Diamonds and Coal
The sweetest things they burn before they shine.
She watched him as he slept, her face cradled on her right hand and a thoughtful smile on her lips. He never struck her as a snorer. He was young and thin and quiet – like a geeky schoolboy. But the sword lying recklessly on the wooden dresser reminded her that he was no schoolboy, at least not anymore. And she supposed just because someone is quiet when he's awake doesn't mean he'll remain quiet when he's asleep.
Her eyes went back to his sleeping form. He may be thin but he had the beginnings of what may soon be a well-toned body. Behind the closed lids were dark blue eyes that only she could describe as dangerous. She remembered how those eyes had looked at her only minutes earlier and she felt blood rush to her cheeks. Nobody had ever looked at her the way he did, and it unsettled her.
She sat upright on the bed and shook her head. Yes, very dangerous. And if she wasn't careful, she just might get swept off her feet. She had to remind herself that that would be extremely inconvenient and would certainly only end in a disaster. And no, she didn't need any more inconveniences or disasters in her life at the moment, thank you very much.
It's just too bad the boy was quite serious about her.
Light gray eyes then travelled to the ring resting heavily on a very important finger. It must be worth millions, maybe even tens of millions. The clear, colourless stone that sparkled with the faintest of lights couldn't be anything less than twenty carats.
But her heart weighed heavier still.
He was so earnest and honest and very romantic. And he was giving her a diamond ring, godammit! How could any girl refuse? She's not evil. It's not like she's going out of her way to hurt him, she reasoned, she was merely being practical. Besides, surely he knew he had a lot to risk in proposing to her, this scenario included, and yet he still did it. No, it's not her fault. Things like this happen all the time anyway, right? He would be devastated at first, and yes, he'd probably cry and he will get angry but he'll get over it soon enough. She would just have to make sure that she's not there to see any of it.
No, she didn't really believe any of that crap. Not that not believing them was going to change anything.
She slipped the ring from her finger. And unhooking the simple silver chain that hung around her neck, she threaded it through the ring before slipping it back around her neck and under the cover of her plain white shirt. She turned to the snoring boy and thought of giving him a final kiss. No, she decided, quickly dismissing the thought. She hadn't the right anymore. But she sat there for quite a while, thinking, wondering, remembering, grieving. Finally, with quick, stealthy movements, she gathered all her belongings, stood up and walked out the door.
She did not look back. There was no point looking back.
Holidays are over. It was time to return to real life.