Violet twisted the engagement ring, admiring the sparkle one more time before she ripped it off her finger and threw it against the dresser mirror. She caught a glimpse of the angry-faced girl staring back at her, eyes red from crying and a scowl so deep she could barely see her forehead. She clutched her long auburn hair in clenched fists and let out an anguished scream. Good thing there was no one home.
Falling back on her bed, Violet stared at the greying ceiling. What was she going to tell her parents? How could she make them understand that he was just not the one for her? Sure, he was a ‘good catch’ and had grand ideas of owning his own business someday. He was such a charmer with his deep blue eyes and charismatic personality, and everyone loved him except her. There was just something about him that made her uneasy. She’d fallen for him a few months ago, but now he just didn’t seem the same.
He treated her well, most of the time. There was the odd occasion he’d become annoyed and shout at her, but she could be a bit of a pain sometimes, he said, laughing and squeezing her hand. He never raised his hand to her or threw things, unlike some of the boys she’d known in school.
Was she just too independent, wanting a career of her own before starting a family? Or was it the way he made all the choices for her, ‘being a gentleman’, he’d say, deciding what she should eat at restaurants and telling her what to wear. How could she possibly live the rest of her life not thinking for herself? But was she only being petty about nothing?
“You’ll learn to love him, dear. This childish notion of having to be ‘in love’ to be happy isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Romance won’t keep you warm when the fire goes out.” What did that even mean? Her parents’ words echoed in her uncertainty.
She knew they only wanted what they felt was best for her, but how could she tell them that she felt nothing for this boy? His kiss left her empty, and his arms were weak against her body. She longed to feel passionately in love with someone, a man who would make her feel like a woman. Was that asking too much? Some of her friends, even her own sister, had felt like that and she wanted it also. It just wasn’t fair that she should be forced to marry this boy because he was a ‘good catch’. Then she would spend the rest of her life wondering how true love really feels.
But her parents were getting concerned. After all, she was almost nineteen and getting to the age when people would start calling her a spinster. And no man would want to marry her if she was still single at twenty and ‘over the hill’. Violet threw the bedsheet over her face and tried to block out the horrifying thought.
She rehearsed the conversation over and over, in her mind and in front of her mirror. Practising her best innocent smile as she dashed her parents’ hopes of a businessman for a son-in-law. If that didn’t work, well, she’d had enough practice crying lately. Maybe a deluge of tears would convince them she would be utterly miserable with this boy if they insisted she marry him. She resolved to stand firm for her right to try to find happiness. It was her life, after all.
The rattling of the heavy metal key in the lock chilled Violet all the way down her spine. A droplet of sweat fell over the tip of her nose. “Are you home, Violet? How did it go with your young man today? Did you get things all sorted out?”
Violet inhaled deeply and clenched her fists, bracing herself for the showdown.
I hope you liked my flash fiction piece.