He knelt on one knee, reaching for his pocket. I shook my head fervently, NO! My eyes must have shrieked because he flinched as if too-hot water had splashed on his face.

“I propose engagement.”

“Me too,” he smiled, reaching again.

“Not with a ring.” He stopped. “With your heart, your thoughts, your body, your very breath. In our conversations, don’t just listen and nod, respond and challenge. Give me the rigor you give your friends while debating some worthwhile topic at the bar. And when you touch me, think not of release – neither mine nor yours. Feel me. Remember the touch that came right before my thighs instinctively melted? Because I remember the exact spot on your iliac crest that you didn’t know you liked being licked… And when I cry, remember there’s nothing to fix. I am not broken; I am a woman – and I can contorted in many ways. Mine is the path of circles and curves, just as yours is straight. Just hold me. I already know, somewhere inside, that it will be okay. Be here when you’re here, and take time away to do more than make money or rendezvous with shadows…take time to explore parts of yourself – even if it’s with another, and let me see if I notice the difference in the way you tilt your head when you return. NOTHING stays the same, not even you. Every day I’ve seen you wilt with the pressure to prove your love with time that is not yet yours, and so I propose this: be honest. Offer what you have, and no more. Give what you desire to receive, and no less. This is the only engagment that interests me.”

There was silence for a long time before he spoke.

“And I thought buying a ring was hard.”

**laughter**

-HER

© 2017 All Rights Reserved. Asha Taylor.

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