Too Bad

“think about it, princess.”

“I’m not one to get down on my knees. That’s more your thing,” Richard remarked casually, as if he was reading a headline in the newspaper. He really thought that would get a reaction out of her, but she just kept dazing off into nothingness. It was almost concerning with how sharp her tongue had grown since being with him. Marjorie going silent was something he wasn’t adjusted to, but it was somewhat comforting – the most peace he’d ever achieve with her around.

“Are you going to open it or what?” He snapped suddenly. “By the time you start breathing again our dinner will probably be here, and this isn’t something I want strangers making a whole show of. So, if we could get on with this, that would be-”

“You aren’t seriously proposing right now – to me – like this – are you?” While he knew there was a question mark at the end of that, she said it like a fact. She sounded forward in her knowledge that this couldn’t be happening. That it would never happen.

It shouldn’t happen, was the only input Marjorie’s brain had to offer. She didn’t open the box.

“I am,” he said, and that sounded more like a question than what she had just asked. Was he? Did this even count? He wasn’t down on one knee, she wasn’t crying. It was void of hugs or kisses or applause from the tables around him. Then again, he didn’t know anybody here. It would be a different story had it been his parents or friends around – then he’d be swinging Marjorie in the air, whispering threats in her ear; that if she didn’t act happy about this then he would never fake an attempt to make her happy at all.

She was considering this his attempt, but it was something she never asked for outright. She was vocal about her need for snuggling, for chaste kisses before leaving in the morning, or for him to ask her how her day had been. All her requests were thwarted by arguments and dismissals from him. There was never a single sign of affection shown on Richard’s end to the point that it felt forced and ugly on the rare occasions she won him over. Yet he didn’t leave. Yet here he was asking to marry her.


They both leaned back in their chairs. Marjorie looked at him quizzically, tilting her head to the side. Her body didn’t hold as much tension as he wished it did. She felt the exact same way about him during that instance.

“Because it’s something you want that I can give.”

“I never said I wanted this.”

And she didn’t. Marjorie didn’t mention marriage at all. She often thought only to herself that it would be nice when they were younger, before the hostility. She didn’t know when he started to hate her. It was as routine to her as the cigarettes she smoked, every day she woke up, until the day she wouldn’t wake anymore. God, how she wanted to light one up in the middle of the almost Michelin-star restaurant that day.

“But I know that you do.” Richard copied her head tilt, trying to imitate the softness of her being. He would never get it right – how naïve and docile the girl could look even when he knew her heartbeat was assaulting her eardrums. He could nearly taste her pulse from across the candlelight dinner. It was so gratifying he didn’t even care that the ring he spent way too much money on for her was still unopened.

Did she not even want to see the possibility of getting to formally say she was his?

It’s funny, because he never even asked her out. When they were kids, she asked him after a month if they would ever make it official.

“I thought you were already my girlfriend.” He had said. She never thought to confirm that he was her boyfriend though. He hoped it played on her mind in retrospect.

He doubted she was dumb enough to believe a flammable piece of paper would, in turn, make her feel as if he was finally, officially hers.

“You’re way off base here, man.” She sounded flabbergasted, borderline amused. It felt like the first time she was seeing this imperfectly perfect person make such an irrational decision. This honestly took the cake out of all the wildly inhumane things Marjorie had known Richard to do or say.

“All I want is for you to act like you care about me.”

“I am.” He half grunted, just starting to get irritated with her obsession of understanding things. Of communicating. Talking. “I’m proposing, for fucks sake. We’re out at an expensive, beautiful restaurant having a lovely date. We live with each other. We fuck each other. We fight with each other. Sounds like any other romantic relationship I’ve ever known of between two adults.”

Marjorie didn’t know how he could come across as so menacing when he was speaking so fluidly. Every word he dropped was drenched in so much honey that Marjorie felt nauseous.

“None of that has to do with caring about me, Richard. And you sure as shit can’t tell me you think you have to care about someone to live with, fight with, or fuck them. I can say I know you better than that at least.” She was sharing in his irritation. They rolled their eyes in unison.

“Seriously though, all I want is just – for you to not act like you hate me. It would be nice if you’d try to act like you enjoy being around me.”

Her heartbeat was so loud by now everything else was blocked out. In a ballroom full of people, it was as if nobody else was talking. Marjorie looked down at her lap and there she cupped her hands together to distract herself. Richard lulled his head back against the headrest of the chair and let out a strained, tiny moan. He was about to be done with this conversation; he didn’t care enough to carry it on for much longer. The ring had a return policy, so he wasn’t that worried either which way.

“But it would be better than that,” was his last-ditch effort at convincing her. She couldn’t tell if he really believed that.

She knew that she didn’t.

“Marriage isn’t anything without that, Richard.”

He reached over the table and put his fingers under her chin, lifting her face to show her his own. How dark his bright blue eyes could get, how starkly disconnected they could be from the rest of his warm façade - it was absolutely chilling. She went rigid in his grasp. His mind felt such relief as he poked her cheek with his middle finger, applying almost an uncomfortable amount of pressure. He just wanted to feel how taut her muscles were, how stressed he could make her. He relished in all the power that took. She looked so malleable in his hands.

“Take some time to think about it, princess.”

He let go of her face roughly, pushing her cheek away with his palm. He tried to make it look as innocent as possible. She understood the display of disregard behind it and her stomach flipped. The temperature surrounding them seemed to drop as they locked eyes and somewhat understood each other.

Yeah, she wanted to be his.

She reclined as far as she could away from him. He leaned towards her, putting his elbow on the table and resting his chin in his hand as he just quietly observed her; Marjorie who sat there so unwaveringly. She could run but instead she just glared back at him, pissed off at the universe for making the man she wanted to love so detestable.

It seemed a lot like he would never be hers.

Richard just shrugged carelessly and reached out with his free hand to snuff out the candlelight between his fingertips.
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gonna be more than 4 chapters, I got way too carried away with this oops