We've all been there - Editor
by Keely Christensen
I’ll start out by saying that it was not the perfect romance. We were not the perfect couple, and we didn’t have the fairytale relationship that some people would make you think we had. We were that “on the outside” couple because on the outside we were ideal. On the outside, we were everything that two people together wished they had. We looked like we were happy . . . on the outside. Well, I suppose not necessarily just from other people’s perspectives. Wade thought the same as everyone else too-that we were perfectly happy together. I guess I was the only one who disagreed.
As I looked at him across the table, watching him chew his forty-dollar steak and drink his hundred-dollar bottle of Dom Perignon, my heart sank. Tonight was the night, wasn’t it? He glanced up at me and smiled, his straight, gleaming white teeth, with never so much as a piece of pepper stuck in them, nearly blinding me from reflecting the candlelight.
“Is your food all right?” he asked, seemingly truly concerned. My stomach turned. Always such the gentleman, I thought. He was constantly so attentive; there was never any room for complaints. I finished my glass of champagne, and before I set it back on the table, he was there ready to fill it up again. I waved my hand at the air to alert him to my complete disinterest in getting drunk.“No more, thank you,” I said ever-so politely. On the outside, I was quite the well-mannered lady.
He began to ramble about his work while I slowly drifted into my own mind. His work was one of the biggest priorities in life, which, I suppose, was why he was so successful. Wade worked as an investment banker and was at the top of his game. His passion about his job gave him an edge in his work strategies and allowed him to become a very wealthy man at the age of twenty-nine. Mentioned a good handful of times in Forbes magazine, Wade loved to talk about anything pertaining to his profession. It made me sick.
We were, thankfully, interrupted by a speech from the waiter about the wondrous selection of desserts they offered. Then it hit me that I shouldn’t order any dessert. I didn’t want to end up having something hidden in a piece of pie or a slice of cake.
“Wow, all of that sounds just wonderful . . .” Wade began to say.
“. . . But unfortunately, I think that we’ll have to pass tonight,” I finished. “The food was just so delicious I don’t think I have room for anything else.” I smiled and gently batted my eyelashes. That always seemed to halt any future conversation or debate. It was kind of like my secret weapon.
“Are you sure, honey?” Wade asked, as he reached across the table to hold my hand. “If you want anything else, you know you can have it. We could have them wrap up a dessert and bring it back to the house if you want.”
I carefully coiled back my hand to casually swipe an out-of-place hair off of my face. I dug through my purse, feeling for the cold metal that lay inside. Button, button; who’s got the button, I thought, as I guided my hand through the contents. I finally pulled out a white gold cigarette case. I opened it, took one out, and gave a look to the waiter.
“Do you have a light?” I asked.
“I’m so sorry, Miss, but there’s no smoking here,” he said.
Wade turned his head downwards and waved the waiter away. His biggest - and his only - complaint against me was the fact that I smoked. His family believed that smoking was for men, not for women. Men smoked the cigars and drank the brandy while discussing the ups and downs of the market in their private studies. Women ran to clean up the ashtrays and complain about the stench. I used to tell him that I started smoking when I was younger and just never was able to break of the dirty, nasty habit. Truth was, I started only after I knew how much he detested it.
After dinner, the town car drove us back to the condo. Wade got out on his side of the car and walked around to open my door. He stuck out his arm to help me out of the vehicle and escorted me to the door of our house.
Every single one of my girlfriends was jealous of all the attention and consideration that Wade gave me, day in and day out. They would constantly tell me how they wished their boyfriends or husbands would still act that way with them. How they wished that I wouldn’t take his romance for granted, because he was just a one-in-a-million guy. He was perfect. Everything that I was looking for. My very own Prince Charming.
As we walked inside, the faint aroma of lavender and honey filled my nostrils. I detested the smell of lavender, for it made my insides churn and nauseated the hell out of me.
I could see past the entryway there was a trail of glowing candles - presumably the source of the revolting lavender scent - that led past the foyer and up the cold, wood staircase.
I looked over at Wade, plastering on the sweetest smile that I could muster.
“Ohhh, wow . . .” I said, trying my hardest not to sound too dramatic. “This is just beautiful.”
Wade smiled. Such a proud smile, too. Now, most women would be romantically taken back by this thoughtful display, but me? No. I merely saw it as another self-righteous act.
“I have a surprise for you,” he said. “Follow the candles.”
I let out an almost inaudible sigh (of impatience) and slowly began to ascend the stairs ever-so gracefully. I did manage to kick one of the candles off, near the top, so that it would shatter on his precious hardwood floor.
When I reached the top, I followed the blazing trail to the bedroom, which was all too cliché. The bed, now covered in red and white rose petals, had a small box sitting directly in the center. And I mean “directly” in the center, as though Wade had taken his perfect little measuring tape to set it within millimeters of ideal.
I clutched my purse tightly to my hip, knowing what the next words out of his mouth would be. This was it. This was what I had waited two years for. Finally, I would get the ring.
Wade rushed around me and grabbed the box off the bed.
“Sydney,” he began, “I find that since the day I met you . . .”
Blah, blah, blah.
“. . . you are the single most important, special thing that has ever come into my life.”
The speech was definitely over-rehearsed, and I was seriously starting to get bored.
“I love you, Sydney. And I know that I will never find anyone in this world that I could ever love more. So, my question to you is this: Will you make my dream of love come true? Will you marry me?”
He got out the three-carat diamond ring (with a platinum band) and placed it gently on my finger. I will admit that I gasped a little bit—he had the ring sized! Wow, I thought. He really did out-do himself.
I gazed at the beautiful piece of metal on my left hand, and my right hand fumbled with my purse clasp. I looked at Wade, who was bent on one knee in front of me, and stared directly into his eyes. Eyes not full of hope, but rather of certainty. He was so sure of my answer, wasn’t he?
I took a small step backwards, as my right hand finally found the piece of metal in my purse. I took it out, lifted it up, and pulled the trigger.
Right in the heart. How perfect.
After tossing his ring to the floor, I calmly walked over to the nightstand by the bed and pulled out my locked journal. Opening it up, I turned a few pages to my “to-do list.”
#17. Go skydiving. (Check)
#18. Make a real poison apple and feed it to a pretty girl. (Check)
#19. Live in Paris for a month. (Check)
#20. Find and kill true love.