Ring Pop ~ A Flash Fiction Romance by Rebekah Simmers

Oct 25 2017, 11:56 pm in , ,

Ring Pop

 

     Graham was kneeling, sinking into the muddied trail, with a broad smile and his arm outstretched holding the ring. A cherry red ring pop.

     “You’re such a son of a bitch,” Annie said, biting her lip, hands hard on her hips.

     “Get up,” she said, cocking her head and motioning with her hand. Seriously? What is this? He can’t really….

     “Answer me first.”

     Thousands of thuds pounded around them, spitting through the naked tree limbs laced thickly above, smacking against rocks, earth and piles of sun burnt leaves around their feet. Looking up, Graham belted out a hearty laugh.

     “What’s so amusing?”

     “This,” he laughed.

     “Can we just go? We’re getting soaked,” Annie sputtered, looking frantically around. I can’t do this. I’m not ready.

     He coughed and shook himself, his hair flying around like a wet dog.

     “Not until you give me an answer woman,” he said in a playful draw, fluttering his thick brows.

     “You can’t be serious. This isn’t the time for this!” Annie’s arms though covered in her jacket, were rife with goosebumps, her nerves flying electrically through her skin. She shook her feet alternately, her socks swollen with water than had soaked through her sneakers and diverted her eyes. Damnit.

     “There’s never been a better time,” Graham said, broadly swiveling around, gesturing around them. “C’mon love. Say you’ll marry me. Take me, here, now – all these trees will stand witness.”

     Annie smiled, but her heart rose sharply into her throat.

     “I love you,” she said. “Really, I do but…..”

     “Then say yes.”

     “I don’t want things to change,” Annie said, her voice cracking. He moved to her, lifting her chin gently to see into her eyes.

     “WE won’t,” he said.

     “Then why? Why do we have to be married?” Annie said. I’m going to lose him.  Here. Now. This is how this will end.  

     “Why?” Graham repeated, with a soft smile. “Because I love you. You love me. I want you to be my wife. To be married. Married old fools who go hiking in the rain.”

     She shook her head, trying to throw the words away from her. I can’t….give that much…..Bare myself….risk it all. Again.

     “I can’t…”

     Graham’s brows hardened and his jaw twitched at her words.

     “I just can’t,” Annie repeated quietly.

     “You’re not making sense,” he said, bobbing his head trying to regain eye contact.

     She turned and walked into the trees, leaning against one heavily.

     “You don’t understand – what it was like to….try so hard…..lose so much……”

     “You’re right, I haven’t been through what you have.” He trudged up behind Annie, turning her with a solid yet soft grip on her shoulder. “But love, I am NOT him.”

     “I know that.”

     “Then don’t let HIM, what he did, ruin US. Please,” Graham said. “What we have is great. It’s actually pretty fucking great. I love you. You’re a STUBBORN ASS, but you’re brilliant, and funny, and sexy as hell…..We’re good together. Better than any of that bull-shit. You know that.” He shook his head. “Damnit. Have I ever done anything like that? WOULD I? Don’t be afraid of me because of…….”

     “It’s not just me in this,” Annie said sharply. “You know that. I love you. So much. I just don’t know if getting married is the right thing. I promised myself that I wouldn’t – for Adam’s sake. He’s the most important thing in my life.”

     Graham’s shoulders pulled back, as a wave rolled through him.

     “I know he is. He’s your son,” he said.

     Annie nodded, crossing her arms over her chest as hot tears rose behind her eyes.

     “I’m sorry for what happened to you.”

     “That’s all over. Behind me.” She looked away, lost in thought.

     “He’s a great kid. Adam.”

     “He is.”

     “He told me you liked cherry.”

     “What?”

     “Cherry,” he said, flicking the ring pop into his mouth and winking at her. “I almost forgot. He wanted me to give you this.”

     Graham handed her a sloppily wrapped box and then held his backpack over them like a canopy.

     “You work so hard,” he said as she pulled at the crinkled paper. “You do everything right by Adam. For him. And you love him fiercely….”

     Annie opened the flaps of the box and saw a card. “Mommy”.

     “I want to be a part of that. Take care of, and do right by you BOTH. You – and Adam – deserve that. I know he’s not my blood, but I love him. And with every part of me, woman, I love and adore you,” Graham said, his hand brushing the line of her cheek. “Adam has an incredible, strong mother – I’d like to show him what it’s like to have a real man for a father. One who respects his mother. Treats her right. A man, a father, who will fight to my very last breath to give you both the world. Let me be that man. Let us be a family.”

     A small sob escaped as Annie opened the card. Adam had drawn a picture of the three of them on the mountain – him in the middle, holding both of their hands. On her other hand was a large cherry red diamond. The curved smile drawn on his face spoke volumes and three words he had written in crayon were simple and blunt – “say yes Mommy”

     Annie straightened, her eyes tracing over the soaked mess in front of her. This is a good – really good – man. And he’s right. THIS is right. I can’t let fear…my past…dictate my future.

     Graham nodded towards the box and the blue jewelry box nestled into the bottom. When she opened it, a ring with three diamonds sparkled up at her.

     “One for each of us,” he smiled, with a large exhale.  Tears freely falling, she leaned into him, kissing him on his cherry flavored lips.

     “You’re right. There’s never been a better time.” She smiled, her heart warm and at peace within her chest. “Yes.”

 

 

 

    I’m addicted to words. As a kid, I wrote about bunnies. My teenage years were full of short stories and poems, as I tried to figure out who I was and where I wanted to go with my life. At 40 – the road here and ahead look pretty grand. I’ve dove head first into writing and research as I work to complete my first novel in a trilogy – a lifelong dream that I’m working hard to realize. In my “spare time”, I’m a military spouse, mother of five (awesome) children and one furbaby (meow), volunteer and “Peaker”. Currently located in Germany, (which luckily supports my research habit of studying castles and medieval life), my greatest joy now is balancing raising five good hearted resilient children with my best friend, with combatting the stress of military life and special needs parenting, while happily re-adding the word “writer” to my life story.  Rebekah 

 

 

   

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