XOXO, I Hate You
By Elena Lane
Date: June 19, 2019
Ch. 1111

That December night, Gordon had taken Beverly to the ballet and just as they had done two years before, they watched The Nutcracker. Of course, it was absolutely beautiful. The dancers glided across the stage with both strength and grace. Everything about it was truly incredible. As she watched, Beverly’s eye lit up just like they had when she had seen it for the first time when she was eight years old. The whole evening felt so much more special with Gordon by her side. Everything was perfect from the dancing, to the company, to the dinner that they had afterwards. The dinner was especially wonderful.
They sat in the restaurant, waiting for their meal, lovingly looking at each other.
“It’s beautiful here,” Gordon commented, “And your beautiful too.” It was cheesy, but Beverly’s heart melted a little bit anyway.
“You know that those corny pickup lines don’t work on me.” Although, admittedly, they kind of did. Still, Beverly wasn’t going to give Gordon the benefit of knowing that. Regardless, Beverly couldn’t help but smile a little. She really did love Gordon.
“I don’t need them to work. I already have you.”
Beverly laughed, “For now,” she said coyly, but they both knew that she wasn’t going anywhere. They had become two parts of a whole. When Gordon was away at school, Beverly missed him more than she ever imagined that she could.
It was late so the mid December stars twinkled in the sky, peeking in through the window of the restaurant. A red rose was placed in the center of the table and Beverly couldn’t help but gaze into Gordon’s eyes, completely in love with the man. Could things get any better?
Gordon took Beverly’s hand from across the table and held it in his, “Bev, you’re so beautiful, you know that?”
“Yeah,” Bev laughed, “You just told me five seconds ago in cheesy pick up line format. So, I guess this time is a little better,” she said lightly.
“I just don’t want you to forget.”
Beverly laughed again, “You certainly make it hard to.”
“Good, someone needs to tell you how special you are. I know that you sometimes don’t believe, but you really are a special girl, Beverly and I love you for it.” Gordon always knew how to boost Beverly’s confidence. It was true, she had always felt like the kid chosen last on the playground because Beverly’s family was filled with overachievers and she had always struggled to distinguish herself from them, but since she had started dating Gordon, Beverly felt better about herself than she ever had and furthermore, his influence had seemed to rub off on Beverly’s over critical parents, who had finally started to express pride in Beverly and her interests. Gordon had changed her life and that alone made her love him with the fullness of her heart.
“I love you too, Gordon,” she replied, leaning over to give him a small kiss.
He smiled a cheeky smile, “So, now that we’ve gotten our confessions of love out of the way, there’s something that I wanted to ask you.”
“What’s that?” Beverly asked, raising her left eyebrow in curiosity.
“Well, like I said, I love you, Beverly --” Gordon started, but Beverly interrupted.
“Wait, are you breaking up with me?” Beverly asked concerned. She had been broken up with many times and far too frequently the guy had started with “I love you, but…” and then made an excuse why they weren’t romantically compatible. Beverly had always found it stupid. What moron professed his love and then broke up with a girl? That was just cruel, but it had happened to Beverly more times than she’d like to admit.
Gordon rolled his eyes, “Of course not. First of all, I told you that I had a question and people don’t ask, ‘Do you want to breakup?’ if they’ve already decided to break up with someone,” Beverly nodded, that was true. Gordon continued, “Secondly, why would I take you to the ballet then a romantic dinner just to break up with you? Thirdly, why would I say I love you and then break up with you? That would just be counterproductive.”
Beverly shrugged, “I don’t know, guys are jerks.”
“Well, I’m not like most guys you’ve dated, Bev. You didn’t choose me just to piss off your parents. You told me about Jerry, and he definitely wasn’t a good guy.”
Beverly smirked, “It was Jason and I blame the crystal meth for his bad behavior, but on the bright side, when I brought him home, it really upset mom,” Beverly said with a giggle.
“Not funny, Bev.”
Beverly sighed, “It was in the height of my rebellious stage. Things are better now between my mom and I now, thank God.” Beverly then asked, “So what was it that you wanted to ask me?”
“Right,” Gordon said, voice shaky. “Like I said, I love you Beverly and there’s no one more that I’d like to spend my life with. From the minute I met you I knew that you were special and as lame as it sounds, you make me a better person,” Beverly didn’t care that the speech sounded like something Gordon had plagiarized from some chick flick; she was soaking in every second of the moment. “And I know someday you’ll be somebody great, you already are in my eyes. I can’t wait to start a life with you my wonderful, fantastic girlfriend. So, I know that I’m a little nerdy and definitely not the guy you imagined marrying, but I’m hoping that despite my faults, you’ll say yes to this question.”
He dropped to the floor on one knee, opening a velvet box that held a glimmering ring. Beverly tried to keep joyous tears in her eyes as Gordon said, “Beverly Wells, will you marry me?” Gordon continued, “I know we’re young and the wedding can wait until we graduate from school, but I already know that I want to spend my whole life with you. Like I said, I love you and I think we’re perfect together.” Gordon was rambling, but Beverly couldn’t blame him; after all, proposing was surely a nerve wracking experience. Plus, quite frankly, his nervousness was kind of endearing; everything about Gordon was endearing. That’s why Beverly didn’t have to think about her answer.
She just gave him a long kiss. Then, she pulled away and simply said, “Yes.” Because it didn’t matter what her parents wanted or that the marriage had been technically arranged because some arrangements weren’t so bad. Besides, Bev wasn’t marrying Gordon because it was what was expected of her or because it was her daughterly duty. No, she was in love with Gordon Reeve and nothing would change that. Nothing ever would.

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