We walk in silence. His hands shake feverishly. Maybe it’s because of the rain or it could be that I completely fucking embarrassed him at the restaurant. Either way, completely out of my control. The sound of cars speeding by fills the empty silence. The lights illuminate his face momentarily and they are not flattering to his appearance. His lips are pulled down, the space between his eyebrows is scrunched up and his eyes are glazed over.
‘Are you going to sulk all night?’ I reach out for his hand, half an attempt to stop him shaking and half an attempt to slow him down.
There’s no answer. He is completely engrossed in his own world, his eyes are glued to the pavement and no matter how many times I sign or grunt, he doesn’t look up. My face begins to heat and the back of my neck becomes incredibly tense. I pull my hand away and hug myself, hands gripping onto either side of my biceps. I can feel the little crescent indents forming on my skin.
He doesn’t seem to notice. I am so fucking angry. Yes, I may have complained about the service and yes, I may have asked to move tables and yes, I moaned when I found a ginger hair in my soup. What the fuck was I supposed to do? Eat around it? Fuck.
My arm brushes against him. I say brushes but, it’s more of a push as I storm ahead. The rain fills my shoes with water, it is like walking in a swamp, the fibres from my socks are building up in between my toes like moss.
Over the hedge, I can see my parents’ bedroom light through their closed blinds. I internally groan at the thought of them waiting up for me. Mum would always say: Boys like you can’t walk around at night alone. Well, Mum, I’m not alone, am I? Fucking wish I was though.
Once I get to the garden gate I stop, not because I’m waiting for him to catch up. Not because I love how the rain nearly fucking blinds me and it’s definitely not because my parents are standing on the doorstep, my mum wrapped up in her pink dressing gown and my dad hiding behind her in his white tank top.
I don’t stop because of any of that. I stop because covering the living room window is a white sheet with colourful bubble writing across it. It reads: ILL YU ARY ME and what I think is a question mark. The rain has washed away half of the letters but, the sentiment still stands strong.
When I turn to stare behind me, he’s already kneeling in a puddle with a small black box stretched out to me. His arms are shaking, his eyes are focused on my throat. It’s only then I realise he wasn’t angry. The twat was just nervous.
‘I’m freezing my bloody bollocks off. Just say yes.’
My name is Charlie. I’m 20 years old and I’m currently studying English as an undergraduate at University of Suffolk. I started writing because it was the most difficult way to process my thoughts and the outcome is always worth it. I’m very inspired by contemporary novelists and young adult authors. Jennifer Niven is one of many authors that inspired me to write the stories that I would want to read.
Find Charlie on Twitter @sxcmffincke