Fiction Friday #3 – The Botched Proposal.


This week’s prompt is from a fair hand – “There was a ring in his teacup…”

*****

There was a diamond ring in the bottom of his cup of Earl Grey. It lay glinting in a small puddle in the curved reservoir, the top of the setting barely peeking out above the milky, opaque liquid. Paul had felt it there earlier when he’d stirred in his sugar, but he’d mistaken its weighty presence for the unmelted sugar cubes clinking against the side of his cup.

Now he was down to the dregs, however, and the presence of the delicately made band in his rapidly cooling beverage was unmistakable. Of course, there was nothing else he could do but call over the waiter and explain what had happened, and pretend to read his paper as the situation was resolved between the waiter and the young man at the table opposite his. Paul feigned indifference as the ring from his tea was placed on the slim finger of a brunette in a bright green sweater. For a brief moment, he considered that he might have proposed the exact same way if he’d ever had the chance, but he was not a young man anymore, and he was used to sitting in cafés alone by now.

As the clapping of the other inhabitants of the small cafe subsided, Paul reread the first paragraph of page 37 for the third time, and reflected that he would have liked to meet a woman like the brunette in green, who drank the same tea that he did, but for multiple reasons, it was probably too late.

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