I swallow hard and tug at the collar of my suit. I hate dressing up. Orange-brown leaves fall from the surrounding trees. The shining sun peeks through the forest roof. I feel the pit in my stomach growing. I’m in one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, yet I feel the worst I’ve ever felt. Starting to sweat, I stand patiently in the center of the autumn painted woods, waiting for the biggest moment of my life. My eyes scan the trees as I feel myself creeping closer to losing my lunch on the root scattered ground. Why in the world had I thought this was a good idea? Do I need to get married? What if she says no? My mind is racing as I hear footsteps crunching closer over the dry leaves. I pull the ring box out of my pocket and look at it. The black velvet soft in my palm, I close my eyes, take a breath, and turn around, ready for my life to change.
As I turn around, my heart beating out of my chest, I see another man standing looking up through the branches. I see the sunlight shining down onto his baby blue tie. He’s also dressed up. I panic and stuff the black box back into my pocket. This is the secret spot I take my girlfriend. How does this guy know about it? My eyes watch him carefully as he reaches into his pocket and does the very same thing I did moments before. He pulls a tiny black box out of his suit pocket and begins turning it in his hand. Is this guy proposing to someone as well? What are the odds two people come to the same secret place in the forest at the same time? He starts to turn towards me and right before we see each other, crunching footsteps break the silence. We both turn to examine the source and see it’s my girlfriend walking towards us. A rush of relief floods over me and I let out a breath. When I look back to the unknown man I see a smile on his face. I immediately turn back to my girlfriend and see tears streaming down her face. The man starts to walk over timidly, and when he notices that she is crying his smile fades. When the man finally reaches us I look at my girlfriend and say, “Are you okay?” and she shakes her head.
“I knew I should’ve told you both sooner. I’m so so sorry,” she chokes out.
The other man turns and says, “Whoa what’s going on? Why are you sorry, Tiff?”
“How do you know her name?” I interrupt. I can feel myself starting to panic again.
He turns to me looking offended and yells, “Maybe because she’s my girlfriend! How the hell do you know her?!” As the words come out of his mouth my stomach plummets a thousand stories.
Tiffany turns to look at me, tears still rolling down her cheeks. “George I-I’m really sorry I was gonna tell yo-”
“TELL ME WHAT?!” I cut her off. I’m losing my patience with all the confusion.
“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!” the other man screams. He seems to be feeling the exact same way as me.We both glare down at Tiffany as she stammers to explain.
“I-I’ve been seeing both of you this whole time!” she cries out. “I didn’t mean to, it just sort of happened and I couldn’t bring myself to tell you guys. I didn’t want either of you to be hurt!”
“Yeah I’m sure you didn’t, you just felt like playing both of us for two years!” the other man yells. The man throws down his ring box at Tiffany’s feet, sending droplets of mud splattering onto her tennis shoes. She is not even dressed up. He trudges away fuming.
“George, it’s always been you I truly loved. I never felt anything for him,” she pleads with me.
“Yeah? Is that why you lied to me for two whole years, Tiff?” I shout. I throw the ring box down next to the other one. “Take your two rings and get away from me. I turn to leave not even noticing the tears streaming down my face. Not knowing what I’m going to do next, I take off at a run. I never want to see a forest, ring, or girl again.