There was no reason to wait.
Or was there?
At the time I really didn't consider it much.
Do it, Sweet. You have nothing to fear. You should do it. You must. After everything the two of you have been through.
I sighed heavily and continued to check on the gravy, nervously going through everything in my head.
So, is spontaneous good? I asked myself. I mean, it helped Trudy, right? So why wouldn't it help me? Is this just another way of dealing with my guilt? Is this a desperate attempt to have him fully forgive me and keep everything the way it is? Answer me! Ah, hell, whom am I even yelling at?
Rubbing my hands together I waited for his mother to drive him home. I needed to have this happen. It just made sense to me but at the same time it seemed completely random.
Pony hasn't had that much luck in the romantic field, nor has Dallas. But Darry and Steve have been doing fine.
Why I was judging my romance life based off others I'll never be able to explain. Everything was just coming in and out of my head like anxious relatives going to visit their family in other parts of the country during a holiday weekend.
Trudy told me spontaneous was good, and technically so did Iris and Steve. I never planned to fall in love with Two-Bit and I never planned to be gay. I never planned to have the rough affair with Steve and I never knew how much it would benefit me.
My god the only thing that hadn't been spontaneous during that year was my lies. They were planned and coordinated with the lying skill I had acquired through series of events. I convinced people I was a woman for god's sake.
This I guess was the time that most people felt that they needed some coordination in what they did and how they proceeded with doing it. I mean, it was something that just seemed important, you know?
The oven dinged and I pulled the meatloaf out, the chocolate cake still being baked for dessert.
Calm down, Sweet. I placed it on the table. It'll all be fine.
I tasted the sauce just as the door opened, my nerves getting the better of me thus my hand getting scorched.
"Sweet?" Two-Bit heard my yelp and ran over.
"I'm fine!" I said, "I just…ow…I just need some ice of something…"
Before Two-Bit could go anywhere Ms. Mathews was already there with an ice packet on my hand, sitting me down on the couch.
"Bless you." I smiled.
"Isn't she the best?" Two-Bit asked, coming over to the couch, "You okay, baby?"
"He'll be fine," Ms. Mathews handed the ice packet to Two-Bit, "and unfortunately I have to leave. I need to book my flight back to Tulsa."
"I'm gonna miss you, mom," Two-Bit sighed as he continued to keep the ice on my hand, "Why do you gotta leave?"
She stood and made a pouty face, "'cause I'm runnin' out o' money and somethin' tells me I've been robbed," she kissed his forehead, "I'll be here for a while longer. Don't miss me yet."
She kissed my forehead and I smiled, "Thanks, Ms. Mathews."
"Any time," she smiled, heading to the door, "Keep that ice on your hand. Two-Bit, I'll be back to pick you up for work tomorrow, 'kay?"
"Okay. Love you." He called.
She waved from the tiny gap in the door as she closed it, "Love you too!"
The door closed and my nerves were back. It was just me and Two-Bit alone in the house. I had no idea what to do or where to take this, but when Two-Bit smiled at me I felt more settled.
"Hello," he said, "You startled me there. You feeling better?"
"Much." I said, and of course I had to start thinking of Trudy.
No. Tonight is about you and Two-Bit and no one else.
Part of his recovery, which was recommended by his mother apparently, was getting back into showing affection, especially romantic, thus he kissed my cheek, the feeling so pleasuring I blushed.
"When's dinner gonna be ready?" He asked, switching his left hand to his right hand when he held the pack down.
"Well now that the chef has been harmed," I said, Two-Bit grinning, "the sue chef will have to take over."
He nodded and headed over to the kitchen, me holding the pack down myself. The old Two-Bit would've made a big deal about having to go cook the meal himself, but the simple fact that he could even smile again, let alone kiss my cheek was satisfying enough.
I closed my eyes and tried to figure out what to do. The more I thought about it, though, the more I convinced myself that it was a bad idea.
It's only been a month after his time with Darry. Maybe it would be a good idea to…
Waiting might make it too late, and God knows what's going to happen in the future.
Time is now.
I stood and placed the ice pack in the freezer as Two-Bit looked at all the pots in front of him scratching his head.
"How much food are you making?" He cocked his eyebrow, the way he always thinks.
"Just some meatloaf with gravy, a special sauce, and vegetables," I said, "Oh, and there's a little surprise in the oven for you."
He would've made a crack about whom he knocked up, but he smiled and nodded, never touching the oven door.
"So," he turned off all the knobs, "let's just-"
He looked over at me, his eyebrow cocked and his face rather bland.
I didn't know how to start or what to say or if it was right. Even though he was better he still wasn't Two-Bit. He was Keith. He was Keith Mathews.
But, Trudy said spontaneous is good.
Iris told me to follow my heart.
And I knew I loved him years ago.
"Yeah?" He asked, his curl bouncing lightly on his forehead.
You're already at this point, Sweet….just…just go on…
I swallowed, my thoughts somewhat organizing themselves into sections, "Keith, I've loved you for a long time by now. Your mother told you that love was when you didn't wanna leave that person, right? That it was a gut feeling, right? Well, going off what your mother has said, I…Why, Keith Mathews I love you.
"I never want to leave you, Two-Bit," I didn't want to leave him, "I want to stay with you for as long as I can," I sighed, 'My stomach hurts', "I want to stay here with you during the seemingly impossible hardships we have gone through," 'Funny. So does mine…' he shrugged, 'I ain't a doctor, so how we gon' fix it?', "and I think that with you by my side," I don't think you need a medical degree for this cure…', "we can deal with everything together."
And this is the first time in my life I made a decision I was sure about.
I got on my knee and grabbed his hands, "Keith Two-Bit Mathews…will you marry me?"
He stared at me, his eyes wide and his eyebrow still cocked. He was like a statue, a stone statue.
Now you've done it. I felt so much regret. You've mortified him.
I started to stand and had this urge to apologize, but both were stopped by his vast, familiar laugh.
He's laughing at me? I didn't know how to respond.
He kept laughing and I got to my feet, watching him with such a big amount of confusion that it was hard to be mad at him.
I somehow managed to ask, "Why are you laughing?" I don't know if I intended to sound harsh.
He realized how insulting his laugh must've been and stopped, clearing his throat after chuckling once more.
There was a pause, "Sorry," he couldn't keep the smile off his face, though, "It's just…" he chuckled again, "My god," he pulled something out of his pocket, "I guess it is true that…great minds think alike."
And to my shock he handed me a ring.
I covered my mouth in utter surprise, "Oh my god…" I looked back up at him, "How…when-"
"After you got me talkin' to Darry," he explained, "I started thinkin' about how honest you been with me, ya know? How you opened up to me about what ya were goin' through. I thought to myself, 'now there's a guy I wanna stay with. There's a guy I like.'
"The biggest thing, though, that made me wanna stay with you is…well, you stuck by me, Sweet. I wanted to thank you all that time after I was…well, you know. And the thing was that you never gave up. You kept pestering me so I'd talk to you and you wouldn't let me get away with…with not being myself.
"I know I've changed. Believe me, I've noticed, but that never changed my feelings for you. I'm getting better because of you and because you've stayed by me. You're making me better by loving me.
"Sweet, you just stood by me, you know? It was a scary and changing time for me and you…were just there. At first I told myself that that was what friends did but I love you…and I knew that you loved me and that's why you stayed. It wasn't friendship, even though we started out that way. It was because you loved me and was willing to do anything for me…and my mom was definitely right."
He sighed, "And because of you I know what love is."
I didn't know what to say. I was so touched. We had both been on the same page all along. We had both loved each other this whole time, even while he was in his dark state.
I looked down at the ring and smiled, my eyes turning misty.
Looking back up at him he shrugged, "So does that mean you need an answer from me?"
I wiped my eyes, "No, I need an answer from you. I did ask first."
He came closer to me, sighing, "Sweet, ever since what happened I don't know how to love you without remembering the pain I experienced there."
"We can find out together the way we did when this whole thing started," I explained, my eyes becoming watery again, "I didn't know how to love a man, let alone anyone. But we cared enough that we figured it out, and all we have to do is learn together again the way we did the first time," I took his hands, "and I'm willing to fall in love with you all over again if you are."
His own eyes weren't wet, but a tear came down his left cheek as he smiled at me, "I'm willing to too."
And, I couldn't control myself; I pulled his face to mine and kissed his warm lips. The lips I first fell in love with; the lips of my one and only love.
The lips that taught me what love it.
He picked me up bridal style and spun me in the kitchen, me laughing as the whole room blurred by my gaze.
He stopped and we made eye contact, our noses touching.
"You're my SweetTooth." He cooed.
"And you're my Two-Bit," I replied, my lips pressing against his once more, "I could teach how to love me again in another way if…if you're ready…"
He cocked his eyebrow, "I just proposed to a man I most likely won't ever get a chance to marry," he smiled, "I think I'm ready."
"I'm just making sure," I said, "I mean, y-"
He stuck his tongue out and made ppbbbbfff sound that you make when you blow on your tongue, "Doesn't matter what happened, Sweet. It only matters what's happening and what's going to happen," his hand went through my hair, "…and I think something I've missed is going to start in the next ten seconds."
"Make it five and you've got a deal." I smiled. He purred and nuzzled my neck, making me laugh uncontrollably.
And, I know it was our night, but I started thinking about Trudy. I thought about her Ponyboy and Dallas and how they technically restarted their lives after something changed…something somewhat drastic. Trudy had an epiphany, Pony's girlfriend betrayed him, and Dallas was beaten and accused of being gay.
However, they all learned to move on.
And so did Darry after his beating. So did Myrna after what happened in New York. And Steve after what happened between him and me. And Trevor and Two-Bit.
I guess we were all changing and adapting to life.
And the more I think about it I realize that I most likely didn't know all the things I knew, like that me trying to have sex with Two-Bit would lead to my guilt and thus he'd get beaten; that my night with Trudy would actually be beneficial; that Dallas would learn to accept and forgive me.
In fact there are too many things I don't know, and one of them includes the future and what that may hold.
But I knew what my future holds.
My future holds love, kindness, honesty, and true happiness. Sure, there will be some lies and bent truths every so often, but that's not all that I would saw in my future the way I did a couple months ago.
I saw an eternity with a good man and good friends and family in my future with all the others as bonuses. I saw the sun and the moon starting and ending my days with a smile.
What was happening and what was going to happen were the only things that really mattered. What happened is what we learn from, and I had definitely learned from that past year. I learned more about myself, about love, and about truth.
I learned where I belonged.
Two-Bit and I were ready to move on into a newer and more gorgeous future after a horrendous experience; we're moving on.
And with the love and the life we'd have we would fight for each other, no matter how many bits of hair were in the plastic bag. We would lie for each other and we would kill for each other.
And with this knowledge my thoughts were stopped once Two-Bit carried me to the bedroom, closing the door romantically with his foot.
But so many other doors were being opened.
…And I couldn't wait to explore them.