Being engaged changes everything. I mean, it’s supposed to, so that’s fair enough.
But what if you don’t want to be engaged? I didn’t. But I didn’t realise that until it was too late.
I’ve never told this to anyone. I definitely didn’t tell him. Most of the reason I’ve kept my mouth shut for the past year was to spare his feelings, but if I’m completely honest, self-preservation was at stake too.
I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I turned around to see him drop to one knee, the little box clasped in his hands. It took about five seconds for me to realise the whole night had been a ruse. Everything from the faux dinner with friends who suddenly couldn’t make it, to the luxurious $700 hotel room, had been strategically planned especially for me.
"I'll never forget the feeling..." Image via iStock.
Time stopped. I looked down at him, confused and then, finally, incredulous. The penny had dropped.
The ring was a beautiful, big princess-cut diamond, surrounded by a rounded square of diamonds, with a band, littered with even more diamonds. It was unique and custom-designed, because he knew I didn’t like the ones in the shops.
As reality sunk in, I felt sick. I felt light-headed; as if I was on a huge stage, under a spotlight, in front of a packed crowd, naked. There was no way out. Shit had just got real.
There was no explosion of love and happiness like in the movies. I unceremoniously grabbed the ring out of the box and shoved it my finger, because I didn’t know what else to do. I had to fill the awkward, nauseating silence somehow.
And then came the worst part. All the phone calls from his parents and aunties and uncles he never usually spoke to. Then it was my parents. And with each painful phone call I realised how many people knew this was happening before I did. Everyone knew. Everyone knew except me.