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The Engagement

Magic Realism/Surrealism Short Story Inspired by a Dream

Silent Misery by Shenique

I am watching them. I am watching them as they laugh, as they eat, as they walk, as they breathe; it is I who watches them. She has a certain kind of glitter in her eyes as she speaks with him but he seems to be hiding something behind his. She is a tall, thick beauty with eyes the colour of a peach pencil crayon and gorgeous long light brown hair. Her skin is peach a sprinkled with freckles. He has short black hair styled into a pompadour and smooth light brown eyes. He’s tall and well-defined and his skin is olive and smooth save for his goatee. I taste these interesting details on the tip of my tongue as I follow them along the garden path.

The sky is a vast array of different coloured teddy bears and swirled lollipops and he bends down and picks up one of each as some have fallen gently to the ground. Handing it to her she smiles beautifully and he teasingly bows in response. As she puts the light blue teddy bear under her warm arm and holds the pink swirled lollipop in her smooth hand he grabs her other one. They stroll, hand in hand under the effervescent trees, through the incandescent flowers, and around many other translucent yet glowing plants.

They are en route to a cute little hotel that sits atop a giant purple flower; it takes about two ladders and three trampolines to get there; the hotel people should have just invested in elevators. The extravagant doors open up and they enter the massive foyer. They don’t stop by the front desk but just walk in, heading towards the elevators; they live here. I enter the elevator just before the door closes; they press the number five button which emits a pink glow. She whispers something in his ear and he blushes. Still, I can’t help but feel like he’s up to something.

On the third floor, a girl with electric blue hair, hot pink lips, and neon green eyes comes into the elevator. The girl asks if we’re going up and he answers yes. The girl is bobbing her head as she listens to something on her black and neon green headphones. They are laughing about some inside joke and she kisses him on the cheek. I exist, observing, only. On the fifth floor, everyone gets off; they go to the right and the girl goes to the left. As I follow behind them I look back over my shoulder at the girl. She is smiling to herself as she turns the corner. They are casually walking towards their destination. It looks so cute but he keeps on fidgeting and looking around; he looks awfully suspicious.

They stop in front of a door marked 572 and he pulls out a key card and swipes it. He pushes the door open and holds it for her; I follow in tandem. As he walks in, he lets the door lock by itself. He takes off his dark beige trench coat and hangs it beside her powder pink one. He wipes the sweat off his hands and onto his pants and takes a deep breath all while standing next to the pewter coat rack; now I’m seriously nervous. She sits with one leg over the other on the edge of the bed, her arms keeping her upper body raised as she leans back towards the bed, the teddy bear and lollipop at rest behind her. She lifts an eyebrow at him but says nothing and then turns her beautiful head to look out the window, still hiding the beauty mark behind her ear. I stand at the side, vigorously and passionately observing.

The room has three giant French doors with balconies outside of them and the ceiling is decorated with golden strings with different coloured diamonds hanging from them, it looks pretty when the light shines through them. On one of the balconies, there is a grey minicar, the swirled metal railing is right up against it as it takes up all the space on the balcony; the sky through this glass door is a deep evening blue with a light sprinkling of stars over a city. On the balcony in the middle there are a plethora of plants, long leafy plants with vines that climb up the walls and a white wooden rocking chair; the sky is orangey-pink with purple shaded clouds and the sun is setting over beach sand and a deep blue sea. On the third, are three hanging lanterns and a statue who is faced to look as if he is studying the landscape before him; the sky is a beautiful baby blue dusted with clouds and a white bright sun overlooking a lush green field inundated with fragrant flowers also a few large trees. There are so many different places to explore.

He walks over to her while saying that she is the most beautiful gift ever given to him and that she makes him so happy, she begins to redden as tears fill her eyes. She asks him what this is about and if he’s going to tell her that he has some kind terminal disease. He deftly denies this claim and walks over to his drawer. He begins to list off all the wonderful things about her as he searches for something in the drawer. She gets up and starts towards him but he finds what he wants and meets her halfway. She stares at him anxiously as he slowly reddens. He grips her hands in resolve and slides onto one knee. She starts to giggle, fervently wiping tears from her face. After a short pause where he breathes in deeply, he asks her for her hand in marriage and she nods her head so hard I’m afraid it’s going to fall off. As he slides the multicoloured ring over her finger she can hardly contain herself and starts jumping up and down. She pulls him up off the ground and kisses him deeply.

Meanwhile, I’m distracted by the golden toilet in the background. I stroll over to it and peer inside, the water is golden too. Over to the side on a golden stand is a roll of fine gold, I presume this is toilet paper. Looks…comfortable… Something soft brushes against the back of my legs and I turn around to look. There is a black panther casually strolling through the room; like me he is observing, eyeing all things. I squat beside him and begin to stroke him; his fur is luxuriously soft and very calming.

I look back at them; they were smiling into each other’s eyes but now they’ve pulled apart and are talking about sweet things and not being able to wait to tell the parents. They look over at the panther, smile and start to talk about how cute he would look as the ring bearer. They look at him but not at me. Still, I watch them and may very well continue to watch them and after they die I shall watch their children and so forth and forever. She reaches down and pets the panther calling him Toosey, her hand passing through mine. Humans can’t touch me nor can I touch them; it’s sad, really, because I adore them. Those interesting and profound creatures I used to be. So I pretend, as my daughter’s hand sits inside of my translucent one that I can feel her warmth, the same warmth that I felt the first and last time I touched her when I held her tiny new body in my arms. 

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