Tony and Olivia, my neighbors, were sitting at our usual table as Ally, our waiter friend, stood next to them. She held a notepad in her hand as she wrote down their order.
The Cheesecake Factory was mostly empty, only seating a handful of people, aside from my friends. I walked in and made my way towards their table then sat down.
“Are you-” Tony says before getting cut off my Oliva.
“Happy birthday,” she said, handing me a green gift bag.
“Thank you,” I replied, grabbing the bag then sitting down in the booth in front of her.
“It’s from the both of us,” she quickly added after Tony ignored my existence.
“I have something to-” I started but got cut off by Ally.
“Zachary asked me to prepare something special for you, I’ll bring it right out,” she said, not giving me enough time to talk as she walked away from me.
“Do you know anything about this?” I questioned Oliva; immediately she turned to look at Tony, giving him the same questioning look I giving her.
“What is it you wanted to talk about?” Olivia asked but again I was interrupted. Ally came back holding a plate with a burger in one hand and a glass cup in the other.
“One classic burger, no onions, extra tomatoes, and a diet coke,” she said smiling as she set the plate and cups in front of me. My stomach growled and I heard Tony chuckle but then cover it up by coughing and looking back down at his phone. I grabbed the burger and took a huge bite in order to satisfy my monster of a stomach.
“Look who’s coming in,” Ally whispered, nudging me as a bell chimed, announcing someone’s entrance. She walked away leaving me a clear view as to who walked in. I shallowed my mouth full of food and looked up at the door to see Zachary, making his way to our table
“I see that Laura is already pigging out,” Zachary chuckled as he stood where
Ally stood seconds before, right next to my side of the booth and leaning on the table.
“I am not pigging out,” I argued looking up at him, “I am simply having a very unladylike lunch that you prepared for me.”
He pulled out a slice of tomato from my burger, “Let me have some,” he said right before he ate the slice in one bite. He reached in for more and I slapped his hand away.
“This is mine, stop stealing,” I yelled at him.
“You’re mine,” he paused, “and I paid for it,” he stole a couple fries before sitting down next to me in the booth. I could feel my cheeks were a bright red with the heat radiating off my face.
“Ally, refill,” was all I managed to get out as I held my empty glass out for her to take.
“Right on it,” she smiled and ran off to the back. I placed the empty cup back down on the table when Ally came back and stood onto of a chair.
“ALRIGHT LADIES AND GENTLEMAN WE HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE.” Ally yelled as she pointed down at us. Zachary pulled me out of the booth as everyone stared at us, confusion plastered on their faces.
“What are you doing?” I asked as he kneeled down in front of me. He held a small, unopened, black box in his hand. The sweat coming out of the pores on his forehead could be seen from a mile away as he repeated the same very words that had me frozen in place. I heard him swallow before speaking.
“Marry me,” he repeated. I stood there wide-eyed after I knew that was, in fact, what I heard the first time.
“Yes,” I managed to choke out, “yes, yes, yes.” I finished, in a low whisper.
He stared at me then stood up quickly, his eyes filled with joy as he slid the ring onto my finger. Soon after his lips smashed into mine while he wrapped his arms around my body. I closed my eyes only to be interrupted by the sound of people clapping loudly around us. With my heart pounding in my ears and the blood rushing through my cheeks, I dug my face into his shirt as blood rushed to my cheeks.
“Zachary, can we please leave?” I asked, hating the attention from other customers in the small Denny's. He chuckled and held me closer, concealing my face.
“Guys, she's a little shy. Let’s give her some space,” he said aloud, never letting me go. I smacked his arm and looked up at him. He knew that I hated when he talked like I wasn’t there.
“I’m right here you know. I’m not deaf or mute. I can still hear and speak perfectly fine.”
“I’m sorry babe.” He said, kissing my forehead. I stuck out my tongue at him in disgust when I heard something.
“She’s being such a spoiled brat, she just got proposed to and she is saying she hates everything about him proposing.” a girl said behind me. I felt Zachary’s hand warp around my waist and he leaned down, kissed my neck, and whispered;
“Don’t let them get to you. Their just jealous they don’t have me,” he said cockily and kissed my lips, pressing them tightly against mine.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and stood on my toes. He always liked it when I did that. Even though I still didn’t come close to his height.
“Get a room,” Ally said as she pushed Zachary softly. He sat down next to Tony in the booth, pulling me down in the process, and sitting me on his lap.
His phone vibrated on the table, he looked at the small banner that came up at the top of his cracked iPhone screen. I saw his face grow pale in seconds, fear clear in his eyes.
“Who is it,” I asked and leaned back on his chest a little more too see the screen.
“Nothing babe, Don’t worry about it,” he whispered and put his phone in his back pocket before sitting me down next to him, against the window. He slid out of the booth and kissed my cheek before saying goodbye.
“What was that all about?” Olivia whispered loud enough for everyone at the table to hear as she looked at the door that Zachary just walked out of.
“I have no idea,” I whispered back. Immediately we turned around and looked at Tony.
“W-what,” he asked. The fear in his eyes was as bright as the sun.
“Talk,” Olivia ordered as Tony sunk deeper into his chair.
“I don’t know anything,” Tony said as Ally walked by again with my diet coke refill.
“What’s going on? Why did Zachary walk out like that?” Ally asked as she set down the drink on a coaster. She looked over at Olivia as she interrogated Tony but then directed her attention back towards me. Her co-worker called her from a distance and she brushed him off as tears filled my eyes.
“I think it's real,” I whispered, taking in the reality of it all.
“What's real,” Ally said as she rubbed my back softly, laying my head on her chest as I cried. I felt bad about dirtying her shirt so I tried backing away but she forced me onto her chest and held me in place as bottled up tears began to pour out, “sweetie, it's okay. You don’t have to tell me. Just let it all out,” she continued.
“Tony, you better tell me what the hell is going on. You're close to Zach, what has he been up to lately?” Olivia questioned him.
“All I know is that he's been too busy to log on to his console,” Tony replied as he had his hands in the air, trying to back away from Olivia.
I lifted my head as Ally's co-worker came by the table. His smile vanished at the first sight of me.
“Ally, I'm sorry but I need to talk to you right now,” he whispered, but I caught it.
“Can't you see I'm busy with my friend?” she replied, glaring angrily at him.
“It's about your fiancé,” he said as he looked over at me. I instantly shot up and waited for him to say something about him.
“If it's about my fiancé then why do you need to talk to Ally,” I cried.
“I think I know why he suddenly left,” he said, questioning whether he should speak.
“Talk,” Ally demanded. I could tell he was scared of the information that he held.
“Well… A few days ago he came here with a-” he started, “a man,” he finished, letting our minds wonder freely. His silence only igniting the flame of my imagination.
“So it’s true,” I whispered, “h- he has been cheating, all along.”
“Are you sure that what you’re saying it true?” Ally asked.
“I- I knew he was cheating on me. I tried to ignore it. I knew there was something off about him but I didn’t know he was…gay.” I cried, taking off my ring, and tossing it. The ring didn’t make a sound as it hit the floor. People around us not noticing my total breakdown and though I was grateful it only made me crave attention.
“Laura,” Olivia whispered as she rubbed my back softly.
“If he’s gay, why did he propose to me in the first place?” I managed to choke out.