Prompt for May 18, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

“What do you mean you can’t marry me?” The ring lay on the table between them, the light of the flickering lanterns reflecting off the gold band and diamonds making it twinkle against the white linen table cloth. The patio was crowded, but the tables were far enough apart that they were in their own little cocoon. Separate and still part of the collective.

“I’ve told you before, Richard, my faith is very dear to me. The fact that you’re a scientist and have no faith is something that disturbs me, it’s something that I’m not sure that I can overlook.” Normally Deliah’s voice was devoid of the southern belle accent that made her stand out in a crowd. But now, excited and obviously off-kilter, her accent was coming out strong.

He reached for her hands but she pulled them away and straightened up. “I’m sorry, Richard, I just can’t, I mean it’s just something that I strongly believe in, the power of faith, and if you have no faith I’m not sure I can handle that.”

Richard leaned back in the chair and a rueful smile appeared on his full lips. “Oh, my dear Deliah, I have faith, perhaps more than you.” She started at that response and the sad, disconsolate expression on her face was fading away, being replaced by confusion and, to a small degree, anger.

“More faith than me? More faith than me?” Her voice had risen loud enough for the other patrons to hear and they started looking in their direction. Deliah noticed this and brought her voice down to the level of a strident whisper. “You’re a scientist, Richard, you have no faith.”

“Au contraire, Deliah, au contraire. Let me tell you about a leap of faith that many scientists take which has scared them for decades. Tonight I proposed to you, I wrapped up my heart in a ring and presented it for your review. I didn’t know what the response would be, I couldn’t know. There is no scientific explanation for love, for the feelings that I have for you, there is no science involved at all. Instead, it’s faith. Faith that you and I belong together, faith that we are meant to share our lives together, faith that I mean as much to you as you mean to me. I had faith that whatever came our way we could handle it. Together.”

Richard stood up and dropped his napkin to the table top. He took two steps away before he stopped and looked back. “Apparently my faith was misplaced,” he said as he turned and left.

The silent tears stained the white linen table cloth. Part of the collective but so alone.

Post a link to the story in the comments.

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