the question

I was supposed to propose to her at dinner that night. We'd been together for five years that very day. We had reservations at our favorite restaurant. I'd arranged the whole evening so it would be perfect, bribed the waiter so he'd bring out the ring with our meal. I didn't have to do anything.

The plan was to pick her up at 7. She lived about fifteen minutes out of town by car. I wish I knew what happened. I hit the freeway and saw that beautiful skyline and something inside me broke. I passed her exit and kept driving north. The urban sprawl was starting to give way when my phone rang, but I ignored it. She tried several more times. I don't know if she stopped trying or if I left my coverage area, but when the city was just a distant memory the phone stopped and the rain started.

An hour or so later, I pulled off onto some old forestry road and turned off the car and sat there, listening to the steady patter of rain in silence, watching the windows fog up. I don't know how long I stayed there, but only a few cars passed, and none of them noticed me. Then I stepped out of the car and started laughing, long and loud.

I left the car then and started walking. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew how I was getting there.

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