Short story written for my Techniques of Fiction course last year. The prompt was "Ice Storm." Enjoy~


"Let It Go"

"Babe, you okay?"

"I'm fine."

Oh shit, she's fine. Girls never mean it when they say they're fine. I mute the television and face my girlfriend, rearranging my sweater-dress to that I could pull my legs up to my chest and watch her play some mindless game on her glossy white iPhone. If she noticed any of this, she made no indication of it. I open and close my mouth a few times, trying to decide how to ask her 'what's up' without her exploding on me.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"There's nothing to talk about."

"Are you sure? It seems like there's something bothering you?" I lean forward, eyes darting between her profile and her crystal-encrusted fingernails skating over the glass phone screen. Her nimble digits pause, and faint musical tone of victory emits from the cell. She sighs dramatically and tosses the device on the fluffy alabaster sofa before crossing her arms.

"So now you pay attention to your supposed beloved?"

My jaw drops and I fling my arms out in a what?! motion. Again, she ignores my movements. "What am I not paying attention to?"

She snorts, but otherwise gives me the cold shoulder, floating up from the couch and gliding into the kitchen. "Do you want an ice-pop?" She inquires, voice high and tight and too nice, grabbing herself one. The freezer door slams before the question is even fully out of her mouth, not giving me an option either way.

I grit my teeth and get up to follow her through the kitchen, "No thanks, I think it's cold enough in here."

She whips a glare my way and stomps into our bedroom.

I pause in the doorway, silently watching as she bites into the blue popsicle and starts cleaning the cluttered chamber in a flurry of motion. I let her tirade continue to the end of the frozen treat, hoping her burst of energy will calm her down, before finally speaking.

"Noelle, will you just tell me what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you being such a frigid bitch?"

"Do you really not get it? That I'm upset because you still haven't asked me the one question I want to hear?" She throws her still-wet popsicle stick at me and starts to shiver, practically vibrating in her anger.

"The one question you want to hear? For fuck's sake, I have no idea what you want, because obviously every time I try to figure it out, I'm doing everything wrong!"

With an animalistic cry, she turns and starts shoveling through my desk in the corner of the room. My eyes widen as she makes it rain paper, emptying the one drawer I didn't want her going through. I sputter something incoherent and she suddenly goes rigid, a small bundle shining in her hand. Without taking her eyes off the little parcel, she shuffles to the bed and her frosty demeanor melts.

"I found this a whole month ago, and you still haven't…do you not want to…?" Her words crumble as plump, wet tears avalanche down her pale cheeks. For a moment I stand speechless at the sight before rushing forward to take her face in my hands. She seems utterly befuddled by my gleaming grin.

"Sweetie, you are completely ridiculous," I giggle, pressing a kiss to her blue-stained lips. She steels herself, insulted by my reaction. Tears of my own cascade from my smiling eyes. "Noelle, you are the love of my life, my absolute everything. If you think I don't want to marry you, then you're a total moron."

I pull the package from her chilly fingers, untying the sparkly ribbon and opening the silver box. Two glistening white diamonds wink up at us, each nestled atop pinkish marquise crystals and blue topaz pears. The air becomes tight as Noelle sucks in her breath.

"Baby, I was waiting for the season to change, because you always said you wanted a winter wedding. I figured proposing in the middle of this winter didn't really give us ample planning time for a wedding set before spring."

Noelle didn't speak for a while, just stared at me with unsure eyes. Finally I saw the final frost wipe from her features and she pounced, kissing with fervor. I laughed against her blueish mouth, wrapping my arms around her neck.

She pulled her face from mine, still close, and turned to peek at the engagement rings. I brought the box down between us, letting her liberate them and slip one onto her left ring finger. Her eyes glazed over and a smile split her face.

"I love you," she whispered, grabbing me to slip the twin ring on my hand. We kissed again, joining hands and little bursts of giggles interrupting once in a while. "I'm sorry I was being – what'd you call me? A frigid bitch?"

A blush warmed my face, and she smirked at my silent apology. "I love you too."