‘If we are getting married I am very seriously considering changing my name to Mary.’ I spoke tenderly as he reclined lazily on my lap, my hand resting in between the layers of his hair.
‘Well I’m related to her you know? Mary Shelley.’ He turns his head to hide his unavoidable grin.
‘Oh ye?’ I retort rolling my eyes.
‘Of course, and JJ is a relative of Shakespeare.’ I sigh ‘Of course he is, think about his second name. When his family realised all the fame they would get they changed their second names.’
‘ To Hamblett? George coughs to cover his a laugh.
‘No, to Hamlet. But after a while they figured it was still too obvious so did the thing Shakespeare did best.’
‘No make up words, they just chucked in a few extra consonants and bam.’ He shifts his weight so his contagious grin looks up at me. I can’t help but look back with a certain curiosity into his eyes. They always bring that Van Morrison song to mind. However if I told him that the song that reminded me most of him was entitled ‘Brown eyed GIRL’ i don’t think he’d much appreciate it, nor if I let my undying urge to sing ‘SHALALALALALALALALALALALA’ in his face every time I laid eyes upon him.
‘ So why would he be doing X Factor then? Surely he could just change his name back?’
‘But no one would believe him, you don’t even believe me and you are my fiancée you’re meant to trust me.’ His smile is so large I expect it to snap off his face.
‘ Mrs Shelley we have trust issues.’
‘Oh good the moment we tie the knot I’m filing for divorce.’ He puckers for a kiss but instead I oblige him with a wet peck on his nose.
George’s fingers curling around the back of my neck. I gaze down at my own , they look like uncooked sausages but if my fingers were sausages this ring made them the best ones you know? Apple and pork. Tesco finest with the fancy gold writing on the pack. The engagement band moulded round my ring finger like that invisible gold letter that silently escaped my mouth when George had got down on one knee and said all of his fancy words. I wasn’t really listening. I just watched his lips, they moved in perfect formation, synchronised swimmers to the warm summer air. I caught glimpses of his arms as they made lengths and widths through the damp atmosphere as he talked passionately and incessantly. I waited for his lips to be still.
‘Ok’ I nodded. In retrieving the elegance of the moment he took my hand and kissed it, then rotated the box to my gaze to see the ring that not either of us had glanced at since the pandemonium had started .I bit my lip and imagined something simple as the velveteen box rotated almost in slow motion in his clammy palms. The box was empty. George’s face dropped as it met my inquisitive eyebrow.
‘ I mean, do you not like it?’ his voice retracted inside of him as he sheepishly loitered from foot to foot".
‘ I was expecting something simple...’
‘I knew it was too much..You don’t need all those jewels you’re pretty as you are...’
‘Too much? George there isn’t anything in the box.’
George’s eyes widened the red in his cheeks had turned from boyish sadness to embarrassment. His arms thrashing through the air like he was doing backstroke.
‘George, that’s it. When you do all that stuff with your arms when you talk, it must have come out of the box.’ He crouched down to the floor, and scanned every indent on the patio for a glisten of hope, a glisten of the ring.
‘Second time on that knee today George. Must be desperate for me to marry you.’ I hitched up my skirt joining him on the concrete, as we scrambled and we grazed our skin, knocking heads for about twenty five minutes until we had realised just how close to the balcony his speech had been. We gazed through the curling metal bars down to the busy street below. George piped up as he saw his dream proposal fall like the fleeting ring.