After she left Jozsef’s flat, Yasmeen went up onto the roof to clear her head. After what happened between them, there was no way she could stay in her relationship with Tuma. She should have broken up with him as soon as she realized that she had fallen in love with Jozsef.
She thought about it and realized that she hadn’t told Jozsef about Tuma although she could have sworn that she had. Perhaps, she didn’t because she was afraid that he wouldn’t want to continue being friends with her because she had a boyfriend. She had to tell Tuma about him, though.
She was about to call him when her cell rang. Her heart skipped a beat. It was Jozsef. “Hi.”
“How are you feeling?”
“Fine. What about you?”
“I feel great! I wish you were still here. When I woke up you were gone. I hope you don’t have any regrets.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Are you doing anything tonight?”
“I got a pair of tickets to the opera. I’ve been meaning to ask you but after I found out about Tuma–“
“I’d love to go.”
“Great. I’ll come by your place around 6. We’ll have dinner first and then go to the Opera.”
“All right. I’ll see you then. ‘Bye.”
Just as she ended the call, she got another one. It was Tuma. “Hey.”
“Hey, Baby. I was hoping that you and I could have dinner this evening.”
“I’m sorry, Tuma but I can’t this evening. I’m going out with a friend.”
“That’s too bad. How about lunch, then?”
“All right. What time?”
“Twelve-thirty. I’ll pick you up at–‘
“Why don’t you tell me which restaurant it is and I’ll meet you there?”
“Why do you want to meet me there instead of me picking you up at your place?”
“I-I have a few errands to run before we meet.”
“Oh. All right.” He gave her the name and the address of the restaurant. “I’ll see you then.”
“Yes. Later.” Wow. Two men, two dates. When it rained it poured. Her life was never this complicated before. Sighing, she got up and went downstairs to her flat. She knew that the only reason why she arranged to meet Tuma at the restaurant instead of having him pick her up at her place because she didn’t want him and Jozsef to run into each other.
She had something light to eat, showered, dressed and headed out. It was precisely twelve-thirty when she got to the restaurant. Tuma was waiting. They hugged and then went inside. They were seated in a secluded booth.
After they placed their orders, she studied him. He was a very handsome man. He could have been a model but was a bank manager. Lots of women would gladly trade places with her.
“You look beautiful,” he remarked.
“Thank you. You look handsome as usual.” She was nervous. On her way over here, she had rehearsed over and over in her mind her break-up speech.
“A penny for your thoughts.”
Startled, she said, “I-I was just thinking how nice this place is. Very cozy and the food looks very appetizing.”
“Yes. I thought you might like it. And it’s the perfect place for what I have in mind.”
She stared at him. “What do you mean?”
He smiled. “I’ll tell you later. Now, let’s order.”
All through the meal, she wondered what it was that he had in mind. She found out after they finished their dessert.
He reached into his pocket and took out a little red box. He opened it, revealing an exquisite gold and diamond ring. He took her hand and staring into her eyes, he said, “Yasmeen, I love you and I would like to spend the rest of my life showing you how much. Will you marry me?”
Yasmeen stared at him. She felt blindsided although this could have been what he meant when he said that this was the perfect place for what he had in mind. Her mind was whirling. How does one say no to a marriage proposal without hurting the other person’s feelings? She racked her brains for something to say. Finally, she said, “Tuma, I think you’re wonderful man and I wish I could say yes, but I can’t. I’m sorry.”
An awkward silence followed. Tuma sat there, looking like he had just been punched in the gut.
When the silence got to be too much for Yasmeen, she urged him, “Please say something.”
“I just asked you to marry me and you turned me down. Why?”
Yasmeen fidgeted in her seat. “Tuma, you’re a terrific guy but I think you should marry someone who can truly give you the love and commitment you deserve.”
“So, you’re saying that you’re not in love with me?”
“Yes. I’m sorry.”
“I thought you had feelings for me.”
“I did but–” She did have feelings for him but they weren’t enough for her to want to spend the rest of her life with him. And that was before she met Jozsef.
“But what? Is there another man?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Who is he?”
“Someone very close to me.” That was true. Jozsef was her next door neighbor.
“An old friend?”
“A close friend.”
“Are you in love with him?”
“Does he know?”
“Is he in love with you?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know.” He shook his head. “I can’t believe this is happening. I thought this was going to be one of the happiest days in my life but it turned out to be the worst.”
“Stop saying that you’re sorry. It doesn’t help.” He put the ring back in the box, closed it and put it in his pocket.
“The last thing I wanted to do was to hurt you but I just don’t feel in my heart that we’re right for each other. You may not see that now, but when you do find the right person, you’ll be glad you’re still free to propose to her.”
He didn’t answer.
“I-I think I should leave. Thanks for lunch.” She got up and left.
It felt awful for hurting him like that but she had to turn him down. Besides, she was going to break up with him anyway. It was a lovely ring but it wasn’t for her. Maybe one day, he would find the right woman. She sincerely hoped so. He really was a sweet guy, just not the right guy for her. Speaking of guys, she couldn’t wait to see Jozsef this evening. She was going to tell him that her relationship with Tuma was over.
It was exactly 6 when her doorbell rang. She hurried to answer it. Jozsef stood there, looking very attractive in his black evening suit. His eyes ran appreciatively over her. “You look great,” he said as he stepped into the foyer.
“Thank you. So do you.”
“Are you ready?”
“Yes, I just have to grab my handbag and a jacket in case it gets a bit cool later.”
“Okay. I’ll wait here.”
She hurried off to her room and soon came back. As he helped her on with the jacket, she said, “I had lunch with Tuma today.”
Jozsef’s expression was guarded when she turned to face him. “Oh?”
“Yes. After you and I spoke on the phone, he called me and asked me to have dinner with him but I told him that I was going out with a friend.”
“Yes. So, he invited me to have lunch with him. We went to a nice, cozy restaurant, had a good English meal and after we had dessert, he asked me to marry him.”
“He asked you to marry him?”
“And what was your answer?”
“Well, I said–“
“I have another question. Why did you let him propose to you? I thought after what happened between us that you were going to break up with him.”
“You didn’t break up with him, did you?”
“Well, I didn’t see–“
“You didn’t see any reason why you should after he proposed to you. Am I the first person you’ve shared this news with?”
“Well, let me also be the first to congratulate you. I wish you and Tuma everlasting happiness.” He turned away.
“Jozsef, wait!” He was about to open the door when she grabbed his arm but he jerked it away. “Please don’t go. Let me explain–” the phone rang, interrupting what she had been about to say. Frustrated, she looked at it. She wanted to ignore it and let the machine pick up.
Jozsef glanced over his shoulder, his face like thunder. “You’d better answer it. Maybe, it’s your fiance. You can tell him that your friend cancelled and that you’re free tonight.” Then, he turned and walked out of her apartment.
Source: Love to Know;