A Love That Poets Have Only Dreamed Of. Short Story.

Happy Halloween and all that jazz! Todays short story is probably more suited for valentines day, but it is still horror! had the idea floating around for a while but never got around to writing it.
It’s kinda weird, we didn’t put up any decorations up this year, nor did we carve a pumpkin. It’s very strange to not do those things, but we didn’t really think of doing anything. Ah well. Next year will just have to be so much better and more amazing. Although chances are next year will be the same. I’m not going out this year cos I can’t, which is kinda a pain, but next year I am going to have an amazing costume, I’m putting a picture of my costume from last halloween as my profile pic on facebook for the day, in honour of the occasion. I meant to do it earlier, but good intentions and hell and all that.

Anyway, on with the show!

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A Love That Poets Have Only Dreamed Of.

He walked along the road carefully, going over again and again what he was going to do, today was the day he would propose to Libby, they’d been going out for a long time, almost three years now and he figured that Valentines day would be the perfect day to propose, the most romantic day too. It might be a bit cliché, but it didn’t matter to him, it was what he wanted and he knew she would say yes, they loved each other.

He had the day planned out perfectly, he would pick her up, then together they would go to dinner, he had booked a table in the restaurant where they had their first date, they would enjoy a meal together, then, they would return to his place, together, where he had prepared everything. The hallway was lined with roses, leading to the kitchen, where they would have dessert, he had picked up the pastries from the little café they both loved so much. Then afterwards, he would bend down on one knee and propose and she would say yes.

He remembered the first time they had met, the first day of college, how shy they both were then, both of them looking for the same class, both hopelessly lost. They had both felt the connection immediately and together they found the room and after they went for coffee. He’d asked her out when they left the small café and she agreed.

He’d been so nervous, meeting her for dinner, getting ready, making sure he was dressed nice and that he looked ok. When he picked her up they went to the restaurant and had stayed there for hours, no doubt annoying the staff, and just talking. It was like they had known each other all their lives, both feeling the intense passion. Both were surprised by it, agreeing they never thought something like that could happen outside of TV and movies, yet there they were, already madly in love. He knew from that first meeting that he would marry her. He never told her that of course, he didn’t want to come across as creepy, after all, this was the woman he could spend the rest of his life with. Someday he would tell her this, but at the time he thought he would never breathe a word of it to anyone, ever.

They tried to take things slowly, she had played hard to get at first, but he won her over pretty quickly. Though they both wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, they agreed that college was more important, they had all the time in the world to be together, to find love. They had the discussion together and decided together that taking things slow would be best, but now that they were in their final year, it was time. They could have a long engagement and then marry in the spring in a year, maybe two. They had discussed marriage before and their lives together, both wanted children, hopefully a boy and girl, but any combination would be fine. They shared what they wanted in their future house together, potential names, she had even told him her plans for their wedding day. Both knowing they were safe sharing these things with one another. After all, they were in love.

The day was vaguely cloudy, but he didn’t care because tonight would be the greatest day of his life. He would propose and she would say yes. As he walked, he daydreamed about their future together, how amazing it would be, they would be together forever, their love shining bright amongst the stars.

It was almost time to pick her up and he felt anticipation thrill up and down his spine. He drove to her house, slowly so as not to be too early, he could barely stand the wait, almost unable to sleep the night before, but it was fine now. This was the day and everything would be perfect. Their relatinoship had already survived so much, they’d moved together, changed colleges and everything, but still their love survived.

He parked on the side of the road and stepped out of the car, trying to slow his breathing. It would be some time before he proposed and if he wasn’t careful he would do it as soon as she opened the door. He had worried about that so he left the ring at home, he was always thinking ahead.

He strolled up the pathway, looking around the garden, she would be so much happier when she moved in with him, when they moved into their own house. He knocked on the door and waited, after a few seconds, she opened the door and all the love he felt for her came crashing down at once, a forceful wave almost preventing him from breathing. She was so radiant, wearing a white dress, short, but not revealing, her long, dark hair hanging in a shining curtain, her eyes sparkled with excitement. She paused in opening the door and looked at him for a second, “Hello” “Hi” it was a game they sometimes liked to play, pretending they didn’t really know each other. “Can I help you?” she was such a kidder. “I’m here to pick you up.” “For what?” “Our date.” She looked at him for a second before her eyes widened in recognition. “Steve?” His smile broadened, “What are you doing here?” “I told you, I’m here to pick you up for our date.” “Steve, we broke up three years ago, when is this going to stop? I already told you, I’m not interested.” his smile faltered slightly. “I love you, you know I love you and I know you love me too.” “Look, Steve, I’m sorry, but if you don’t leave I’m going to have to call the police. You’re not supposed to be within a three hundred feet of me, you know that. Leave. Now.” “But, it’s different now, I’ve changed.” “It doesn’t matter Steve. Just leave.” “I’ve done everything I can for you.” She began to close the door over and he stepped forward, blocking it with his foot. “Steve. Move your foot please.” she tried to keep her voice level, calm. She had thought it was over, she had even moved to another college six hours away. The amount of times she had seen him and not recognised him, he looked so different now. He’d shaved his hair shorter, grown some stubble and lost a lot of weight. “I can’t I love you.” “Ok Steve, but please, move your foot. I need a moment to get ready. I…I forgot about our date. Just give me one second to change.” Her mind was working quickly, she had to close the door, then she could ring the police, get them out here quickly. “Ok, can I wait inside?” “No, I uh, I want it to  be a surprise when you seem me.” his face clouded over slightly, “This isn’t a trick is it?” “What? No, of course not. I just forgot the day is all, I was just being silly.” “I don’t believe you. You’re lying to me.” he was raising his voice, she glanced desperately around, hoping there would be someone walking, someone out in the garden, someone she could signal for help. “I’m not, I swear I’m not.” “Then why won’t you let me in?” He stood closer to the door, trying to push it open. “Just give me one second ok?” her mind reeled, shit what could she do? She could let him in and hide in the bedroom, but what if he tried to follow her in there. She could always go out the back window or something if she had to. “Ok, I’m going to let you in, but you have to promise that you won’t look, I have a really nice outfit already prepared for today and I don’t want the surprise to be ruined.” He smiled, “Ok, I promise.” She opened the door slowly, and let him in. Her heart pounding she tried to walk calmly to the bedroom. She’d ring the police from there, then bail out the back window, she could hide in a neighbours or hail a taxi to a police station or something. They’d protect her there. She’d left her phone in the kitchen, stupid, stupid, stupid. “You can wait here, I’ll be back in a minute.” she gestured towards the sitting room, trying to figure out what to do. She wouldn’t even bother ringing the police, out the window, she could get to safety first, then ring them. That’s what she’d do.

“I’ve prepared a great day, I hope you’re excited about it” something stung her neck, she tried to turn, to run, to do anything, but she couldn’t her body wasn’t responding, her vision started to cloud, then darken before finally turning black.

She woke up, tied to a chair, her mind was slow and groggy. Around her were candles and bouquets of roses, the candles had halo‘s, sparkling slightly as they wavered. “Oh, good, you’re awake. I didn’t want to do that Libby, but I think you were lying to me before. Not that it matters now, after all, you were going to end up here either way. I have a special night planned for us.” she tried to remain calm, “Of course I wasn’t lying, these ropes are unnecessary, just untie me and we can have a nice meal together.” Her voice was slightly slurred but her mind was catching up quickly as it cleared. The table in front of her was carefully laid out, if he untired her she could do something to get away, stab him, run, get a phone, get outside anything. “Oh, it’s too late for that, unfortunately.” He carefully lifted one of her fingers and slid the ring onto it, the metal band was cold against her skin. “We’re going to be together forever.”

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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