Love was the damnedest thing. It was choking on sugar cubes and a strawberry smoothie; love was drowning on the very air you breathe. Love was a cold cone of ice cream on a summer day, half-melted and running down your fingers. Love was night and day, but it wasn't black and white. Love was confusing, and love was chance—an opportunity, even.

But, perhaps most of all, love was a sacrifice.

Lovina knew the feeling of love better than everyone she knew. She knew it better than her younger sister and her sister's German boyfriend… Perhaps, she even knew the emotion better than Antonio, her own boyfriend.

But how could I when he taught me what love is?,she had asked herself just now and so many other times in the past. She stared idly out the window, eyes unfocused and watching the window as it streaked with raindrops. It was cloudy today, and there had been a downpour earlier, turning the ground into a thick muck. Lovina had long since given up hope on going outside, leaving her inside the house to think.

Ring…! Ring…! Ring…!

Her eyes fixated immediately on her cell phone as the usual ringtone chimed, and the screen read "Antonio". Speak of the devil, she thought.

Lovina opened the message from her boyfriend with a flick of her thumb, eyes scanning the text mercilessly. A little squeak passed her lips when she realized what the message said.

Marry me, Lovina.

Instantaneously, her cheeks warmed, and her fingers went to rapidly tap back a reply. Her eyebrows furrowed over the first reply she had typed before retyping a different one.

Dumb bastardo!


Antonio had been trying to get Lovina to marry him for the past month, mainly by sending texts, letters… anything to get her attention, even if it was aU Mry Me scrawled in children's chalk on a square of toilet paper. Lovina had been trying to play hard-to-get this entire time. A marriage proposal over the phone was answered with her hanging up while a letter wasn't answered at all, but rather crumpled and thrown out.

But it was hard to actually say "no" to Antonio.

Lovina definitely loved him, so she didn't wantto reject him. She wantedto marry him, but she didn't at the same time. Her feelings were jumbled in her head, and it came out even more jumbled in speech. She loved him enough to be his bride, but she didn't want the commitment. She didn't feel ready to have the responsibility. Not yet. Or… at least she thought. Hell, even if she was ready, the idea made her feel so elderly.

Ring…! Ring…! Ring…!

Does that mean yes?

Lovina rolled her eyes and set her phone aside. Antonio probably already thought she would say "yes" eventually, so she would keep this game going… at least a little longer.

Giving a quiet yawn, she started her way to the restroom to wash her face. Every time Antonio sent her a proposal, her face became hotter than the Sahara.

However, upon entering the room, she saw something strange in the mirror. She gave this "strange something" a stern look before rotating her body this way and that. Something about her stomach… Eyes widening in realization, she hurriedly got ready and took her car to the nearest pharmacy, panic plain upon her face.

Sitting on the toilet seat only a half-hour later, she couldn't believe what she saw.

She was pregnant.