An Engagement Ring for Christmas – Part One

Eva and Jason were in the throes of a whirlwind courtship. They met in July, quickly fell in love, and before Eva had the chance to catch her breath, Jason proposed—in October, three months after they met. It was Christmas Eve and they were at her parent’s home for dinner.

Out of the corner of her eye, Eva saw Jason slowly push back his chair and bend to one knee. Her eyes grew huge and a warm wash came over her.  At the sound of his voice, Eva turned to face him. Her Mom, Dad, and siblings were all smiles, because they knew what was happening. Tears filled Eva’s eyes. In his sonorous voice, that deep one that she loved to hear so much, he said, taking her hand, “Eva, I love you. From the day we met, I knew you were the one. Would you do me the honor of marrying me? I want to protect you and keep you safe. I want to honor you and spend the rest of our lives together.” He slid the ring up to her knuckle awaiting her response. Eva wiped the tears from her eyes and shook her head in the affirmative. She was ecstatic but ignored the sense of unease she felt. Jason was perfect for her, wasn’t he?

One-week post-proposal.

            “Eva, honey, I know you said you wanted a long engagement, but…”

            Eva held her hand out admiring her ring. Thinking about how wonderful this man was and how much she was looking forward sharing her life with him.  “Jayce, I still feel the same way.”

            “What difference does it make if we get married a year or one month from now. We know we’re going to get married.”

            He must really be ready to start our lives together. “True, I just think we need to spend more time getting to know each other better, first.”

            “Awh girl, I know all I need to know about you.” He smiled. “Let’s see, you are beautiful. Your eyes are light brown. Your smile makes me feel woozy inside. Your favorite color is jade. You should own your own restaurant; everything you cook so good. You’re my genius—I.Q. 140. You are caring. Want me to go on?”

            Eva smiled. She loved that Jason was so perceptive and the way he always commented on just about everything she did. They agreed on almost everything. “Well, since you asked. I have a question.”

            “Okay.”

            “I’m contemplating starting a business?”

            “Sounds great! I know you can do anything.”

            “It would mean that I’m working my regular job and dedicating a large amount of time after that to the start up. I wouldn’t have a lot of time to spend with you at the beginning of our marriage if we were to get married sooner than if we waited.”

            “I make enough for us to live off one check. Go ahead and quit so you can fully commit to the business, I know you can succeed at anything you do. I support your decisions. Oh yeah, when can we go get our phone plans combined? I’ll pay the bill.”

            “Let me think on it.  How do you feel about my having my own bank account?”

            “As long as the bills are paid and we have savings, we should each have money to spend the way we want to.”

            “You know that I tithe out of every check, and speaking of that, why haven’t you gone to church with me more?”

            “You’re right. I see how into that you are and if we’re going to get married, we do need to be on the same page.”

Eva was pleased.

The following week.

Eva and Jason were at her best friend Jessica’s house watching movies and eating popcorn. Brian, Jessica’s husband was listening carefully to the conversation.

            “Well, Jason. I heard you and my girl are taking the plunge!”

            Eva showed off her ring.

            “Your girl!?”

“Yeah, Eva is like a sister to me.”

“Oh. Yeah, well, I finally met my Mrs. Right. Her ring set me back a pretty penny, but she’s worth it. “Hey man, you got any beer?”

            Eva playfully nudged Jason in the side and said, “Brian, he’s just playing. He doesn’t drink beer.”

            “Good,” Brian said, ‘cause we don’t either.

They were sitting at the dinner table shooting the breeze when Brian stood and began clearing the dinner dishes. “Hey, man, grab a few of these dishes and meet me in the kitchen. It’s my turn to do the dishes.”

            “Uh, no thanks.”

Awkward moment.

            Jessica said, “why not Jason? You don’t like dishpan hands?”

            “Well, I was raised that the woman handles the kitchen duties.”

            “Hmm.” Eva thought as she mentally tucked that little piece of information away.

            “Let’s play cards,” Jessica said. I want my baby as my partner.”

            “No problem,” Eva said. We got this.

The next day.

            “Jason, now that we’re engaged, when do I get to meet your family?”

            “Eva, soon. I told you they are always traveling. I barely see them myself. But I got the house all to myself, wanna come over? I’ll be nice.”

            Eva didn’t think she heard that right. “Jason, really? I thought you told me that you had your own place.”

            “Well, I used to. I didn’t want to tell you. But two days ago, I temporarily, moved with my parents because…because I got fired. I’m looking for a new job.

            Eva was shocked but wanted to show how understanding she could be. In a nondescript voice she asked, “What happened?”

“They were always sweating me to produce more and more.” He stood and began to pace.  “Bring in more and more clients, they kept saying. Then they said I took too many days off. No worries, I’ll have a better job in no time. I have responsibilities that I’m getting ready to take on.”

            “Sooo, when were you going to tell me you lost your apartment and your job? Do you have any money saved?”

“Um, yeah. Well, I did, but I had to help out my cousin.”

“Oh, no.” She hugged him. “You could take the ring back if you’re short on money. I don’t need a ring as long as I’ve got you.” When she got no response, she figured he was embarrassed. “Jason?”

            “I love you Eva.  Are you sure about the ring, though? I couldn’t do that to you. I’ll figure something out. No worries.”

“I’m sure, Jayce.”

“That’s my baby. I knew I chose the right one. I’ll be there in an hour.       

One week later

            “Eva, what happened to your ring?”

            Embarrassed, Eva involuntarily felt for her ring. “Oh, Jess, I’m having it cleaned. What do you think about this dress?”

            “Okay. So, has Jason been keeping his word and attending church with you?”

            “Well…yah.”

            “Unconvincing, Eva. What’s really going on?”

Stay-Tuned for Part 2! How do you see this scenario playing out?

Can you locate all of the Red Flags?

                                                                                                                                                                   Yvonne Cole

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