This is my entry for the "Valenhog" challenge on the FB group Vocal * Voices in Minor. The prompt is to write a story combining Valentine's Day and Groundhog Day.
For twelve straight nights I have relived that magic moment in my dreams. The moment when Joe, on bended knee, presented me with a ring, and asked me to be his bride. For twelve straight mornings I have awoken to the sight of the beautiful rock on my finger, a new one each time.
For twelve straight days, Joe has looked at me like I’ve lost my mind each time I asked him why my ring is different every morning.
“Are we doing this again, Anna?” He groans. “I never gave you a ring. I’ve told you that a dozen times. You’re just dreaming.”
“What are you talking about?” I scream back at him, as I raise my hand to show him the ring on my finger; just as I did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.
“I’m wide awake, I am standing in the kitchen with you, Joe. Obviously, I’m not dreaming.”
“You’re crazy Anna,” Joe replies with a shake of his head and an annoying eye roll before turning away to make himself a coffee.
I can’t help but wonder if he’s gaslighting me, but I can’t think of a reason he would. We didn’t have a fight. We just recently got engaged, committing to spend the rest of our lives together. Why would he be attempting to make me believe I’m crazy? It just doesn’t make sense.
I guess these things never do, but I can't think of any logical reason that he would behave like this. It’s not like my family has any money. If it were another woman, why would he propose? I feel like I don’t know anything about him anymore. It doesn’t make sense. It hurts, and it scares me.
As I stand watching Joe make his coffee, his dark curls hugging the back of his neck, a little sweat glimmering on his bare back in the morning sunlight, I feel the need to be close to him. I need him to tell me everything will be okay. I move toward him and place my hands on his back in a warm caress.
He turns toward me and smiles. I see his face. It’s covered in blood.
I am jolted upright into a sitting position on the bed. My heart is pounding, I can’t catch my breath. I notice the empty space on our bed, on Joe’s side of our bed, and I start to cry. Just like I did yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.
It was all a dream. I know that now.
I lift my left hand, as my tears fall onto the ring I’m still wearing. The ring he gave me on that Valentine’s Day two years ago. I remember the moment, that incredible moment when Joe, on bended knee, presented me with that ring, and asked me to be his bride.
I remember how excited I was, how happy I was. I remember how happy we both were on the drive to the restaurant that night, and how we were already planning our future together.
Then I remember the truck, and I wonder how much longer I will be forced to keep reliving this horrendous nightmare.
About the Creator
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