i asked him to marry me.
the tree branch was swaying in the wind, and out of the corner of my eye, it looked like a shooting star. i was happy. the weather was very pleasant, and i was wearing my 60's skirt. for mid- october, you'd call me lucky. and i am. i didn't get on my knees or anything. i wasn't even wearing socks, so how could i afford a ring? it was like a light bulb turned on my head, like suddenly everything was bright and tangible. i put my pride in a single question, lay it out on the sidewalk among the acorns and freshmen. it made my heart soar.
he was very respectful in his decline. very polite. he used big lawyer words like 'surreptitious' and 'acquiesce'. he talked about our parents, and how sad and insulted they would feel if we went through with it, about the government and our passports, about tax papers. he was very willing, don't get me wrong. just not as...hasty about it. his palate was full with sured-ness. he had a plan. well, i hoped he did. he stopped me, noticing the light leaving my eyes. i looked to my left. two asian girls were running across the street into their building. a man on a balcony talking into his phone. a car with its emergencies on. the police. it made me sad, all of a sudden. very drained, i felt. very hungry, too. here was this moment we were having, perfectly perfect, smoking menthols and talking about movies and the like, enjoying the beautiful crisp fall in orange street lights, and i had gone on and ruined it. i had taken what was ours and made it mine, and was disappointed when he didn't do the same. i looked at the buttons on his coat.
'are you listening?'
'do you know that i love you? do you believe me when i say that and mean it with my whole heart?'
we walked home, hand in hand, tears making everything foggy for me.
oh well. it was a stupid idea anyway.