The years pass by so quickly and it is hard to keep up with them. I spent 4 years of my life happily with Ben. We moved in together after 9 months and we'd had a perfect relationship since. Everything was starting to fall into place. I lost all my old connections except Lauren's. She was always in the mirror, looking back at me. Perhaps in disappointment as she felt replaced by Ben. But I told her that she was my special girl, the one person in my life who won't ever be far from me. Lauren was my sister from another mister, and she could never leave my side. I would never let her, and seems like she wouldn't leave me either.
One Valentine's Day night changed my whole entire life. I think it affected Lauren too as I stopped being drawn to my mirror and started focusing on my life with Ben. I remember we were working late so we were both in the office getting on with our work. "Do you fancy going for a late supper after work?" Ben asked as he finished stacking a pile of paper ready to staple them together.
"But my uniform is shit," I laughed with a whiney voice.
"Leave me a list of what you need doing, I'll do it for you. Go get changed, and bring me my dark blue suit right at the back of the wardrobe," Ben said as he smiled at me.
"What suit?" I asked. Ben looked at me and winked.
"You'll see a dress with it too. It'll fit hopefully. I mean, I measured it up to your other dresse-"
I interrupted him by giggling as I reached over to kiss him. "Thank you Benny boooooo." I laughed as I scribbled everything I needed doing on a piece of paper. The instructions were simple and the work wasn't complicated.
The next thing I knew I was stood in our wardrobe in a red, tight dress glancing myself up and down. It was me, surprisingly. I wondered where Lauren had got to, but I enjoyed being able to look at myself for a change. I set off out to the office where I met Ben. Whilst I logged off the computers, he snuck off to the bathroom to get changed. I wasn't too sure why he was taking me out when normally, we spent our Valentine's Day curled up on the sofa, watching cute movies and drinking champagne from plastic cups.
The restaurant was huge with large, crystal chandeliers. The walls were painted dark red and the floor was a reddish-brown wood. As we walked over to our table in the corner, Ben held my hand to ensure I didn't slip in my heels on the floor. The table in the corner looked the most dressed up. It as covered in a cream table cloth with red love heart sprinkles. There was a bottle of red wine in the middle of the table. It was my favourite one. I giggled as Ben did his usual gentleman act- pulling out the chair for me, allowing me to sit down, then pushing it in before returning to his seat. I looked around in amazement. "Well Ben, I must say, I wasn't expecting this." I looked directly at his lit-up eyes.
I didn't think he expected it to be that good either. "You deserve the best," Ben said as he looked up at the chandelier hanging above us. The crystals spun slightly, making a disco-ball illumination effect.
It turned out Ben had completely ordered our food for us. Luckily for me, he knew everything I liked so it was the perfect meal; a tomato soup starter, spaghetti bolognese for main, and to finish was a lovely chocolate sundae loaded with chocolate sauce and sprinkles. We managed through the bottle of luxurious red wine between us. We laughed and talked all night as the music kept playing and the food kept being served. The restaurant didn't seem to busy to me as all my focus and attention was on Ben. He looked quite nervous at parts but I assumed it's because what he did was extremely spontaneous. However, after the dessert, he started to act a bit shifty and awkward and nervous. He kept messing with his thumbs; the old habit we tried to get rid of.
"So... Tonight was amazing," he said as he reached his sweaty hands out across the table.
"I know! Thanks to you, Ben. You managed to surprise me yet again," I laughed as I reached out to stroke his hand. I reached one hand back to get my jacket.
"No!" Ben stopped me, reaching out for my other hand. Confused, I let go of my jacket and spread my other arm out across the table. "We should just enjoy the atmosphere for a minute."
It seemed a little odd what Ben was doing as it was getting close to midnight. I was sure that everyone would be clearing up soon and we needed to leave. I felt a little nervous myself. It's a panicky situation for me, when someone holds me back. I gave him a little time but he kept fidgeting and making eye contact with someone behind me. I kept checking to see who it was but I couldn't see anyone. "Are you okay?" I asked as I frowned at him.
"Sure, I just really like this atmosphere, and your pretty face," Ben replied in a rushed manner. He was getting even more anxious as we sat there. I kicked my heels around and dug a heel into the ground. It was nerves getting to me.
The next thing I know, a man dressed in a bright red suit comes to our table holding a large, silver platter with a bowl on the top. Intrigued, I let go of Ben's hands.
"What's this then?" I asked as the man put it down on the table. He tapped his nose as he winked at Ben and wondered off into the kitchen. I looked for Ben's permission before removing the lid. I slowly removed it to reveal a bunch of red roses. They were beautiful.
"Awh Ben," I smiled as I looked at them. That's when I noticed a small, white box. Confused, I picked up the box and placed the flowers down on the table. "Ben?" He started to turn bright red as he stood up and moved his chair closer to mine. He sat down and looked at the box which I hadn't yet opened.
"Rosie, I just want you to know how much I really love you. And I'm not the best at showing it, so I was hoping that the roses and this would help you to understand," Ben said as he scratched the back of his head and gave an encouraging look to open the box. Slowly, I opened it and looked at the silver ring before me. It had diamonds engraved in it, with one bigger diamond on the front. My jaw dropped as I turned to look at Ben.
"Ro, will you be my wife?" I felt like screaming. My body filled with so much happiness and excitement. I nodded with tears rolling down my face as Ben took the ring out of the box and fit it on my correct finger. As I went in to hug him, I saw Lauren stood by a table behind us. She was dressed in all black with her hair covering her face. Her arms were folded and she was shaking her head. I knew Lauren would begin to make my life hell. I wanted to yell at her, tell her not to leave. But it was too late. Lauren was gone and I didn't know how I was going to cope without her.