This is a continuation of a fiction story. You can find the first parts here:
Those eyes. Those chocolate brown eyes. With gold flecks. And lashes that went on for days. He couldn’t help but think about those eyes seeing through him. Do they know? Can she read me like an open book? Does she know that I am not strong? What would she do if she knew. If those eyes could speak. The volumes they could write. She smiled at him. Her eyes lit up more brightly than the Florida sun. He didn’t think that her eyes could look any brighter…until he saw her smile. Her full, naturally pink lips extended from one blushing cheek to the next, with a dimple on the left side (but somehow not the right). God, she’s beautiful.
“I love you.” The words came out as a whisper that hit him like a ton of bricks. He thought he was smiling, but he couldn’t be sure. His breath quickened. Did she just…does she expect me…? What do I do? Seconds seemed like hours. He almost said nothing…he wanted to say nothing. She didn’t look at him expectantly. She looked away, embarrassed, her cheeks emblazoned with bright red clouds. She hadn’t expected to say the words. He worried for her. But he wasn’t…he didn’t…know.
“I don’t know what love is.” Crap! That is the last thing I should have said to her. What the fuck was I thinking.He envisioned her walking away, out of his life forever.What the hell, Jack? Are you a moron? This girl just fucking said she loved you. This beautiful woman, who you’ve fooled into loving you…and you don’t know what love is? Jack chided himself for his error. In his effort to say something, it seemed he always said the wrong something.
She looked at him with sadness in her eyes, touched his cheek, and responded, “Yes, you do. When you’re ready, you’ll tell me. I don’t expect you to say it. I don’twant you to say it now. If you said it now, the meaning would be lost. When you’re ready, you’ll know.” She pulled him into her, kissing him gently. He wrapped his arms around her and it was at that moment that he knew he loved Claire, but couldn’t say it. Not yet.
“Claire, I love you so much. Will you marry me?” It wasn’t an elaborate proposal by any stretch of the imagination. He didn’t take her on some fancy trip, or make some huge crazy gesture. It wasn’t one of those obnoxious public proposals that Claire silently judged people for. It was perfect. They were at home. Just the two of them. He didn’t even have a ring. He just did it. And she said yes. Of course, she said yes.
Claire started crying, and Jack wondered if it wasn’t the typical sort of engagement crying. It’s because I don’t have a ring. And I didn’t do anything particularly special. It just…came out…I’m so stupid! What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking. That’s the trouble with you, Jackie, you don’t think. Claire deserves more than that. More than you.
“Claire, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
“You sob didn’t.” She stared down, breathing heavily between sobs. The tears slid down her cheek, dripped onto her tee shirt, and left small wet splotches on the gray material.
“What’s wrong? Is it because of the ring?”
“Jack…sob I have to tell…you…something…” She looked so ashamed, her cheeks redder than he had ever seen. When she cried, his world stopped. He wanted to make everything better for her. What could she be so embarrassed about? We’ve been together for so long. We live together. What could be so bad? Jack pulled her into his arms, petting her hair. He hushed her with soothing sounds until she pulled away.
“I…oh, Jack…” Claire was clearly distraught. Jack wanted so much to make it better.
“Claire, it will be okay. Whatever it is. I’m here. We’re in this together. Is this about getting married? Do you want to get married?”
“More than anything. This…isn’t about sob getting married…I… I always dreamed… sob I always thought about marriage…and babies…and I want sob them with…you…Jack…I never…told you…” Jack’s mind began delving into worst possible scenarios. She’s pregnant. She’s sick. She’s dying. She’s got cancer…She’s got a secret child somewhere…
Claire could sense his panic, which only made her sobs louder and her words fewer and farther in between. “Claire, whatever it is, we will get through this.”
She mustered all of the strength that she could to tell him. Her dark little secret. The one she’s always been so terrified to reveal.
“Jack, I will never be able to have babies. I’m an empty shell.” Afterwards she became inconsolable. Her tears swallowed her tee shirt whole. Jack held her for hours. He rocked her. He told her it would be okay. He was…surprised at his strength. This was the only time that Claire ever broke down as hard as she did. While she was usually HIS rock; today he could be hers. And he was.
This fiction series is inspired by the prompts created by Molly of Grass Oil. You can read the next part here: