CAMILLE PALDI - THE PROPOSAL
“Great to see you Jimmy,” Camille blurted out softly as Jimmy reached for a chair at the dark, wooden table for two tucked away in the corner of a quaint coffee shop in Brooklyn. “It’s been so long, too long,” Jimmy cheerfully echoed as the old college friends and at times more than friends greeted with curious engagement. “Do you want me to go and order the coffee,” Jimmy asked Camille. Comfortably seated, Camille nodded in silent agreement. “Grab me a café au lait with almond milk,” Camille requested.
Before sitting down, Jimmy rose back up and turned towards the coffee stand. At that moment, a man at the next table dropped down on his knees with his cell phone recording and proposed to his girlfriend, apparently on Facebook Livestream. “Oh my God” Jimmy though out loud. “We are in the background of a marriage proposal,” Jimmy streamed live on camera. Camille thinking it was a romantic gesture, smiles and fixes her hair for the live shots. “Jimmy, pose for the camera,” Camille subtly whispers in the direction of Jimmy. Jimmy, astonished at being on live camera, quickly departs from the camera screen and heads towards the coffee stand. Jimmy cannot believe that a man would propose to his girlfriend live on camera on Facebook livestream at a coffee shop. How unromantic and cheapening of the institution of marriage Jimmy silently thought. Camille glances on as the man formally asks for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage.
As the tall, blonde man with blue eyes, dressed in a brown suit with a white dress shirt and checkered bowtie finishes his request on live camera, the coffee shop inhabitants stare at the scantily clad, Asian girlfriend in anticipation as to what will be her answer to this man who so publicly declared his love and devotion to the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile, Jimmy proceeds to the coffee stand in shock and disgust, offended at being dragged into this public spectacle of a cheap marriage proposal. Jimmy orders two café au laits and returns back to the table, zigzagging across the floor so as to avoid being caught up in this shenanigan when all of a sudden the woman of the moment screams out “YES”! Just then, the whole coffee shop erupts into congratulatory clapping and congratulations. Jimmy, dodging a windstorm of excitement, lands at the table, flustered and confused.
“Jimmy,” Camille articulated, “Isn’t it romantic? That man just proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes.” “I hardly consider it romantic to propose in a coffee shop let alone on Facebook Live,” Jimmy responded. The newly engaged couple were now again seated at the next table, basking in their newly found commitment towards each other for life. Camille, a romantic at heart, felt inspired by such a public expression of commitment and love and reveled in the thought of Jimmy one day asking her to be his girlfriend. However, Camille had spent much of her youth and young adult life in dead-end relationships that didn’t work out for one reason or the other. She never seemed to pick the right person and Camille and Jimmy never seemed to find the ideal opportunity to be together. Jimmy didn’t waste his time and if Camille was unavailable for any reason, he moved right along to the long line of ladies waiting for a chance to date this handsome, musically gifted hunk with a great sense of humor.
“How can that man propose in a coffee shop?” Jimmy questioned the universe. “I can’ believe I am being broadcasted all over the world in a cheesy marriage proposal on Facebook and I don’t even know the couple,” Jimmy whined in an offended manner. “Relax, Jimmy,” Camille replied. “It’s over now, let’s just enjoy our coffee,” Camille said.
“How’s your girlfriend, Sophie?” Camille inquired with a saddened heart. “She’s fine. We’re moving in together,” Jimmy revealed. “Oh, congratulations, Jimmy, Camille said with an empty glare. “I’m really happy for you,” said Camille. “Thanks,” replied Jimmy.
Just then, the newly engaged couple got up and left the room. As the couple departed, so did any of Camille’s hopes of being together with Jimmy.
“Two café Au Laits for Jimmy,” yelled the male Latino Café barista with a colorful Jamaican hat on his head and wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt. Jimmy shoots up to retrieve the coffees.
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