Tuesday, September 20, 2022

As promised last month, this is the first part of the first short story from The Art of Proposing. A preview of the next story will be posted on October 20th. Don’t forget to check it out.

Logan’s Turn

    Logan almost expected Violet to hand him a script when she opened the door.
    She said, “Hi. Come on in.” There was nothing in her hands.
    Logan followed her inside and closed out the chill.
    She sat in the old armchair and nodded for him to pick a spot on the couch. It felt like a performance review. When those were obligatory and unhelpful. “So I’m not sure how much I should beat around the bush here,” Violet said. “What exactly did Audra tell you?”
    “Too much,” Logan said. Audra had told him too much.
    “She wants you to propose on Valentine’s Day.”
    “Yes, I know.” He sounded more irritated than he’d intended.
    Violet smiled understandingly. She knew it wasn’t directed at her. “I kind of thought sending you to me for advice was overkill, but I didn’t realize she’d already spelled it out so clearly.”
    “You know Audra,” he said. Violet had been her best friend for almost five years. “She always spells things out more clearly than she thinks she does.”
    Violet laughed. “You should’ve heard her trying to tell me how to casually slip in how she mentioned she was hoping for a proposal without saying that was the whole reason you were here. I mean, I gave you credit for knowing I wanted to talk to you because Audra told me to.”
    He’d have felt a little weird about accepting an invitation to come over when Audra wasn’t home if he hadn’t known exactly what it was about, but knowing what it was about was the problem. “Since I am here, maybe you wouldn’t mind trying to offer some real advice?”
    “I can try.” Violet looked interested but not eager, which made it easier to put her in the middle.
    Not that Logan would have put her in the middle if Audra hadn’t already done it. He punched at the pillow next to him as he spoke. “This is what Audra said. She said, ‘You didn’t do it at Christmas. You didn’t do it on New Year’s or my birthday. I know you know what day is Monday.’ Then she moved on like she’d just dropped a little hint for me to ponder when I knew what she was saying even if she didn’t use the word propose and even before you wanted to talk about ‘something.’”
    “Hmm. Now I’m wondering how Audra got to be so persuasive. I mean, we both knew this was unnecessary and yet here we are.” Violet motioned between them with a bemused expression, as though she was trying to remember how she’d agreed.
    It was simple. Audra always tried to make other people happy, which made them want to return the favor. “I was already… I got the ring before Christmas,” Logan said. “But then I worried it was too soon after I…” He paused, not sure if Audra had told Violet about his accidental proposal and not wanting to go into it if she didn’t know.
    “After you sort of accidentally proposed?” she supplied, not bothering to hide how funny she thought that was.
    Audra had definitely told her. He nodded and continued. “I thought she’d want me to ask on a day that was already significant, but if it was too soon after the other thing, it might sound like a joke. Valentine’s Day is the last in a string so… But then she pointed that out. She told me when to do it and that she’s looking forward to being surprised. I can’t do both.”
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