Love and War

Bonnie can't help but think life would be so much easier if she didn't have to make choices. If she didn't have to choose between family or a future. If she didn't have to choose between Eli or Alfie. If she didn't have to choose between success or loyalty. If she didn't have to choose between one kind of love of the other.


22. Twenty two

I go to Alfie's house the next afternoon. I'm so excited to tell him what happened last night. Even though Eli may not have exactly said 'will you marry me?', we're engaged. He's going to meet my parents. We're going to be married. I've been so happy ever since I got home that night, I can't keep still and I can't wait to tell Alfie. Now that he's being more supportive, he may even be happy for me. But I also need his help if this is ever going to work. 

We go into Alfie's room and I shut the door behind us. He frowns, chuckling.

"Got a secret to tell, Bonnie?" he jokes. 

"Actually, yes." I smile, my cheeks still rosy. 

"I thought you might." he chuckles. "You're practically glowing."

I can't stand any sort of little introduction. I'm just going to say it. 

"Eli and I are engaged!"

Alfie's face drops so fast my stomach clenches. His eyes are a mixture of shock with the tiniest bit of anger. This isn't what was meant to happen, this isn't how he was meant to react. I stare back at him, feeling the 'glow' that he saw fading.

"Say something." I say, quietly. If I speak louder I know I'll cry and I don't want to cry in front of Alfie, not about this. I don't want him to think that I'm unsure. I don't want him to think it's a mistake for me to marry Eli. 

"I have nothing to say." he says in a similar voice. 

"Perhaps that you're happy for me." I suggest, letting the slightest bit of poison into my tone.

"Why on earth would I be happy for you?" he chokes out a sad laugh. 

"Because I'm your friend!" I exclaim.

He stares at me for a moment, his eyes full of bitter disbelief and then he laughs darkly. 

"You know I knew you were innocent and perhaps a bit naive, but I never knew you were blind." he says in a low voice.

"And what is that supposed to mean?" I demand, crossing my arms.

"This entire thing is killing me, Bonnie!" he yells. "Always hearing you talk about him, walking you to his house at night, you never really paying proper attention when you and I speak because you always have some dreamy, far away look in your eyes because you're thinking about him! And now you come over just to act all happy about the fact that you're going to marry him?"

"Why do you care so much?!" I yell back.

"Because I'm in love with you!" he shouts.

I don't shout anything back. I just stare at him for a moment and then run out of the room, out of the house, out of my neighbourhood and then all the way to the pub. I hesitate before going in and think about what it will be like to see Eli's face and I realise that right now, it will kill me because it kills Alfie. I turn around and walk home.

"Mother?" I call out when I walk through the door.

"Bonnie." she smiles, coming to greet me. 

I force a smile. "Hello. Can I ask you something?" 

"Of course." she says. 

"It's actually about who I would like to marry." I tell her. 

She looks shocked but in a happy way. "Yes! Yes, go on."

I pause, wondering if this is the right thing to do. I think that whoever I marry, I will be hurting somebody but I know who I want and I know that that is the right thing to do. I know I should always follow what feels right. If I follow what feels right, whatever goes wrong has to go wrong for a reason. I look my mother in the eye, my heart pounding. I'm terrified to say this out loud.

"I want to marry Stephen." 

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