The highly-awaited finale to Casey and Marie.
Now that Casey sat at his dressing table after the day’s events with only the table lamp to illuminate the room, his thoughts drifted to Marie yet once again in after so long, unaware that she was thinking of him at the same time.
It was in the third year of the relationship that the feeling of wanting to settle down arrived at his door. And with Marie’s birthday just around the corner, he had planned an elaborate surprise. He had treated it like any other year and gave nothing away, instead whisked her away for a stay in one of the expensive water resorts and treated her to a spa package, which raised her suspicions but she said nothing.
They took an evening walk under the sunset around the resort, capturing their moments together and of the beautiful water scenery on pictures.
“It’s one of those rare days that we’re able to take time off from our hectic schedule and stop to breathe and relax.”
To her surprise, Casey pulled her close and kissed her cheek.
“It’s your birthday, Marie.” He smiled. “The birthday girl deserves her well-needed break from her work.”
“Thank you, Case. I really appreciate it.”
The conversation faded off into the distance when Marie stopped, took a shot of the sea ahead of her. She loved this place too much that she wanted to return here for their wedding or their honeymoon but wasn’t sure if Casey was on the same page, brought it up.
She looked up at him. “Case, can I ask something?”
“Sure,” he replied, his eyes on his camera lens and ready to snap a picture. “Go ahead.”
“Do you love this place?”
“I won’t say I love, but I like it. Why?”
“Would it bleed us to the core if we hold our wedding here? Or return here for our honeymoon?”
He stopped short in his actions. “We’ll have to inquire with the event manager first, my dear.”
“But are you open to the idea?”
“Sure, why not? It’d be lovely!”
Seeing his moment, he kept the camera in his pocket and unearthed the little red box that contained it and hid it behind his back when Marie wasn’t looking.
“Marie, there’s something I want to ask you,” he began.
She turned to face her boyfriend. “What’s that, Case?”
“I’m sorry I didn’t prepare a bouquet of rose flowers and even though you don’t fancy flowers, I hope you don’t mind.” With that being said, he suddenly knelt on one knee with the cover of the little box opened.
Her free hand flew to her mouth as a wave of shock engulfed her while she tried to digest the sudden surprise.
And as luck would have it, a crowd suddenly gathered around them for that romantic moment.
“Marie Winters, would you marry me?”
Those words sent tears rolling down her face and she could only nod her head, agreed. A big grin broke out on his face as Casey rose to his full height, inserted the ring into her left ring finger before the couple exchanged a kiss and a hug.
As the execution of the wedding proposal played in his mind, he sighed, wondered where he had went wrong in the relationship to deserve such a treatment. A sudden ringing of his cell phone however broke through into his thoughts at that moment and he picked up the call, suspected nothing.
"It's me," the caller replied.
The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Neither did he expect her to keep his number nor ring him up after all these months when she could enjoyed a night out with her beau instead.
“Can we meet up?”
"Why don't we talk on the phone instead?"
He heard a sigh. "It's about us.... and I have to repent for my wrongs."
He sighed, considered the suggestion. She sounded genuine in her request but he wasn't sure if he was ready to forgive and forget.
"All right," he spoke and gave the time and place to meet.
Once he was sure she had the time and place agreed upon, he killed the call.
It was never in his character to play anyone out but he thought exactly that at the last minute, leaning against his car opposite the park. Facing her would mean sweeping up the ache that had traumatized the last six months of his life.
But Marie was ten minutes behind schedule and was nowhere to be seen.
Stella's words surfaced in his mind as he waited, debated on staying or leaving.
You'll have to face the matter between you and Marie eventually and straighten things out. If you two come out of it as friends, it's good but if it turns south, it's just as fine. At least you've given it a shot.
He suddenly caught a glimpse of Marie pacing towards the park and caught up with her.
He realized that his friend had been right all along. Making the decision to meet his former fiance after the disengagement had proved beneficial for both parties. The remaining ache and burden in his heart had slowly melted away, allowed him to genuinely wish her the future that awaited her and him to move on in search of the happiness that he truly deserved.
It also allowed Marie to rid herself of the guilt that had haunted her.
"I don't know if I'm able to forgive you now, Marie." He sadly smiled. "Only time with tell."
"I'm so sorry, Casey." Marie caressed his face. She had, by now, already lost count on the amount of times she had apologized. "I don't know what got onto me. I won't dare to seek your forgiveness since the betrayal I caused was so deep. But promise me one thing, Case, appreciate what you have with Stella and make it work though."
"There's something you should know. Stella and I were never together, merely good friends to start with."
"Don't blame her; it was my idea that we hooked up to turn the table on you."
"Oh, man." She reached out and embraced her in a hug, surprised him. "Well, then. I hope you'll meet your lady of your dreams and have eternal happiness with her."
She looked at the sky above them and burst into silent, buried tears, fully knowing that this was the last time that she will see Casey.