[WP] You are on the perfect date with your dream girl. You have meticulously planned the entire evening to perfect. And unknowingly, she keeps ruining everything you have planned.

A rocky patch had begun after her cat died. She was inconsolable in a way I could not understand. I had to do something extremely lovely for her.

Valentine's was one week and 3 days away and I had completely nailed it. Her friend, Steph, had mentioned to me briefly that she had always wanted to try cooking with a tagine. A tagine is not particularly romantic, I'll grant you that. However, I understand how irritating it is to have to spend your spare income on things you need rather than things you want. I figured I'd spare her the pain of indenting her monthly salary to get necessities.

The tagine was a starting point. I envisaged her unwrapping the present, me rapidly explaining 'Steph said you wanted one, I thought it would be cool and now you don't have to buy one!', trying to fit every single word in before she opened the gift, distracting her from the delicious task of unwrapping that big, colourful box. I was actually preparing myself to justify her present.

Anyway, a couple of days went by and I felt the tagine was inadequate. I turned to the internet for advice for what to do next and I stumbled upon the exquisite accompaniment to her present - a cooking class! Then the tagine would make sense! I bloody booked it, it was expensive but I made sure it was on a good night (a Thursday) and was easily accessible from both her workplace and her flat. I planned for all eventualities! This was very unlike me.

She arrived at mine on Friday night as usual. It was great to see her after work. She was usually quite hesitant at spending her 'non-school' nights at mine. She realised that we can have nights in all the time during the week, so why spend weekends staying in with each other? She makes a very pragmatic and convincing point. But this Friday night was different - Valentine's! I had worn her down, I felt a bit soppy but I needed her to know how important this was to me.

She was completely fooled when she arrived. I gave her a fairly sorry bunch of flowers, lowering her expectations you know? I thought she'd laugh about it - and she did! She tittered, a very dejected titter. I believe she was humouring me. But she hadn't stipulated that we'd give each other presents, right? So flowers should have been a nice surprise.

I had an amazing evening. I honestly don't usually like the same films as her but I thought of a couple that might fit into her tastes. She loves romantic films so I thought I would introduce her to the Star Wars series. They are so important to me and if she would just watch them she would absolutely love them! She sat through them all and assured me they were great. I spoke about them to her for ages.

We awoke the next morning together. It was amazing, I went downstairs and got her card, which contained the receipt for her cooking lesson. She was so confused about this until she saw her gift. Her face lit up! I could tell she wasn't completely sure because, y'know, it isn't the most typical Valentine's present. But I was impressed that I managed to put a smile on her face.

Two days before the cooking lesson she asked to meet up, which was strange because we usually meet on a Tuesday anyway. She was adamant that it wasn't at my flat. This was kind of exciting, we never meet in public! She had obviously planned something big. This wasn't like her.

The cafe was your typical bared-brick establishment, complete with mismatched chairs, rather like Friends. I remember how embarrassed she was at my joke comparison to us basically being in Central Perk. I felt silly for even making the reference. She pointed out that Friends had ended over ten years previously. Had it? I can't believe how fast that past decade has gone.

Her state of embarrassment turned sombre. She told me she had something to tell me. My mind raced; Family member? Work? It took me a shamefully long time to realise the news was about me. The talk lasted for hours, details of unresolved quarrels, small grievances gone unnoticed. The unmissable and unavoidable message was: I do not love you.

How did I not notice? I thought I'd been good but... she unravelled our relationship so eloquently and factually, she could actually list all of my misdeeds in chronological order. She could name every time she had doubted us.

I could not name a single one.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread