What Noelle Knew

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4 May 2007

At first, Noelle said, no way. Pick out an engagement ring for Graciela, behind her back? She hated knowing about Rickey’s plans to propose before Graciela did. But there was something in Rickey’s warm brown-sugar eyes that made her open the display case with the diamond solitaires. Noelle helped him pick out the most tasteful ring for his budget. It was a small diamond, but Noelle knew that Graciela would like it just the same.

Now, Noelle hid behind a tree in Union Square Park, watching as Rickey approached Graciela and Allison, who were sitting in the dog park. Rickey was sitting on top of a big, white, chiseled horse, the kind you see on the cover of romance novels. He was wearing a white guayabera and holding a red rose.

From where she stood, Noelle could tell that Graciela was speechless. Oh God, Noelle thought to herself. I hope this goes well. Graciela was going to know that the diamond came from her store, and if she turned Rickey down, Graciela would come after Noelle for keeping it a secret. On the other hand, if Graciela married Rickey, everything would change. Roxie would be bitter. Allison would be depressed. Kyoko would try to hold everyone together but probably just be annoyingly enthusiastic about everything. And Noelle…Noelle would miss Graciela’s spark. They all would.

As Rickey dismounted his horse and got down on one knee, Noelle strained to listen. She heard him say, “Will you marry me?” But before Graciela could say anything, the park erupted with the sound of a group of kids, making clattering music and break dancing. Graciela covered her mouth with her hand, and her Versace sunglasses obscured her eyes. Dammit! Noelle cursed. What did she say? I can’t let her know I’m here! What the hell am I supposed to do?


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Posted by Mirela Gluck at 11:49 AM
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