Micro-fiction by Voni Harris
Andre had prayed about this night for many months, had talked with her father about it.
His mom had loaned him her best linen tablecloth and her china. The fire in the fireplace was burning low and warm. Classical music played lightly on the CD player. The dusky fresh smell of roses tinged the air with romance.
Perfect. Just as he’d wanted.
His own beautiful Rose sat across from him. He ruefully brushed some crumbs from his side of table—hers, of course, had none—and took her hand in his as she finished her last bite of chocolate cherry cheesecake.
“Mmmm!” she said. “This was nice, Andre. Thanks for making such a stunning dinner for me.”
“My pleasure, milady,” he said with a grin. “However, I do have an ulterior motive.”
Her sweet giggle. “Oh, yes? And what might that be?”
Keeping her hand in his, he rose and walked over to her, and knelt in front of her. “Rose,
I can’t imagine one moment of my life without you. I want to share every moment of life with you, ups and downs. You build me up as a man, you challenge me as a Christian. You make me laugh. Over the last two years, you have become my very heart. Rose, will you marry me?”
Tears. He smiled. He’d expected some happy tears.
But these weren’t happy tears.
Rose was sobbing.
“Rose, what’s the matter?” he cried. But she couldn’t talk.
Not knowing what else to do, he stood and walked her to the couch and wrapped her in a soft afghan. He sat next to her, never letting go of her hand.
“Tell me,” he said softly.
“We tell each other everything. Come on.”
“Not everything,” she whispered.
A sudden fear came over Andre, and he breathed a quick prayer.
“Rose, tell me,” he said again.
She tried to look him in the eyes, but was unable, so she dropped her head, looking at the floor.
“Andre, I’ve had an abortion.”
A tremor coursed down his spine, then was gone. “Oh Rose…”
“I know God’s forgiven me. I know He has,” she continued. “But I can’t forget it. I can’t let go of the guilt. I was scared to tell you. I kept waiting for the right time, but…” Her voice trailed off.
He could do nothing but squeeze her hand.
“Andre, there’ve been other men.”
Obviously! But he dismissed the bitter thought as unworthy.
“Lots of other men, Andre.”
The idea of that knocked him back against the couch. His gut twisted inside him. He closed his eyes and absorbed the pain.
Her sigh was almost a gasp of anguish. “I’m sorry. So sorry. I was just so…empty…back then. So bitter. Lashing out at the world in my own stupid way. But there’s no excuse…I’m just so very sorry.”
Sure, it hurt. But had she really thought he would run screaming away from her?
He opened his eyes and smiled, at peace, enjoying the depths of her rich brown eyes and the comfort of her hand in his.
“Is that all, my love?” he asked.
She nodded slowly.
He had his own past, and he would have his own confessions. But this was her night. Rose’s night. He took her other hand.
“Rose, will you marry me?” he said, gently.
In him (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8