Saturday, 29 October 2011

Now or Never - A Short Story

I looked at him, my heart aching with love and a million unknown things.
I wanted to give my heart, soul and body to him and share with him my whole universe.
A tear slipped down my cheek as the truth of impossibility covered my mind like a horrible prickly blanket.
This sin fest could not go on any linger. God only knew how far we'd go the next day, and the next.
I bent down and lightly brushed my lips against his- a last, parting, goodbye kiss I told myself as I drew back.
He knew my number. He would call, I did not doubt that.
But he was a boy and I was the girl.
I had to be stronger. More mature.
'I love you.' I whispered in his ear.
He mumbled something but his eyes did not open.
He looked beautiful, stretched out on the recliner like that. All six foot two of him screamed ADORABLE. With his messed up curls to his blue wrinkled pjs.
How could I just LEAVE?
Shaking my head I tried to clear out the thoughts of staying.
Picking up the stray Xbox games off the floor I remembered our hilarious matches the day before.
No, this would not do.
The rush of lovely memories would make me do something I’d only regret later.
Not that I wouldn’t regret leaving.
Bracing myself, I picked up his soft leather jacket And slid my arms through it. His scent still lingered on it, a sweet and spicy cologne and a sweet smoky smell mixed with a light minty flavor.
Shoving my feet through my boots I grabbed my bag.
It was now or never.
I couldn’t help kissing him one more time though.
Just for strength, I told myself. But this time, as I pulled away, he wrapped his arms around me in a loose embrace and whispered incoherent words in my ear. I froze, my heart thudding almost painfully. He would never let me go if he awakened.
Finally his breathing grew regular again and I gently unwrapped his arms from my neck and kissed his palms.
It was time to leave.
I closed the door softly on my way out and tried to unsuccessfully stop the steady flow of tears streaming down my face.
It was now or never.


Adam awoke with a start. He had been dreaming about her leaving him and it hadn’t been pleasant.

'Sammy?' he called out into the darkness. He was however, met with a stony silence. What if... It hadn’t been a dream?

No. That possibility was too terrible to consider. They had agreed she would miss her flight and he'd send her home the next week. Maybe she was in the bathroom? He got up and switched on the light, blinking at its sudden harshness. His jacket was gone. So were her assorted belongings.

Cursing under his breath Adam picked up his phone. Her number was switched off, the answering machine informed him.

Two AM. She'd be almost there by now.

Adam sighed as he sank down in the recliner. They'd cuddled in it most of the day and it was all he could do to keep his fist from slamming into the wall.

How. Could. She. Leave. Him. Like. This?

A stray piece of paper caught his eye. It must have fallen off his chest when he stood up. He swiped it off the ground and read Sammy's almost-cursive writing with a deathly calm.

'I'm sorry. But I can’t live with myself knowing it’s going to be nothing. It’s wrong. And we need to stop. I love you.


Adam was clenching the fragile piece of paper so hard it had turned into a crumpled mess.

He cursed his timing and hers.

All he could do now was wait.


I awoke to the smell of chocolate chip pancakes and strawberries. Ronnie knew of exactly the right comfort food for me and I silently thanked God for such a wonderful best friend.

I was still wearing his jacket.

It still smelt of him.

I would probably never take it off. They could bury me in it if they liked. I was not taking it off.

'Sammy? You up? Come down for breakfast!'


I struggled out of the nest of sheets and pillows and ran a hand through my unruly hair.

Peering in the mirror I starred at the face inside it. A slightly above average looking girl with wavy, crazy black hair and huge black circles around her eyes starred back at me. She wore a black jacket and pink pajamas.

I sighed. Time to get back to life.

As I walked into the kitchen, I rummaged about in the pockets trying to locate my phone. I was really out of it the night before, and couldn’t remember where id chucked it after switching it off.

My hands closed around something hard, lumpy and furry.

'Hey Sam. How’re you feeling now?'

I pulled out the foreign object and starred at it in wonder.

It was a little jewelry box. The type that contained earrings... or pendants or... rings.

'Sam? Wha- oh my God! WHAT’S IN THERE?'

I looked up at Ronnie. The excitement on her face was directly proportional to my confusion.

I slowly opened the box.


Adam paced around his room, trying to calm himself down and told himself more than once to get. A. Grip.

He tried her number for what felt like the trillionth time... He’d lost count somewhere along the twenty third.

The answer machine once again tormented him with horrible thoughts of kidnappings, rape or plane crashes.

'Hey I'm not here right now so leave a message and I'll get back to you a.s.a.p!'

Sammy's musical voice sang out of his phone as he hit the redial button again.

The worst thing was, he had called the airlines and her flight should have landed ages ago. Her parent's also had no clue to where she might be.

Where could she be? Her best friend since high school, Ronnie Becket was in India herself, trying to empower the youth with her spoken verse poetry so she couldn’t have crashed there... unless... she'd come home early? He decided to give that theory a shot and dialed Ronnie's number with shaking fingers.

Please God... Let her be there. Let her be safe, he prayed as he pressed the phone almost painfully to his ear and torturously waited for someone to pick up.


The sharp ring of the phone made me jump and I almost dropped the delicate wonder I held in my hands.

'Sammy. It’s beautiful! Wow. So dude, what’s the plan now?'

Ronnie moved to the offending phone and received it while I continued to stare at the ring.

I was lost and completely confused. What did this mean?

Setting aside my confusion though, I took a minute to admire it.

It was a normal sized diamond set in an intricately carved, very thin, gold band. The carvings were very delicate and their simplistic yet complicated design of randomly organized shapes and swirls really enhanced the bold beauty of the sparkling gem stone. []

I slipped it on my finger in wonder. It was a perfect fit.

'Aah! Sammy this is TO DIE FOR! Who knew he could be so creative right? But man... What are you going to do now?'

I sighed and slid the ring off. 'Ronniie… I DONT KNOW OKAY! I'm so confused. I mean, how is it okay for him to marry me now? Did I miss something? Is this even for me? Why didn’t he talk to me about this before?!' I slumped back into the chair, suddenly feeling exhausted.

This was so unexpected and I was terrified.

Of hoping and falling.

I did not want to get excited or happy about this, because if it turned out to be some sort of an ugly mistake? I knew I would be completely overwhelmed by intense heartache for a long, long time.

'Oh Sammy. Look at me. Adam is a smart boy. I'm sure he figured out a way... and has a perfectly good explanation for this. Why don’t you call him up and TALK to him about this?'

I shook my head. I couldn’t call him today- not after leaving him with just a stupid note speaking of lame 'eternal goodbye' esq things. I’d call him tomorrow, after he had time to think about why I had acted the way I did.

In the meanwhile? I would not let myself hope.

I explained all this to Ronnie and was surprised when she accepted my explanation without question. Frankly, I’d expected a bit more arguing,

'Okay Sam. Have it your way. But dress up tonight okay? I want to take you out tonight and tell you all about India!'

'Ron. That would be amazing.' I smiled at my friend and felt a sudden rush of affection towards her. She truly knew how to cheer me up. Girly gossip and good food was perfect to take my mind off things that had to do with Adam.

Adam… Adam and his strong arms wrapping around me. Adam telling me how much he loved me. Adam hugging me close while I cried about the cruelty of high school jerks. Adam insisting that he'd let me win in all six scrabble games while I chased him around the room waving a frying pan, threatening to injure unless he admitted defeat. And he had, I remembered, with a stupid mushy smile. But not before grabbing me around the waist and pining my arms down while he kissed me soundlessly until I’d stopped struggling and had tossed the pan aside. 'Sammy. I admit it. You won Sunshine.' he'd whispered in my ear while I had grinned triumphantly against his lips.

'Sammy? Hello? Earth to Sam!'

I wrenched my mind away from its idle thoughts.

'Sorry Ron. What were you saying?'

'Oh Sam.’ Ron shook her head with a knowing look, which I chose to ignore. ‘I was saying, can you please go and pick Alex from the airport? His plane lands at eleven but I need to be at work today. Though I will be back by the time you guys get back.'

'Sure Ron. Shall I take your Merc?'
'Yeah, and I'll take the subway today.'

Biting into the warm pancake I enjoyed the semi sweet taste of the chocolate chips flooding in my mouth, while Ronnie went upstairs to change.


It was 10.55am. And I was standing at the airport, waiting for Alex, Ron's boyfriend to land. He'd be coming from Italy this time. Lucky him.
Alex was a pilot, and a pretty good one at that. He had been promoted to a high pilot-y post early on in his career and was always bringing Ronnie quirky presents from far off places.

Once it was an ancient pendant from Egypt with mythical healing powers. Another time he’d gotten her an antique book on empowerment from the middle ages, written by some old British guy.

Ronnie was head over heels for him and they were adorable together.

Alex also made hilarious YouTube videos with Ronnie when they weren’t working, and had quite a large fan following. I joined them in this sometimes, and all of us always had a good laugh over it. Ronnie also recorded her spoken verse poems and put them online. They were a massive success as well.

I watched the arrivals' gate finally blink with the arrival of flight 602.
Soon, I could see the tall lean figure of Alex striding towards me. His friendly, open face was lit up in an adorable dimpled smile as he gave me a bear hug.
'How’s my favorite non-biological sister doing eh?'
'Haha, hi Alex! I'm well... I'll fill you in on my situation soon enough. How are YOU? How was Italy?'
We started off towards the car laughing and talking. Alex had gotten an ear pierced and couldn’t wait to show it off to Ronnie.
Once we were in the car however, he started fidgeting and seemed uneasy.
'Alex, what’s up man? Come on, you can tell me.'
'Well... Sammy, you know how Ron and I have been together for a long time now right?'
'Yeah... five years to be exact.' I replied, unsure where this was leading up to.
'Well. What do you think of this?'
And for the second time that day, I found myself faced with another little jewelry box.
'Oh My God Alex! That’s wonderful! I'm so happy for you!'
He opened the box with a shy smile and showed me the ring inside.

It was beautiful, with a simple silver band topped with three gorgeous diamonds. Two were blue and the one in the centre was the traditional silver-white.
'Its white-gold. Do you think she'll like it?!' I was so happy for Ronnie I felt my heart would burst.
With a broad smile I gushed 'Yes!' and asked Alex the details of the proposal, which he was only too happy and excited to share.


I swiped the mascara wand one last time over my eye lashes and zipped up my turquoise dress.
‘Hm.’ I looked critically at myself in the mirror.
'Well. This is as good as it’s gonna get.' I muttered to myself. My stupid hair was as unruly as ever, no matter how many times I’d tried to straighten it. How did the salon girls do it anyway?! Oh well, since my Taylor Swift/Lindsay Lohan messy-but-sexy hair look wasn’t working out, I just gave it one last brush and moved towards the suitcase to dig out my shoes.
I put on my black strappy heels and shrugged on Adam's leather jacket, to complete my look, and stared in the full length mirror one last time.
'Hm. Not bad.'
'Talking to yourself again?'
I swung around, my heart thudding in my chest. 'RON! You scarred me man!'
She gave a wicked laugh and plopped down on the bed. She looked so sexy, with her chin length hair in wonderful spiky layers and the red dress with the killer black ankle boots.
'You look hot.'
'OmiGod really? Thanks.’ She smiled. ‘So Sam, have you given the ring any thought?'
Not the ring again. I sighed and looked at its purple box on my dressing table.
'Ron, can we please talk about it later? Let’s go and enjoy right now!'
I pulled her up and we walked out off my room.
If I talked about the ring, I would obviously talk about Adam. And that would just fill the large jar of hope in my heart once more. A jar which was made of the most delicate, most breakable glass imaginable.


'Okay, here it is Adam! Good luck. We're at table 35. You still want Alex and I to be there right?!'
Adam gave a swift nod and took the box from Ron.

‘That’s what she’ll want.’ He said.

 He ached to put his arms around Sammy. Kiss away her sadness and make sweet love to her, finally after being in love with her for more than eight years. She was the smartest, wittiest girl he'd ever come to know in all his 26 years. Not many girls could boast of having six best selling books under their belt at twenty six. Nor could they claim to have opened their very own libraries in third world countries. But while he was studying hard to become the successful dentist he was today, Sammy had done exactly that.
He squared his chest and tried to ignore the heavy thumping of his heart.
With purposeful strides he entered the restaurant he'd chosen with Ronnie's help. It was one of Sam's favorites; one of the reasons being that it over looked a beautiful lake where there often were firework shows.  

He motioned to the manager of the eatery.

It was now or never.


'Honored guests, please step out into the lawn for our scheduled firework display. It shall start in a couple of minutes so please do not delay!'

I stood up with Alex and Ron by my side and with the few dozen other guests there, we headed out to the rose garden outside. Tables and cushy chairs were set up in cozy clusters and we settled down in a group close to the lake. They would serve us our choice of dessert while we watched the fireworks.

Ah. This was heaven.

I had no doubt if stolen thoughts of Adam had not constantly been hovering in my mind, if he were here, I’d feel like the happiest girl in the world.
But looking over at my best friends, I knew I somewhat still was. It had been a wonderful evening full of laughs and exotic conversation about far off lands that I hoped to one day visit.
I dug in to my vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries and whipped cream.

 Mmmmmm. This was heaven.

'Ooh look Sam they're starting!' Ron said, and we leaned back to view the show.


Adam stood behind a rose entwined pillar feeling like a huge creep, ogling at Sammy like that. But he couldn’t help himself. She looked so delicious with her eyes closed and that pretty smile on her face, enjoying her dessert. She'd dressed up scrumptiously too. Her hair was just the right amount of messy, falling often into her darkly lined eyes. Her lips had a hint of reddish pink, darker then her natural color by only a few percent, but still incredible sexy.
Her long shapely legs were covered by black leggings ending a little above her delicate ankles, and she wore the silver owl pendant he'd given her for her 19th birthday.
She looked good enough to eat. And completely and utterly perfect.
Boy had he got it bad.
He shook his head and looked at his watch willing for the show to start.
And then suddenly, without warning, it did.
First the basic fireworks erupted spinning blues, flashy yellows and greens and fiery reds.
Sammy was looking at them in delight and whispering to Ron about something, pointing some out to her.
The manager nodded to Adam from across the garden.
This was his cue. He stepped out from behind the shadow of the pillar and strode towards Sammy.

It was show time.


'Oooh look how pretty that one is!'
I pointed at a swirly pink ball of light and watched fascinated how they seemed to burst and vanish into nothing after bestowing upon us such utter awesomeness!
I followed a pretty purple streak, watched it go higher and higher into the air. Suddenly it burst out in a word: 'Will'
Confused I looked at Ron. 'Will? What’s that?'
'Sam just look!' She pointed above and I looked.
'You' -another word had appeared, the 'will' long gone.
As I looked two more words came and went: 'marry me'.
And then the third word made me gasp aloud: 'Sammy?' in pretty cursive and a lot of purple light.

‘Will you marry me Sammy? Well, what do you say?'
I almost jumped out of my seat.
Adam was kneeling by my chair, looking like a freakin' male model in a sharp tux and that signature messy hair of his.
He held the ring I had been so sure to leave at home, in his hands, and was looking at me with determination, and just a hint of nervousness.
'Oh my God! Wha- how? You were supposed believe I was back in Pakistan!'
I whipped my head towards Ron's grinning face and suddenly it all made sense.
The sneaky little witch had all planned this!

Her random disappearances throughout dinner, which I’d pegged down to an upset tummy all made sense now.

Adam was speaking and I turned to him, my eyes locking with his.
'Sammy. I love you. I would do anything and fight anyone to be with you forever and always.' he looked straight at me and added, 'besides Hon you're killing me here, make up your mind!'

I noticed a hush had fallen over the garden. We were the focal point of all the random people here!
'Adam? I...'
It was like everyone took a collective breath.
Hah. It was fun torturing him.
'I... Think that would be a wonderful idea. YES!' I screamed the last word and sank to my knees giving him a bear hug and a huge kiss.
The applause that followed was peppered with hooting and laughter.

It was the perfect proposal.
Ronnie was laughing and so was I as Adam slipped the lovely ring onto my finger.
Giggling like a 13 year old I let Adam pull me up to my feet.

 He brushed my bangs out of my eyes and leaned down to kiss me slowly and thoroughly.
'Get a room!' someone- Alex shouted his voice full of laughter. As we broke apart, before things could get intense, I could not erase the huge grin off my face.
Adam started pulling me towards the exit as I screamed to Ron I’d call her later. Drunk on happiness I gave our audience a bow as Adam rolled his eyes.
To a wonderful, strong, funny, kind man.
To the love of my life.
And I did not care who knew the intensity of my complete happiness.



My heart was still beating pretty fast as I half dragged Sammy away from the restaurant. The moments before she'd said yes? I was convinced she was about to reject me for trying to convince her for the past so many years that our marriage was not a practical, or possible notion.
But I had realized, [and thank God for that]no matter what I had  told myself and her, life without Sammy was like living with a piece of me missing.

This time, I would take her to the alter and make her mine forever.

No matter what.
5 months later.

I looked at Adam and saw the hunger in his eyes. He moved towards me and a delicious shiver ran down my back as I backed into the wall behind.
'Um Adam. Don’t you think we should, um, discuss things? And talk about the wedding? Like, haha do you remember how Aunty Miriam tried to introduce you to her daughters-'
But I was silenced with a kiss that reached down to the very tips of my toes and to the- as cheesy as it sounds- core of my being.
'Today,' whispered Adam, moving his lips to my ear 'We're going to finish what I always try to start honey.' The tiny hairs on my body arose with goose bumps as he reached behind to the zip of my wedding dress. He gently turned me around and unpinned my hair, letting it cascade around my shoulders in soft waves. 'Mmm you smell so good. Like strawberries and flowers.'

His face was by my shoulder now, close to my hair and he pushed it to the side, sliding his lips deliciously on my necking and kissing me there slowly.
A soft sound escaped my throat as I felt wonderful sensations flood my body. My hands reached behind and held his soft curls, my body pushing backwards into his.
Adam pulled back and slowly slid the zipper of my dress down, until the poufy and lacy garment fell around my ankles. I turned around and smiled as my husband's lips curved into a sweet smile. 'Sammy. You're beautiful.'
I flushed and tried to hide how happy that one comment always made me feel when it came from him.
It wasnt even that I was naked.
Nope. I was still wearing a lacy camisole and underwear.
Oh well. I decided. If this was finally gonna happen, I guess I’d better make sure I had the upper hand.
So with purpose, I gave Adam one of my best 'sexy' smiles and moved closer to him. I slowly licked my lips and watched how his eyes narrowed in lust and love. Pressing my body into his, I wrapped my arms around his neck and stood on tip toe to meet his wonderful sensuous lips with my slightly wet ones.
As we kissed, slowly, Adam's hands slipped inside my cami and travelled up to the once forbidden territory. I squirmed against him, feeling a number of wondrous sensations wrack my body as I slowly sucked on his lower lip, lightly biting it and enjoying him squirm for once, pushing me closer to his chest.
With a flick of his hand, he'd torn of the thin garment that covered my chest and tummy, revealing the lacey bra I was wearing underneath.
His lips started moving down, and where ever his hot mouth touched my warm skin, I felt that point of my body erupt into liquid fire.
I ran my hand under his shirt, feeling the light sprinkling of hair and the hard muscle of his chest.

We continued our caresses and explored each other’s body more thoroughly than we ever had.
The teasing and sweet torture went on late into the night when finally Adam whispered once again into my ear.
'Its now or never Sammy. '

I nodded my consent and we sank into wondrous heated passion in each other’s arms, feeling like the two happiest, most loved people on earth.

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