I remained in the small room, frozen on the ledge. My hands gripping the edges so hard my knuckles were protruding, turning my skin white. Had I been wrong this entire time? Was Daniel feeling closer to me as I felt further apart? I wanted nothing more than to rip open both boxes and violate the contents, but I was still stuck in a rut of my own making. I had agreed to come onto this trip and not tell him anything. This was all my fault. I should have told him back in New York. Unless…no, it couldn’t be. Well, unless this was his plan all along since then. Did he want our ‘serious talk’ postponed until after Egypt so that he could propose to me? Was it just a coincidence or was it all too coincidental to be believable?
One thing I knew was for sure, I was sick of second guessing and questioning. I’m running around with my hair on fire by unanswered cliff hangers and mysteries. It was getting tiring. I was exhausted. This just has to stop. In a funny, ironic sort of way, this turn of events was invoked by what I believe are engagement rings inside those boxes. And yet, they were what they raised in people: the promise of truth. I need to be truthful to Daniel. He needs to be truthful to our relationship and its evanescent conspiring.
What I hated about all this, absolutely fucking hated, was that this would be the second time we’d be breaking up. I became one of those couples I used to roll my eyes at and scoff at for breaking up and coming together so many times. I was practically following Chloe’s footsteps with Scotty. In the end though, it turned out to be good for her, despite all my eye-rolls. It turned out to be one final lesson; a final understanding of oneself’s wants and needs. Maybe after Daniel and I part ways (I gulped at the thought and began sweating) I’ll finally understand exactly what it is I want.
I wasn’t even looking out for Daniel’s footsteps, Daniel entirely for that matter, so when I heard the card swiping several times, I had to remind myself who it was. These key cards were crazy broken, and I was starting to think it was because we left it outside to bake in the sun when we went for a dip.
Daniel was quiet when he entered. His lips sealed and his eyes remained attached to the floor. When he didn’t find me on the bed, he called out my name.
I swallowed the huge lump. “I’m here.”
Daniel whipped around at the sound of my voice and paced slowly. As if he was approaching an armed and dangerous suspect. Considering he made an inspection of me, the room, his suit jacket still on me, and the Tiffany and Co. and Cartier boxes sitting on the shelf; it seemed all too fitting. I was clearly the suspect of this ruckus.
“What’s going on?” he asked. His voice calm and his words elongated.
I shrugged. “You tell me.”
He pointed between the boxes. “Have you looked inside?”
I stared at the boxes and then returned my attention to Daniel. I shook my head and he nodded, looking slightly relieved. I was becoming more and more uncertain as to what the boxes stored. And therefore, more and more anxious.
Daniel picked up the boxes and held one in each hand. His grin didn’t change a wink when he kneeled on the floor before me. “I pictured this a whole lot different to what it is now.”
We laughed together. “As opposed to…?” I tilted my head, pretending to not know what he meant.
“As opposed to you in your underwear, wearing my suit jacket, and me in my shorts and overall casual attire.”
I smiled. “Daniel…”
“—let me just get this out first,” Daniel said, unravelling the packaging.