“How long are you going to continue looking out that window? She’s not coming back. Sooner or later you must accept that.”
He didn’t answer. Her words cut to the core but he refused to believe that Brittany was gone forever.
“She got tired of waiting and decided that it’s time to move on. Can’t say that I blame her. I too would get tired of waiting for a man to make up his mind.”
“Marriage isn’t something you take lightly or rush into,” he replied, sounding a tad defensive and resentful. “I wanted to be sure before I took that step.”
“And are you sure now?”
“Yes! I’m ready to take that step with Brittany.”
“Well, as they say, too late, too late shall be the cry.”
His mouth tightened in annoyance. If she had nothing good or helpful to say, he wish she would keep silent. “Are you going to be much longer?” he asked. He wanted to be alone to wallow in his pain and misery.
She looked at him. “Trying to get rid of me, are you? Well, I’ll be gone in ten minutes.”
Good. He turned away to look out of the window again. Any minute, he hoped to see her walking up the street and hear the key turn in the lock. He had imagined and dreamed of it so many times. She had to come back. The night she walked out of the flat and out of his life was still raw and fresh in his mind. The place felt empty, lonely and dark without her. He missed her lying in the bed next to him and always fell asleep hugging her pillow.
They had been together for five years and they had been happy years until the subject of marriage came up. She wanted to get married but he wasn’t ready. He had seen too many marriages fall apart. Love wasn’t a guarantee for a lasting marriage. He had seen couples who loved each other split up. Was it unreasonable for him to be cautious? Was it foolish of him to want to wait until he was ready and willing to make that final commitment?
As much as he was in love with Brittany, he was going to let her pressure him into getting married before he was good and ready. He didn’t regret that decision but he missed her so much that it hurt. It had been weeks since she walked out but it felt like years. Yet, hope continued to burn in his heart. One of these days, she would return and he would be there, waiting for her.
“Well, I’m off now. Your supper is in the oven, nice and hot. Your laundry’s done. I’ll see you in two weeks. I’m going to visit my daughter in Manchester.”
“Have a safe trip, Hannah.”
“Thank you. You take care of yourself. And stop moping about the place. There are plenty of women out there.”
“I know but there’s only one woman for me.”
“Aye. Well, I hope for your sake that she’s worth the trouble. Good afternoon.”
“Good afternoon.” He got up and saw her to the door. He reached over and kissed her on the cheek, smiling as she got red in the face. He watched her walk down the hallway and turn the corner before he closed the door. He returned to the window.
It was around half-past seven when he decided to get up and have his supper while it was still warm. As he headed toward the kitchen, he heard the key turn in the lock. He froze, his heart pounding. He stood there and watched as the door slowly opened and Brittany step into the foyer. She closed the door and locked it before turning to face him. She stood there, watching him. Beside her were two pieces of luggage.
For several minutes they just stared at each other. The only sound was the ticking of the clock on the wall. Then, he was standing in front of her, his eyes restless on her upturned face. “You came back,” he muttered.
“Yes. It was a mistake for me to leave. I’m sorry.”
“It hurt when you walked out on me.”
“I was hoping that you would come back. I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too. That’s why I came back.”
He moved closer. “It’s-it’s good to have you back, Brittany. My life and this place are so empty and miserable without you. Please promise me that you won’t leave me again.”
“I promise. And I’m willing to leave our relationship as it is. If you don’t want to get married, that’s all right with me.”
He pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly. “Oh, Brittany…”
She put her arms around his waist. “I love you, Cedric.”
“And I love you, Brittany.” He lowered his head and kissed her with passion and longing. It had been so long since he had held her in his arms or told her that he loved her. It was like the bright sunshine after a storm.
Several minutes later, he took her hand and led her to their bedroom where they made up for lost time. Afterwards, they shared the supper Hannah had left for him and it was while they were relaxing on the sofa watching a movie, that he told her that he was ready for marriage. “I meant it when I said that I was fine with our relationship the way it is.”
“I know you did and I love you for it but I’m ready to take the plunge with you.”
“For better or for worse.”
“Yes. We’ve been through the worse. It can only get better from here on.”
She smiled and gently squeezed his hand. “I believe so too.”
Marriage does not guarantee you will be together forever, it’s only paper. It takes love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship and faith in your relationship to make it last – Marriage.com
This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Continue. If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.