Left and Leaving – Chapter 19

Late on Friday afternoon, Nick could barely sit still. He was flying into Tampa the next day to surprise Camille. It was a flawless plan, he figured. Chris usually went out on Saturday nights, and he knew from experience that Camille usually liked to stay in and relax unless there was some sort of event going on. So he was sure she would be home. Surprising her would be easy, he had a key to Chris’s apartment, so Nick planned it out perfectly.

He would stroll inside and Camille would be sitting on the couch, not bothering to look up from the TV screen. He would walk over to her, get down on one knee on she would be downright shocked to see him there.

That’s the kind of mushy stuff girls love, right? Surely it would make her melt. It had to!

As the day wore on, Nick started to grow more and more nervous. The initial excitement had begun to subside, and was slowly being replaced with fear. Fear that she would say no, fear that what he was doing was wrong…

Luckily, he had a couple of friends who had already been through the stress of proposing. For a few brief minutes, he was able to pull Brian out of the room and talk to him. He’d thought about asking Kevin, but he knew that Kevin was just going to lecture him on how rash he was being. Nick really didn’t want to hear that, especially when he knew he was acting that way. On some level, at least.

“What’s up, Nick?” Brian asked as Nick whisked him out into the hallway. He’d seemed pretty concerned about something.

Nick glanced around to make sure no one was listening. “Okay… when you proposed to Leighanne, were you nervous?”

Brian gave Nick a strange look. That wasn’t something he expected to hear out of Nick at all, because when someone asks that question, the reason is probably because they’re planning on proposing to someone. “Not really… I mean I was, but I was sure she was going to say yes.” He replied. “Why?” He asked cautiously.

“I’m going to ask Camille to marry me tomorrow.” Nick replied proudly.

Brian pressed his lips together as he searched Nick’s face for any indication that he was joking. Nope, Nick was perfectly serious. He was afraid of that. This was just like Nick, to be completely irrational. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Of course.” Nick said without skipping a beat. “We love each other, it’s the next step, right?”

“Well… I guess.” Brian replied, not really sure what else he could say. If he argued with Nick, he knew that he’d just get overly defensive. “I thought you didn’t believe in marriage?”

Nick sighed. That was true, and that was what he’d told Camille before… which is what had caused this whole mess in the first place. What was wrong with him changing his mind? If that was what she wanted, then that’s what he would give to her. “I didn’t… but I guess I changed my mind.” Nick said, putting his hands in his pockets.

Brian nodded. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to talk Nick out of this, and trying would only result in him getting upset. “Well, if you’re really sure that she’s the one, I wish you luck.” He said, giving Nick a friendly tap on the shoulder before going back into the meeting with the others.

Nick stood there for a moment before joining him. He wasn’t entirely sure that Camille was ‘the one’ as Brian had put it… but he still had time to figure that out, right? It wasn’t as if they were going to get married right away, they could be engaged for a long period of time.

Nick disregarded his worries as he rejoined the others. He and Camille had been fine and happy before any of this drama had come up, he was confident they’d be fine once he had solved it.

***

Friday evening came all too slowly for Camille and Chris. After a long week at school, they were both itching to get home and relax.

Of course, Chris had other things on his mind. Desperate to win Camille over and to get her to forget about Nick, he’d gone home during the lunch hour and set up the apartment. He’d rented two of her favourite movies and he’d ordered Chinese food to be delivered around dinner time.

“Thank God it’s Friday!” Camille exclaimed as the two of them walked into the apartment upon returning home from school. “Do you have any plans tonight?”

“Nope.” Chris replied, sitting down on one of the couches. “But you do.”

Camille gave him a confused look. “What?” She asked him. As far as she knew she didn’t have anything planned. Other than taking a nice, long nap.

“Go look at the DVD player.” He instructed, and Camille did as she was told.

“Titanic and Pearl Harbour?” She squealed, noticing the cases on the shelf beside the TV. “Awesome!”

Chris smiled, he figured she’d be happy about that. Camille wasted no time in popping Titanic into the DVD player and curling up on the couch. Almost immediately, Chris moved to the couch and sat beside her.

“You actually want to watch this?” Camille laughed.

Chris shrugged. “It’s a good movie.”

Camille rolled her eyes. She didn’t know any guy that liked Titanic. “Whatever, Chris. I’m sure you only like it because Kate Winslet strips halfway through.” She giggled. “You know, I’m pretty sure that the only reason James Cameron put that in there was to wake the boys up who had fallen asleep while watching this.”

Chris shook his head. “Honestly, I think it’s a great piece of cinematic art.”

Camille giggled at his comment. “Cinematic art? Who says things like that?”

“It is!” Chris defended himself. “It didn’t win a bunch of awards for nothing.”

Camille nodded her head in agreement. That much was true. “I guess you’re right. I still like it for the sappy love story.”

Chris rolled his eyes. “You would.”

The two of them continued to watch the movie, but not without a little friendly banter here and there. Chris couldn’t help but feel pleased with himself. He’d definitely managed to get Camille’s mind off Nick. Or so he thought, anyway. She didn’t mention him at all for the entire evening.

Still, Chris was wrong in assuming that meant she wasn’t thinking about him. As Camille watched the tragic love story unfold, she couldn’t help but think about her own love and why things just weren’t working out between them. Try as she might, she couldn’t stop thinking of him. Everything seemed to remind her of Nick. Still, she tried as hard as she could to concentrate on other things. That part of her life was closed, and she didn’t want to dwell on it any longer.

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