An Unconvential Proposal

I look around my studio apartment with interest, noting the round dining room table cluttered with paperwork, some of it spilling off the side and onto the brown and white swirly patterned mat. It was so much neater in here, two years ago. I know because there's a photo framed of it hanging next to the TV. Everything had a place back then, now everything had been moved to try and fit more into the small apartment.

Said dining room table is pressed up next to the kitchen bench, which is also covered in paperwork, along with empty film canisters and photos I haven't decided what to do with yet. I supposed you'd think this would hinder our ability to use the sink, oven etc. but then – that would be assuming we ever bother to cook anything ourselves.

Chinese food boxes are everywhere. Sometimes Simon comes in from work and just stares at them, screwing up his nose. It's his mother's influence; he grew up with a mum exactly like Bree from Desperate Housewives. I like to think that, back on the farm, Helen used to keep her cows all in a row and shined every chicken egg before putting it into the fridge.

Simon laughed at me when I put forward this theory, but while he laughs she is torturing cows and eggs alike everywhere. I just have to get a shot to prove it.

I tap the camera cord around my neck and pick my camera up off my lap, smiling menacingly. He'll see. They'll all see.

I'm about to test out an evil laugh when I see the door burst open in the corner of my eye, and in comes Simon carrying a film canister. I sit up immediately and grin, heart picking up as he grins back, waving the canister. I'm more excited about seeing him however.

"When are you ever going to upgrade this?" He points a finger at my camera, eyebrows raised as he loosens his tie, letting it fall to the floor at his feet and kicking it into the wall, too tired to put it in the basket. There's three more like that sitting next to it; one dark blue, one grey and one black. This one's silver. "It's called digital, honey. I'm the one from the farm. I'm the one supposed to be stuck in the past."

"Why change what's not broke?" I frown at him, getting off of our bed and putting my hands on my hips, "I have a film scanner, a professional one, and my camera though a hand-me-down works just fine. All those 'megapixels' you speak of have nothing to do with quality; the quality of the photo depends on the taker."

"Honey," he says, sliding out of his black suit blazer and letting it drop to the floor before he showily struts over to me, putting his hands on his hips and smirking, "the resolution has everything to do with the quality, it allows you to make the photo big as you please without it going all pixel-y."

"How big do I want it, Simon?" I scoff, narrowing my eyes at him as he rolls his at me, running a hand through his brown hair habitually and completely destroying his neat part – he does this as soon as he gets home, like he's getting himself into out-of-work mode, "Because unless you're planning to print one out the size of our apartment building, it's not going to matter much."

"But," he starts, stopping in front of me and pouting.

"But nothing," I tell him, looking up into his brown eyes that are widening as his lips get increasingly pouty; gosh darn it, he's just so cute in his tousled up work uniform, brown hair sticking up into little tufts. Letting my camera down gently, I perch my hands on his shoulders and pucker my lips, eyelids heavy. "Now say hello properly, you rude little man."

"Whatever would my mother say?" Simon inquires sarcastically, lifting the camera over my head and setting it down before wrapping his arms around my waist, dipping me backwards and pressing a passionate kiss to my lips.

I nearly pinwheel over, arms flailing, giggling as he nuzzles his cheek up against the crook of my neck, and I do when he lets go of me. I bounce backwards onto our pinstripe coloured doona, batting him with my hands playfully as he settles over me, effectively straddling me.

"Oh, please," I cry out in mock horror, as he presses a kiss to my forehead, growling, "someone help me; I'm being sexually harassed."

"Oh, no, not sexually, not yet," he smiles devilishly, giving me a promising wink before closing his eyes.

He presses his lips to mine, and I wrap my arms around his neck, weaving my fingertips into his hair. I giggle against his lips, "It's so soft, I wish it could be in my pictures. Then when you go to work it wouldn't be so lonely."

"Then you could cop a feel whenever you want," he snorts and I laugh, smacking him over the head, "but you're always invited to my office at work."

"Oh," I waggle my eyebrows at him, pushing up my glasses which are about to take a nosedive, quite literally, "then I could say hello to that sexy new secretary you have, what is his name?"

"His name is Gay," Simon tells me, narrowing his eyes at me, "because that's what he might as well be to you."

"Jealousy," I bring my hands to my mouth in mock shock, "that's hot."

"Oh, all of me is," he raises his eyebrows suggestively before prying my hands from my lips and pinning them above my head, "now shut up: let's make out."

He dips his lips back to mine and proceeds to deepen the kiss, hands falling upon my hips, fingers slipping underneath my baggy black shirt. He strokes the sides of my stomach, sending tingles up my spine. I grab the back of his head and kiss him harder, butterflies erupting in my chest.

I bring my legs up and wrap them around his waist, causing him to collapse on top of me. His head butts into my shoulder as he regains his balance, and then he brings his lips to my collar bone, kissing along and then up to my neck. I feel my eyes beneath their lids rolling back, and grin, feeling almost delirious with pleasure.

I love him. I love him so much.

His lips suck at my skin, and I feel torn between giggling, ticklish, and sighing. I stroke his hair, from the roots til the ends, curling it around my fingers. My eyes are cracked open a tad and I look at him in adoration, wanting to squeeze him to death. Only that would mean he'd have to stop doing what he's doing…

Which feels really good – so good only one thing could improve it!

Grabbing his white button-down by the collar, I drag his head away from my neck and press my lips back to his, starting to unbutton his shirt. He chuckles against my lips, and I can feel his heart slamming against his chest like he's really nervous, but it does that a lot – especially when we're full on macking on the bed.

I get the last button undone, and am about to pull his shirt off when a film canister is shoved in my face. I blink at it, bemused, and Simon looks at me expectantly, "Is it the right kind of film?"

"Yes," I take it off him and put it aside, deciding to put my hands to better use. I begin to explore his chest, hands running over his abs and causing him to jump. He shakes his head at me, and begins buttoning up his shirt again. I stare at him in incredulity.

"No, I think you should look at it, like look inside to make sure," he insists, ushering to the film canister.

"Can it wait?" I want to know, confused as all hell. "You're really spoiling the mood, Si."

"It'll only take a second," he says, and I eye him, picking it up and opening it.

I look down at the film, and affirm that yes, yes it is the type I need – something which I already knew before opening it, before looking at it. I know he knows what type of film I use; he's gotten it for me so many times before. He's never once gotten me the wrong kind of film in our entire relationship, and we've been going out for a long time.

So what makes him think he got the wrong kind now?

"Okay, yes," I put the film back down and wrap my hands around his neck once more, pulling his head closer to mine, "yes it's the right film."

"Want to take it out and check?" he wants to know, picking it up and dropping it back into my hands.

"Simon," I take the film out, annoyed, when a really expensive looking ring goes tumbling out of it. "Oh my God, Simon, look."

"Yes?" Simon says, pulling me closer this time and looking strangely hopeful, but for what I have no idea. Is he really that excited about the film, or something? Because my eyes are on the gold, diamond encrusted and emerald butterfly adorned ring sitting beside my leg. Whoever's lost it is going to be so pissed.

"Simon, now you want to make out? Now? We've got things to do," I push him off of me and pick up the ring, afraid I'm going to crush it or make a mark on it with my dirty, unworthy fingertips, "We've got to take this back."

"What? Why?" Simon says, looking for reasons beyond me, wounded. "Why do you want to take it back?"

"Because it's not ours," I say incredulously, wondering why he's acting so strange tonight, "Lewis obviously put the ring in the wrong canister, and some poor bloke out there is trying to propose to his girl, only he's missing one very important detail! I can't believe this! We have to take it back, right now."

"What, no," Simon says, giving me a really strange look before getting up, "no, you've got it all wrong, honey."

"What all wrong?" I want to know, turning my head away from him and trying to spot my keys in the mess of an apartment we own. I can never find them when I need them, one time I found them in a half full box of Chinese food. "Damn it, where are my car keys? Can we take yours instead?"

I twist my head back around, and he blinks at me, "Um, yeah, the keys are in my pocket but I don't think you want to take it back –"

"Simon," I scold, raising my eyebrows at him and holding out my hand, "clearly your conscience has run away with whatever common sense you had before tonight."

He doesn't give me his keys, just stares at me, looking like he wants to say something. God, what has gotten into him tonight? Did aliens somehow take over his body while we were making out? It wouldn't be too much of a stretch, I guess, he was really distracted at the time. They would have been able to take him over easy.

Arching an eyebrow at him, sick of waiting, I walk over and swipe the keys from his pocket, "Come on, Si, let's get going. Don't just stand there like a 'stale jar of lollies', as your mum would say."

"But, honey," he brings his hands to my cheeks, smiling gently, "listen to me –"

"No," I poke him in the belly, hard, "you listen to me, we have to get this back before the real guy comes to get the ring. He's going to be super pissed if he ends up with an empty canister which, by the way, would really bother me being a fellow film user as well as a romantic."

"Marie," he protests exasperatedly, rubbing my cheeks with his fingertips.

"Simon," I say back, rolling my eyes, and heading for the doorway, "just follow me and get in the damned car, okay?"

I open up the apartment door and down to the elevator, constantly checking to make sure I haven't dropped the ring. God help us if we lose it or break it, though Simon has a really well paying job I'm not exactly sure this would make too inviting of a dent in our cash – and what of the sentimental value? What if it were a family heirloom?

Admittedly, it looks way too new and modern, what with the butterfly and all, to be an heirloom. But it could happen.

"Marie," he cries, half-heartedly this time as he follows me into the elevator. "Fine, go on, honey, don't say I didn't warn you."

Why does he sound so amused?

He's silent the whole way to the store and starts shaking his head as I pull up, a smirk upon his lips. He's looking like he knows something that I don't, which is really annoying. I hate it when he does that. Frowning, I push upon the door with a huff and slam it behind me, hoping I've harmed his pretty little Porsche in some way or another.

He doesn't make any comment on it if I have.

He starts to chuckle as he follows me in, and I try not to grip the ring too hard in my annoyance. What is his problem? He really has been possessed by aliens.

I look around at all the prints on the walls, smiling at them. The guy who works here is so cool, he's always replacing the photos every single week and they're always good, always interesting. He's so professional – well, that is until now when he puts the engagement ring in the wrong film canister.

Shaking my head and ignoring Simon's strange fit of laughter behind me, I step up to the counter and give Lewis a look, setting the ring down on the counter. He's on the phone right now, but I'm sure in a second he'll notice his fatal error.

"So I said, if life hands you a spoon," he laughs into the phone, winking at me, "exchange it for a fork and stab something! Haha, yes, yes. Oh I know, Jessica, that is a very nice picture of you. It is."

I clear my throat and he smiles, noticing the ring and eyes widening. Oh I bet I can tell all the thoughts running through his mind right now. He probably feels so silly for putting that ring in there; I'll try and be forgiving. I really will.

"Sorry, Jess, got to go," he laughs a little more before putting the phone down, clicking the end call button, "so, love birds, when's the date?"

"When's the date?" I want to know, arching my eyebrows, "What are you talking about, when's the date? You put the ring in the wrong canister, Lewis, some guy's got the wrong canister. He's going to kill you, you know?"

"I didn't put the ring in the wrong canister," Lewis says, slowly, looking down at the ring and back at me. "I put it in the right one."

I stare at him, and then down at the ring. Oh shit. Oh my God. I have just made the biggest fool out of myself. The ring was for me – Simon was proposing to me, and I thought it was a mistake! I dragged him down to the film store to take it back!

Snatching up the ring I put it on my ring finger, and spin around, feeling completely mortified, "Oh my God, Si, I'm such an idiot. I feel so stupid. Oh my God, Si, I'm so sorry."

"Hon, it's okay," he laughs, beaming at me and looking down at the ring, "so I'm assuming this means..."

"YES! Of course I will," I run up to him, and fling my arms around his neck, planting a great big kiss on his lips, "you know I want to be with you forever. I told you the first time I met you!"

"That was a little strange," he grins at me, wrapping his arms around my waist.

I bounce up and down at his feet, flashing my ring in his face, "And you got me a butterfly, because I'm an insect photographer and it's green to match my eyes and – oh my God, who's going to take the photos at the wedding? Would it be weird if I ran up and down the aisle every now and then to do that or?"

My mind becomes filled with so many thoughts, and gosh, now I know why the brides I read about in books and watch and movies can be such bitches. So many damn options to choose from, wow.

"Honey, we've got ages to figure it out," he says, looking like his cheeks are about to split from how big he's smiling, "want to go back home and you know, get back to what we were doing?"

"Yes, we can start picking out what colour the invitations are going to be," I nod, grabbing his hand and starting to drag him for the store door, "and what colour tuxedo you're going to have!"

"I have something else in mind first if you don't mind," he cuts in, kissing me on the lips and raising his eyebrows at me suggestively, "you're not the only one with input on our decisions, fiancée."

"Fiancée," I say, grinning, "I'm your fiancée and you're my fiancé! Can we put that on the invitations?"

"You can put whatever you like," he tells me, squeezing my hand.

I grin like mad; oh the power he has just given me – the power!


Lame title I know. LAME LAME LAME. If this contest gets extended I will so write more on this but I really don't have the time. I have to go, like NAOOW.

EDIT: I got the wrong submission date, damn it. I WILL BE REWRITING THIS.