I left Serge’s house and went to the mall. I didn’t know how long Declan planned to be out with Madison but hopefully he’d stay out past lunch. Hopefully, he didn’t go to the mall either. One thing about ring stores. They’re always open, flat and it’s hard not to get caught going to them. I hope no one saw me ring shopping either. How did celebrities keep their marriage proposals secret? I guess maybe they had a family member or butler go out and buy it maybe.
I walked along the cases of rings. I was looking through all of them. Seeing what caught my eye. What would suit Declan? I was used to his finger being bare. But I had been used to his neckline being bare and now I was used to seeing a bouquet of flowers around it. I fiddled with my paint palette charm looking through the rings. I ignored the more feminine and giant-diamonded ones, I didn’t like them and neither would Declan. I looked at the gold wedding bands adorned with small diamonds or a single diamond.
“Do you need help, sir?” one of the employees asked.
“I’m not sure what they would like,” I answered honestly.
I tried to exclude pronouns in case the employee had issues with it.
“It’s always hard. Picking the right ring,” the employee replies.
“Yeah,” I replied politely not really wanting to draw attention in case someone recognized me.
I moved on to another case hoping they’d get the hint and leave me to look on my own. This case had thicker rings, similar to the ones I saw in graduation ring catalogs. I never got a high school ring. I didn’t really want to remember high school much less waste three-hundred dollars on some ring I’d probably never wear.
I spotted a silver ring with a colored gem instead of a diamond in it. The label read “Opal”. I think Declan would like the colors. It reminded me of his paintings.
“Excuse me,” I called the employee over. “Can I see this one?”
I pointed to the opal ring.
The ring would probably have to get resized since most of these were made for women seeing as that was the norm. I didn’t know Declan’s ring size either. I’d probably have to use myself as a template and get it a size or two bigger than what I needed.
The employee unlocked the case, slid the glass door aside and pulled the opal ring out of its holder.
“That’s a pretty choice,” they commented.
I studied the ring. It actually seemed to be a pretty large size. I wanted to try it on but I didn’t want to be looked at funny because they probably still thought it was for a woman at this point. But I needed to know if it would fit. I glanced around and slide the ring onto my ring finger. It was loose and would probably fit Declan fine.
“I’ll take it,” I replied slipping it off my finger.
“Do you need a sizing done, sir?” they asked.
“No, I think it’ll fit fine,” I replied.
I suddenly felt like I was being watched. Somebody had noticed me.
“Okay, I’ll just get a box and meet you by the till,” they replied.
They went off. I turned around and inspected my surroundings. That was when I spotted Madison watching me. Was she here with Declan?
“Hi, stranger,” she commented approaching me.
“Is Declan here?” I asked nervously.
“No, we went to breakfast. Discussed the paintings. Parted. I dropped the paintings off at the gallery and now I’m shopping,” she replied holding up some shopping bags.
“Did he go home?” I asked.
“I don’t think so. He said he was going painting. He needed to take his mind off his mom,” she replied. “Are you ring shopping?”
“Yeah, do you think it’s too soon?” I asked nervously.
“It’s been two years. I think it’s reasonable. Can I see the ring?” she replies.
“Come on,” I led her to the register.
I paid and we left the store. Once we were out of the way in the halls of the mall I took the ring box out and opened it for Madison.
“It’s beautiful,” she commented. “He’ll love it.”
“You think so?” I reply.
“It’s not all about the ring. He’ll love it because you’re asking him,” she continues.
“I need to get home before he does. I want it to be a surprise. The surprise won’t work if I’m late. It just made him worry last time,” I reply.
“Good luck,” she comments.
She waves as she walks away.
I make my way back to my purple Camaro. I drive home and start to contemplate where to propose. Most people went out. To their favorite restaurant or where they first met or had their first date. But I had a better idea. I found a blindfold and waited for Declan to come home. I was going to take him to the lake. It was beautiful there and with any luck, my peace sign made of rocks would still be there. I thought it was perfect.
Well, I waited I fiddle with the ring box in my pocket. I was nervous. Declan pulled up to the house at 4:30 pm. I didn’t know if I should take him now or have supper first.
“Hey,” he greeted getting out of his jeep.
He opened up the back door of the jeep and grabbed bags out of it.
I stood up and opened the front door so he could place the bags inside. Once everything was unloaded Declan stood on the front step with me.
“I have a surprise for you,” I started quietly.
“What is it?” he asked brightening.
I held up the blindfold. “Put it on.”
He lifted the blindfold and tied it over his eyes. I helped him get into the passenger seat of the jeep. I took the keys from him and got in the driver side.
“Where are we going?” he asked turning his head blindly as if trying to see.
“You’ll see,” I reply.
I started the jeep and pulled out of the driveway.