Have it. I don't want it.
I stepped out of the sheet of icy rain now pummeling us and onto the equally wet porch. Still feeling the heavy raindrops I looked up, only to see a gaping hole in the roof right above where I was standing. I backed up slightly before my feet gave way to the slippery, muddy wood. I immediately reached behind me for some sort of ledge or railing to grab on to, but not finding anything, I fell backward, throwing my hands behind me to catch myself. Landing on my wrists and a now oddly angled ankle, the fall itself wasn't that bad. It was the aftermath that got to me. I felt a shooting pain all the way up to my knee on the leg I landed on. I scooted back on the filthy ground and pulled myself up on a support beam beside me. I wasn't sure if I could put much weight on my ankle, but I really did not want to test it at the moment.
"Well, if you're done with that little escapade, you are welcome to come inside," Kristen laughed. I smirked at her as she turned and headed in the door, me limping not far behind. I made it quickly to the entrance and went inside, holding onto anything around me for support, like tables or cabinets, but doing my best to at the same time disguise my pain. After all, it didn't hurt that bad. She turned up the stairs to change out of her wet clothes, which I realized gave me a small envelope of time to figure out exactly how to give it to her. My hand shot down to my pocket where the velvet box, now wet on the outside, encased the ring I was going to use to propose to Ana with. I could feel tears stinging in my eyes just thinking about her. Today. I was going to propose today. I was just a day too late. If I had done it yesterday, she would have died engaged to me. Or maybe she wouldn't have died. But she went over her friend Cynara's house. I took the tiny box out of its current pocket and snapped open the lid. Sitting there, surrounded by soft white silk, was the gold ring with the diamond adjourning the front. I took the ring out and threw the box in the fireplace. It did, after all, have her name engraved in it, and I couldn't bear to look at it. So there I stood, clutching the ring in my wet hands.
Kristen returned, dry and clean, making me feel extremely intrusive, standing in her living room and sopping rain water on her floor. "You can take your jacket off," she suggested, and I obliged, slipping it off. I hugged it close to my body for warmth and because I didn't want to make a bigger mess. While her home was large and inviting, it felt extremely drafty. What I didn't realize though is that I was only making myself wetter, which in turn made it colder. She walked over to the fireplace, and I hoped she wouldn't see the ring case. When she lit a long match and ignited the logs, I assumed she didn't see it and was extremely thankful. I shivered and inched closer to the warmth of the now lit fireplace. She walked over to me and took my jacket, wringing it out slightly over the sink in the next room before hanging it up in a closet. Afterward, she walked over to her couch and sat back, finally starting to relax a little. She leaned over, peering into the kitchen. She got back up and slipped away into the kitchen. I tried to see what she was doing without leaning over, but I ended up stumbling. Luckily, I caught myself before I fell. But when I almost fell, I clenched my fist, and now there was a small stinging in the palm of my hand. Unfurling my fingers, I found the culprit of the new cut on my palm. There sat the engagement ring, my blood tingeing the color of the diamond. I wiped it off quickly on my shirt, and pushed my thumb into the cut to clot the bleeding. By the time the bleeding stopped, Kristen had come back with two mugs of coffee.
"How do you take your coffee?" she asked, setting one mug down on an end table and bringing the other to me.
"Oh, um, black is fine." I said. I really didn't care, to tell the truth.
"You sure?" she questioned, and I nodded, so she retreated back to the couch. "You can come sit down, you know. I won't bite." She motioned toward the opposite end of the couch. I panicked, not wanting to walk all the way across the room because the fire was so warm and my ankle was starting to throb.
"No, I can't. I'm..." I rushed for an excuse, "wet." I finished. "And it's really warm over here by the fire," I said, trying to sound as convincing as possible. She looked at me, cocking an eyebrow.
"You're wet. This couch has been through so much that a little water won't matter. Are you cold?" she said, thinking about my ending. Before I had the chance to tell her I was fine, she came over and grabbed my wrist, dragging me over to the couch. I cringed in pain, but I don't think she noticed. "Sit. I'll be right back" she said, both commanding and gentle at the same time. Her sister was never this...bossy. But it was kind of nice. This couch was better than standing, after all. She left the room, and I slipped off my shoes. The swelling had made the edge of the shoe rub up against my foot and it was irritating me. She returned minutes later with a thick, blue blanket and draped it over me. My body was flooded with the feeling of warmth, and I took a sip of the coffee.
"You know, I was fine. You didn't have to do all this," I said, motioning to the blanket and coffee. "But thanks." I said.
"Oh, I know I didn't have to. It's just, I need things to busy myself when I am upset, or else I get too deep into thought and I can't pull myself out. And you looked like you needed the blanket. I saw you shivering." She told me, matter-of-factly. "But enough about that, why did you come all the way to California?" she asked, getting straight to the point. I thought for a moment about how I was going to tell her.
"Today, I was going to...to do something for Ana. But now I c-can't." I opened my hand and showed her the ring. She jumped, and gasped in shock. "Now that she's- well, she just-..." I tried to finish my sentence but the words wouldn't come out. She nodded in understanding, but I could see the cogs turning in her head trying to figure out why I didn't say the word-DEAD. She was, after all. I just couldn't grasp that concept though.
"Oh, Gee. I'm so sorry." She told me and she scooted over on the couch and started rubbing my back comfortingly. "But I don't get what this has to do with me..." she realized suddenly.
"Well, you see, I wanted you to just...I can't keep the ring anymore. It's just too hard to look at." I said, grabbing her hand and thrusting the ring into it.
"I couldn't. Can't you take it back?" she asked me, but I just shook my head.
"The journey back to the Jeweler's would be too sad. And I just want you to keep it, okay?"
I heart reviews. They make me update faster. So please? Ily. Rae