating Maria for close to two years and I thought it was time to take our relationship to the next step. We had talked about marriage before but only in passing. She wasn’t very enthusiastic about the discussion but I hoped as time went by, she’d change her mind about getting married. The pressure to get married was mounting and I became more serious about proposing to Maria. However, before I could propose, I had to make sure everything was just right.
Maria was a high-maintenance girl so I knew proposing to her in a low-key way would not work. With her, it was either go big or go home. However, it was hard to plan the perfect proposal since despite dating for two years, I wasn’t close with any of her friends. I didn’t know what she liked to do apart from shopping. So, the only plan I had for the proposal was at the mall. I had seen people proposing in malls and it turned out so good. So, I was convinced it was a good idea.
“I’m thinking of proposing to her at the mall,” I told one of my friends.
“Yeah. That could work.”
“It has to work. I don’t have any other plan.”
“How about an intimate, romantic dinner? Proposing in public can be a disaster. I know you’ve seen those viral videos. I don’t want you to be one of those guys.” My friend said.
“Bro, you know Maria likes grand gestures. She’s more likely to reject me in private than in public. Besides, proposing to her in the mall will show her how serious I am.”
“How does she feel about marriage?”
“I haven’t brought it up lately so I don’t know.”
In hindsight, I should have listened to my friend’s advice and slowed down a bit but it was too late and I had already started planning the proposal.
Since I wasn’t close with any of her friends, it was all up to me to plan the perfect proposal. I had to figure out which flowers to buy, the music to play and of course, the type of ring she liked. Unlike other girls I had dated in the past, Maria had never even shown me a ring she liked. I had bought her a ring before to mark our one-year anniversary but I wasn’t sure whether it was her style. She didn’t wear it at all.
I simply went off what most girls would like and hoped it worked. After weeks of planning, things seemed to be coming together well. I managed to get everything I needed within short notice and planned on proposing to Maria the following Saturday.
The event planner I was working with managed to put together a fairly decent proposal setup and as we approached the beautiful flower arrangement, I couldn’t help but smile from cheek to cheek. Maria, on the other hand, was stone-faced. She looked like she didn’t want to be there at all. However, this was her nature. She barely smiled.
As I pulled out the ring and looked at Maria, she started crying. I thought they were happy tears which encouraged me to pour my heart out to her.
“Maria, you’re the most amazing woman I have ever seen. You stole my heart the first day I saw you and I haven’t stopped loving you ever since…”
I went on for almost two minutes while holding her hand. I could feel her shaking and her sobbing had become worse. She was shaking her head and I could see her trying to mouth something to me. However, I was too caught up in the moment to understand what she was trying to say. To me, she was excited that I was proposing to her.
After numerous attempts, I finally came back to reality and noticed that Maria hadn’t said yes. Instead, she kept trying to pull away as the crowd looked on in awe. The saxophone player had drawn too much attention to us and it seemed like the whole mall had come to a standstill. It was too late to back out.
“Just say yes,” I whispered to her.
“I can’t… I can’t.” She said, trying to pull away from me.
“Don’t do this, Maria.”
At this point, I was begging her to accept my proposal to avoid embarrassment. The crowd had also started shouting at her. This only made her angrier.
“I can’t believe you did this to me.” She said then ran off in tears.
I stood up clutching the ring in shame. The crowd was still looking at me and I tried to laugh off the embarrassment. Slowly, people started to disperse as I stood in the middle of the flower arrangement. After a few minutes, I was all alone with the saxophone player. I requested him to leave which he happily did. Once the ordeal had sunk in, I called one of my close friends and asked him to come to the mall.
He was there within a few minutes and he took me to a lounge to drink away the pain.
“I hate to say I told you so but I told you so.”
“I know. I’m never getting married.” I swore as I downed a shot of whiskey.
“Do you know where she is now?”
“No, and I don’t care. She can go to hell for all I care.”
Just as we spoke about her, she called me. My friend picked up and hung up shortly after.
“She said she’s sorry.” He said.
“I miss her already,” I answered in tears.
“It’s going to be okay.” My friend said, trying to comfort me.
It wasn’t okay. In fact, I was in a dark place for a long time. I tried to reconnect with Maria but the relationship had run its course and I couldn’t seem to get past the failed proposal. It took me some time to come to terms with everything that happened but I’m doing much better now. I still think that I will never get married, though.
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