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Loves' Misery: A Short Story

Updated: Feb 18

Loves’ Misery

A Short Story

©Rosalie Thorne

Inspired by the song “Misery Business” by Paramore*

Car rolling slowly down the street, trying to find parking is a nightmare. A plethora of end-of-the-year parties are in full swing, but this is the one for everyone who is anyone, so even if she has to park on a lawn, Onyx Hemmings is prepared to make it work. This party is at the grand estate belonging to the family of Troy O'Donnell.

Troy had been a friend of Onyx’s since elementary school, but with High School dynamics that didn’t mean much for a few years. They had always joked about becoming High School sweethearts in Middle School but sadly the opposite happened. Onyx knows, deep in her heart, that those Lost Years won’t stop them now. Now that they are in University, Onyx is determined to change their relationship for the better.

Checking her makeup in the flip-down mirror she wonders if going minimal was a bad choice; just by what she saw in High School and walking around campus, most girls were into doing everything they possibly could to their face. She had the same apprehension about her clothes. As she walks up to the lawn of the party, she notices that most girls are wearing skin tight or skin-revealing outfits. Onyx, however, is wearing natural-waisted black skinny jeans with a plain blush pink bra under a matching oversized mesh shirt. Her natural shapes are showing but in a comparably modest way.

The trendy girls attending Virginia University had certain attributes: part of a sorority, straight bleach blonde hair, thin and perfectly arched eyebrows, purposefully maintained tan skin, maintained or fake nails, diet and gym regular thin bodies, hyper beyond normal extrovertedness, high-society Debutante accents, and constant readiness to drink with the best of them.

Onyx? Naturally curly dark brown hair, thick but beautiful eyebrows, natural skin tone (because hello, skin cancer), healthy real nails, and her body exhibits what the women of her family called “birthing hips” and a “generous bosom.” She is social when she wants to be but prefers one-on-one time with people or just being by herself. She spoke with a South Carolina accent due to her mother’s side of the family and her only vice was Hookah at her apartment.

Unlike the sorority girls, Lily is more Onyx’s speed and that’s why they are such good friends. Lily was her own person in High School and is her own person now. With an intelligence that might be officially classified under Genius level, sometimes Onyx gets intimidated, but most of the time she loves learning all Lily has to teach her. It’s also great to have a genius best friend because it’s a tutor she doesn’t have to pay for or meet in the library. She has spiky black hair with red tips and subtle goth makeup causing those other girls to steer clear. And when the red-sided Southerners came around a little too loudly, Lily squashed them down with her LGBT activist ways. Over all, she is not someone you want to mess with.

Lily is just as happy to be at this party as Onyx. She does have friends outside of Onyx and their little circle of bibliophiles and movie enthusiasts. Friends that, surprisingly enough, would be at Troy O’Donnell’s party.

Inside and with their first drinks of the night - a rum and Coke for Lily, a simple Sprite for Onyx - Lily nudges her best friend “Hey, there’s Marcus! I’m going to go over there…” she looks softly at Onyx. “You can join me, of course, but I know you want to try and track down Troy…” she says bluntly, raising her eyebrows suggestively.

Onyx feels the heat of blush on her cheeks and lifts her Solo cup, “I’ve got my phone if you need me.”

Lily rolls her eyes but smiles and wiggles her fingers as she walks away, “Toodles!”

And then Onyx is alone in a very crowded room.

Bobbing her head to the music that is somehow too loud to actually hear, she keeps still and looks thoroughly through the formal living room. No sign of Troy or his normal group of friends. Or his groupies. With a sip of her Sprite she starts weaving her way through the masses. She only needs to stand in the grand entryways of each room to survey the crowds and determine that Troy is not in the formal dining room, the family room, the library, or the kitchen. This left either upstairs or the backyard. The upstairs had two wings and she knew from her childhood they were mostly bedrooms. That is not how she wants to purposefully-by-accident run-into Troy so she heads out the French doors off the kitchen to the deck. The spacious deck leads down to the grand yard which not only has mature trees that she spent summers reading under, but a pool she played many games of Marco-Polo in, and a garden in which she helped Mama O’Donnell tend to her roses.

On the very edge of the deck, leaning against the railing, feeling the wonderful breeze of the fresh Spring air across her skin, Onyx closes her eyes for only a moment. Able to drown out the hussle and bussle around her, to quiet her mind and let herself just be, she feels happy. The wind makes her hair tickle her skin, she can smell the garden and all the new growth - the soft but beautiful scent of flowers and life, and when she takes a deep breath she feels freer than she has in years. It seems her body misses being here as much as her mind and heart.

“Onyx?” a deep voice asks from her right.

A little startled, she turns quickly and spills her drink over the railing. “Damn it,” she comments quietly, before looking for the guy who spoke to her. Brows lowering and in a huff of surprise she utters, “Troy?”

They had spent the last year in a few classes together but it seemed they only would share smiles or waves from afar. Finally one-on-one, Onyx can see how much he’s matured. He is not the skinny, slightly awkward, head in the clouds boy from her youth. Not anymore. Instead she sees a man who has grown into his strong jaw, with stubble on his cheeks, earned muscles, and a strong purpose-filled stance. There is one thing that remains the same and that’s the flare of life behind his blue-gray eyes.

His smile shows the perfect teeth years of braces accomplished and he nods, looking truly happy to see her. “I didn’t think you’d come.”

She swallows hard and smiles back, “Well, how could I not? I’ve missed this place…” her eyes drift over the backyard landing on her and Troy’s old favorite tree.

His eyes seemed to follow hers and his voice softens. “And I’ve missed you,” he says frankly.

A little thrown, Onyx’s eyes dart back to look up into his face. “I’ve missed you too.”

He smirks in return and says, “Hey, how about we find a place to catch-up? What about my sister’s old art studio?”

She eagerly nods, “I still remember where your sister hid the key.”

With a rolling chuckle he leads her through the crowd, avoiding anyone who comes up to him like they are badgering paparazzi. Up the backstairs and to the right, it’s much quieter on the second floor but there is an assault of people coupling up. Heart pounding, mind racing, Onyx just keeps her eyes on the back of Troy’s head.

In the back of the hallway, off in a sitting area, they come to the door. Like always, it’s locked even though Troy tries it anyway. Onyx laughs and goes over to the bench under the window and slides her hand under the cushion. Pulling out the old skeleton key, she says “Voila!” and opens the door.

Troy enters first, hand sliding down (now, rather than up like in their childhood) for the light switch and Onyx follows, sliding the door shut with the same sneaky, quietness that had been needed in the past. The art studio seemed left alone like a shrine, only to be touched when his sister returned home.

Troy laughs and turns to Onyx, “Lordy, I cannot remember the last time I was in here.”

Onyx drifts over to the lavish velvet loveseat, “Probably the last time I was, was in… mm, seventh grade?”

He shakes his head laughing with a sort of disbelief, “Really? Thought you did come over some in eighth grade too.”

Her last visit had actually been his birthday in ninth grade - that September 21st. But it seems that neither of them want to really address that or address their Lost Years at all. Instead Troy plants himself in the corner of the cushions and sighs with ease, his eyes going up and down Onyx, almost studying her.

She notices his eyes linger in certain places, but as the gentleman he’s always been, he keeps eye contact when they speak. “It’s been a while.”

“Yeah… time kind of flies like that.”

“Mmm,” he offers without commitment. “How are you?” his brows furrow. “How’s your mom? How’s your little brother?”

Tucking a few strands of curls behind her ear she shift in her seat to face him. “I’m good… I passed all my classes this year. I’ve got my own apartment now, which is great because that means I can have a cat. Mom’s good, still practicing the law. And Patrick is fantastic! He got a full ride scholarship to Norwich. It’s the third best military university in the US. He starts in the Fall.”

Troy nods thoughtfully, “Following in your father’s footsteps,” he says softly.

Onyx remembers Troy being right next to her, arm around her shoulders, at her father’s funeral. “Yeah,” she murmurs softly. “We’re proud though.”

“I can imagine. Your father was a wonderful man and I know Patrick will do great at whatever he wants to do.”

Always such a comfort, even after all these years. “And what about you?” Onyx asks softly, “things seems to be going well.”

He nods but his eyes drift away for more moments than are in agreement. “If I’m honest, I’m really glad you came.” His eyes meet hers with an intensity that is surprising. “High School was kind of stupid, I’ve realized… all the social bull shit. And it spilled into this year,” he shakes his head, “I don’t like it….I thought I did. And even when I didn’t, I faked it because I thought I was supposed to like it. But I just don’t. I don’t feel… real most of the time. And it gets lonely. Fast.”

Stunned by his honesty, Onyx can only stare back. She had watched him rise through the social ranks so quickly. She had watched him as captain of the football team, as he was crowned Homecoming and Prom King, with all of his gorgeous girlfriends. Getting decent grades, always at events, his social media had showed such a wonderful life. Not only had she missed him, she had been jealous he didn’t take her along.

Yet here he is, at the grandest party of the year, hidden away with her.

“Do you… feel real now?” she asks slowly, almost whispering.

A true smile emerges - wide, raised cheeks, little wrinkles in the corners of his eyes. “Yeah… yeah I do. This does. I really, really missed you Onyx.”

Her smile mirrors his and she nods, “Well, we have all summer to catch up, let’s start right now.”

He bites his lip a little, “Yeah… yeah, that sounds perfect.”

Lily called about two hours into Troy and Onyx’s disappearance. Sounding too drunk and too anxious for Onyx’s liking, she explains to Troy that she needs to find Lily and take her home. Disappointment is clear on Troy’s face but he nods and helps in the hunt. He even walks them down to the car and wishes Onyx a safe drive and asks her to text him when she gets home before closing her car door.

Feeling on top of the world, Onyx drives home from muscle memory and doesn’t even notice time passing until Lily is safe on her couch and Onyx is washing up for bed. It has been about twenty minutes since her last text from Troy, who had been right quick about texting back, so she just sends a message to make sure he’s alright.

No reply.

Shrugging it off, she knows he’s technically responsible for the party and all its guests and figures that must be a lot to handle. Off to bed she feels light as a feather and falls asleep with the nicest of memories, the most romantic of dreams.

Morning comes and Onyx rises at a reasonable time, chipper and actually hungry for breakfast for once. When she enters the living room, however, she sees that Lily is already in the kitchen and when she faces her best friend she has pity-filled eyes and a “I’m so sorry” half smile.

Slowing her roll she hovers by the table, hand on the back of a chair. “What’s wrong?”

A flash of confusion in her eyes and then she tilts her head, “I figured I’d be facing miserable Onyx this morning. Like when they canceled your favorite show Moonlight, or when the book it was supposed to be based off turned out to be horrendous, or how you were when Snape died, or-”

Onyx cuts her off with a raise of her hand. “Why would I be miserable?”

Her eyebrows raise and she looks at her best friend as if she must have a head injury, “Because Troy hooked up with Natalie Quince last night and by all accounts - and I mean all social media accounts - they are now dating.”

As if hit by a train, Onyx falls into the chair she’s been holding onto. Eyes wide, heart too quiet, lungs not fluxing, her brain tries to wrap around the information just dropped on her. “I don’t understand,” she finally whispers, looking up at her friend helplessly. “I just… don’t understand.”

Even though it crushed her heart more and more with every picture, Onyx spent her summer depressed keeping updated on all the wonderful couple photos of Troy and Natalie on their vacation to Florida. Of course, they went to Walt Disney World, Universal, and Citywalk; they went to Kennedy Space Center (which Onyx knew was because it interested Troy, she could easily tell how bored Natalie was); and they spent a full week at the beach. They did all the cliché photos, they did all the #RelationshipGoals photos in romantic situations, and Natalie gushed about #TheBoyfriend and how #InLove they were.

She was the fakest of the fakest of the fake and that’s what hurt Onyx the most. She was the Barbie no one asked for and yet here she was, blasting her social media with pride of her relationship with Troy. It seemed to Onyx, Natalie was using him as a attractive accessory rather than as someone she loved.

There were no museum pictures, movie pictures, no pictures of them in calm but intimate situations. There were no candid pictures at all! Everything was posed, everything was placed just so and it made Onyx want to gag.

Then the Fall semester started and even though they had classes together and Troy tried to reach out, there was nothing Onyx could really do and she was so far gone emotionally that she was numb to it all, anyway. Troy was back to having a group always around him and when their time-tables matched up, Natalie was literally hanging off of him whenever she could. Even if Onyx wanted to, there was no way to break through that social barrier. And even though nothing was ever said and she never tried, somehow Natalie knew how Onyx felt and was dead set on rubbing her face in the relationship.

She knows better than to let it bother her and let herself stay depressed, so she kicks her own butt into gear and gets back to how things used to be. In the Lost Years she was still able to be herself, love herself, love her life. In the Lost Years she was still able to live how she wanted and be happy. She put her feelings aside. It was time to get back to normal.

As the weeks passed, Onyx looked less and less at their social media. Lily was proud to announce that she was happy to have her friend back. The semester came to a close, the best friends passed all their classes, and then winter break was upon them.

She ignored them on all accounts and Onyx felt liberated and free of all that nonsense. Spending time doing the things she loved with the people she loved, she enjoyed beautiful holidays and an adventurous trip to California. But most importantly, she enjoyed a Troy-free winter break.

Eight Long Months Since the Party

The third week of January came too soon in Onyx’s opinion. But she did her due diligence and was ready for classes exactly when she needed to be with exactly the right books and materials. What did come out of left field though, was that literally everyone except she and Lily were talking about the horrendous and ‘traumatic’ breakup of Troy O’Donnell and Natalie Quince.

The topic had spread like wildfire before classes even began and even the most anti-social people were discussing the downfall of the relationship. Apparently Natalie had been blogging about the whole thing, from the very beginning and that’s where Lily found out the scoop.

“Huh. So… apparently this delusional, superficial, Barbie of a humanoid is truly as shallow as she seems.”

“Mm.” Onyx purses her lips.

Lily shrugs and keeps scrolling. “Ah… here we go. So, apparently, Natalie thought that they were truly in love and ‘twin flames’,” Lily snorts, “and was ‘crushed’ when Troy didn’t propose on New Years Eve.”

Onyx finally turns to Lily with brows furrowed, “She is delusional, there’s no way Troy would do that. After only a few months?”

Lily taps her nose, “That’s what Barbie cries about in her posts. Apparently when she threw a big tantrum - well, I can only assume it was a tantrum - and Troy said that proposing ‘was not a possibility right now’, she gave him an ultimatum: get engaged or break-up. He said that he ‘was not ready to get engaged’ and she was ‘being absurd’ so…” Lily’s eyes met Onyx’s, “she broke up with him.”

“She… broke up with him? And yet is acting this way? Jesus fucking Christ.”

Lily laughs and leans back, “Yeah… she broke up with him and yet she’s playing the victim and talking about how ‘traumatic’ the end of their relationship was and how she ‘misses him too much to bare’ and ‘truly believes they’re soulmates’.”

“Jesus…. Poor Troy. She must be making his life hell.”

Lily shrugs, “She probably made his life hell from the start.”

Getting into an uncomfortable area of thought Onyx only shrugs. “Well. Anyway, so how’d your first class go?” and that was the end of that.

The next day she is in her second class and Onyx is early as usual. She is all set up at a desk in the middle of the room, eating a granola bar while lazily reading a random romance novel she’d picked up while shopping for her new text books. She doesn’t notice the rest of the class file in. When there is a loud thud of a laptop bag dropping on the desk next to her, she jumps and looks over.


He sits and nods. “Sup?”

Lowering her romance novel, thumb holding her page, she looks around slowly. A part of his normal group is staring at him, at them, from the far back corner. She gulps a rather dry piece of granola down and turns back to Troy. “Ah… everything okay?”

He seems less lively… sunken cheeks, dark circles under his eyes. His lips are chapped, his shoulders a little slumped, his skin pale. He shrugs. “Is it okay if I sit here?” His eyes meet hers, a shadow of desperation in the gray-blue irises.

Without thinking she stretches a hand to his arm, “Of course, always.”

His chest heaves as he looks at her soft, little hand on his skin. When his eyes come back to hers she notices an expression of relief. “Are you free… sometime this week? Just to hang out, or something?” his is voice rough and he almost sounds scared.

She nods quickly. Any bull shit that might have happened in all these years seems so desperately stupid. Onyx is looking into Troy’s face and can see that he is truly hurting and needs someone. That’s what’s important. “Yeah, of course. We can do whatever.”

His large, warm hand covers hers, “I would like that very much.” He sighs, “Thank you.”

It’s the first week of February and Troy is over for their usual hang out. This time though, he seems to be letting his boundaries down and finally explaining what happened with Natalie. Sitting on Onyx’s hand-me-down sofa, in her small, one-bedroom apartment, Troy holds the Hookah pipe loosely in one hand and holds Onyx’s hand in the other. His head is against the back cushions, eyes closed. “It was all just so stupid. All of it. And fake. Fake as shit. I don’t know why I did it. I don’t know… I don’t. I literally cannot come up with one fucking reason for all that - for wasting so much time and effort and,” he groans deeply.

His eyes blink then squint and after he takes a long drag and as he exhales smoothly he grimaces. “Would it be horrible of me to say that I feel like she manipulated me? I don’t even care if that emasculating to say… there was just this way she had of handling things… it was like I couldn’t say no. I mean, I was fucking raised a damn gentleman and I feel like she took advantage of that.”

He passes the pipe and Onyx takes a long drag and plays with the release of smoke. This makes Troy smile and look softly into her face. “It’s like I had that moment of clarity with you,” he continues, “a lucid moment, and then I went all crazy again.” His hand tightens around hers. “She was so shallow, Onyx. She was so pushy about getting just the right photo and all that bull shit. And when I wanted to go places like museums or art galleries, she just complained the whole time. She complained a lot, about almost everything, and yet she always had a smile for the camera.” He grunts and shakes his head. “When we went to Florida, and I was sitting there with her in all these wonderful places, do you know what I was fucking thinking about?”

She takes a shallow breath, her eyes trying to express comfort and Onyx replies softly, “What’s that?”

He lifts his free hand to his face, rubbing up the bridge of his nose and across his eyebrow. “You! Just you…. Like, in the Space Center I was thinking about that one summer we were super obsessed with space and both planned on being astronauts. Until we realized,” he laughs and looks at her sideways, “until we realized how much math it took, remember? And I kept thinking how much you would have loved being there with me.”

Troy sits up straighter and shakes his head. “I really fucked up, Onyx. All those places we went, I should have taken you. You would have loved Disney and we could’ve gotten matching mouse ears. And at Universal I know you would have been fearless and ridden every roller coaster with me. Natalie didn’t want to mess up her hair...And there was this one night,” his voice slows and his chest heaves, “where I actually had time to myself and I walked along the beach and just sat and stared at the moon. I thought about you looking up at the same night sky. Like all those summer nights we spent in the backyard… naming our own constellations and bull shitting around.” His eyes were watery before he closes them again and he leans back against the couch. “I really fucked up.”

There is a long silence and Onyx realizes that it’s now or never. Even though she doesn’t feel courage or confidence or strength. Even though it scares her through-and-through, even though he’s not even looking at her, Onyx takes a deep breath and says what she’s wanted to say for so many years. “Troy… I can’t lie to you… I honestly feel like and have felt like for a long time, that you are the only one for me.” Throat tightening, blinking away tears, Onyx doesn’t know what to do with herself. “I’m sorry if that’s not the right thing to say, or if that messes up our relationship. And I’m sorry if all you want is friendship, but I just can’t keep quiet anymore.” She takes a deep breath. “I love you.”

Troy’s eyes open slowly. His body is calm, his eyes full of life, he is smiling softly and beautifully. He reaches his free hand to brush curls behind her shoulder then slides his palm gently across her jaw, resting with his thumb under her ear. Their eyes lock and their gaze only stops when he’s close enough that they close their eyes to kiss.

Soft lips, gentle, wonderful, loving, and he caresses her cheek until they pull apart. Both smiling huge and true smiles, he rests his forehead against hers. “Onyx?” he murmurs to her in the way she’d always dreamed of.

Biting her lip she can only let out an “Mhm?”

He laughs a little and brushes his nose against hers, “Be my Valentine?”

Laughing too, she brushes her nose back. “Of course.”

It was ‘Girls Night’ and Lily was ready and waiting on the new sofa, lounging with her laptop, staring at Onyx. “I really don’t think there’s any more ways for you to rearrange that shelf,” she teases.

Onyx smiles and pulls herself away from decorating, but she’s just so happy to be in the townhouse she shares with Troy. “I just want everything to be perfect… to feel like home.”

Lily rolls her eyes but Onyx knows she loves her and is happy for her. “So guess what I’ve been keeping up with since you’ve been oh so busy with your boyfriend?”

Onyx raises her eyebrows, “What’s that?”

Lily sits up a little and has a weird excitement her face as she struggles not to burst out laughing. She tightens her lips and the throws her hand out, “Natalie’s blog.”

“.... Natalie Quince? Why in the world…?”

She can’t keep the laughter down now and she says “‘Cause this bitch is a fucking hilarious psycho. She’s so obsessed with you and Troy and writing about cyber stalking you and everything. And, like, seriously, every time you guys post a photo, she has like a five paragraph essay about it.”

Not sure if she should be feeling concerned or weirdly proud Onyx just looks at Lily. “It’s not like I mean to brag or whatever. I’m not like her…. We are just happy and we like sharing the stuff we do...” she says cautiously.

Lily smiles and starts scrolling through the blog, “No, no, I know. And any person with half a brain would know that. You Actually love Troy and he Actually loves you and you two are great fucking people even without all that social media bull shit aside.”

“Well, thank you.”

Lily glances at her for a second then her eyes go back at the screen, “I tell it like it is, you know that. And that’s why I’m telling you that this chick is crazy. Truly… she says things like you ‘stole him away from her’ and that all she wants is a ‘second chance’. But like, bitch is a whore and nothing more and people like her never change.”

Onyx, unfortunately has to agree. “There’s a million girls just like her and they all try to follow this high they get from social media. This whole popularity contest that just never seems to end… honestly, a part of me wants to feel bad for them… for her.”

Lily shot her a warning glance, “But….”

She raises her hands, “I don’t, I don’t… they could change, they could be better, they could actually have some depth,” she ends up laughing. “I just… well, you know me, I’m a sap and a part of me hopes that everyone gets their happily ever after.”

Lily smirks and turns the screen towards Onyx. She’s too far away to see the words clearly so Lily reads it aloud, “She made a long ass post about how she renamed her blog Misery Business because of the ‘traumatic breakup’ and how you are ‘torturing her’.”

Barking with laugher now, Onyx just blinks in amazement, “Oh yeah, I’m just the worst!”

Lily smile and leans in to high-five her friend, “Totally the worst.”

It’s the end of the semester and Troy and Onyx can’t believe they’ve already been together for three months. It doesn’t feel like three months - both because they have known each other all their lives so it feels so much longer than that but it also feels so much shorter because of how blissfully happy they are.

Only because it’s tradition does Troy throw another party, but this time his only cares about how Onyx is doing. It hand been bit of a change for the both of them, for that first couple of weeks people started doubting Troy and he slid down a little socially. But after seeing how strong and beautiful their relationship was and how wonderful Onyx was, they unexpectedly became the It Couple. Now in the limelight Onyx feels a bit different - having all these people care, or act like they care, about her. Though it doesn’t really change her. Lily is digging this new platform though, not even caring she’s clearly piggy-backing off of Onyx, and uses the limelight like a soap box. She even starts a YouTube called Lily Explains It All.

Leaning against the same railing where Troy found her the year before, Troy directs the conversation from Onyx questioning what her major she should go into for sure, and says “So what do you want to do this summer?”

By his expression she can tell he already has something in mind and she leans her body into his, “Mm… I don’t know,” she smirks, “what do you think?”

He looks around, nods back and forth, then as nonchalantly as possible he says, “Well, I kind of already bought the tickets, so I really hope you like the idea of going to France.”

Actually squealing, she jumps up and down and wraps her arms around his neck. “Are you for real! Oh my god! That would be so amazing!”

He kisses her softly and nods, “I have tickets for us, a hotel for us, I have it all planned.”

She smirks, “That’s why you been so secretive, huh?”

His smile can’t hide it, but still he tries, “Maybe.”

Suddenly he pulls at her arm, “I’ve got something else too.”

She squints but follows where his hand leads her. Weaving through the crowd neither of them notice all eyes on them. Leading her up the stairs, neither of them notice as heads poke out around the banisters. Going down the hallway, neither of them notice the couples who stop making-out. Finally they come to the end of the dark hallway and she notices they’re at the art studio.

Smirking, Onyx says “Should I get the key?”

There’s something sneaky in the twinkle of his blue eyes but he nods and waits by the door. She lets go of his hand and turns towards the window, moonlight spilling over the bench and towards the both of them. She kneels to slide her hand for the key. But, it’s not there. Confused, Onyx turns around.

Down on one knee, a blue velvet box open in Troy’s shaking hands, a sparkling heart-shaped diamond ring sits in white satin. “Onyx Anne Hemmings…” but that’s all he can get out before she tackles him to the ground.

Laying on the floor together, washed over with the bright moonlight, Onyx kisses Troy for the billionth time. She doesn’t even let him ask the question before she says “Yes, yes, yes,” over and over again between kisses.

He managed the ring on her finger, tosses the box aside, then holds her close and they lay on the hallway floor. “I love you.”

She smiles with light, happy tears rolling down her face, “I love you, more.”

He chuckles and squeezes her. “I love you, most.” She giggles and he finally gets out, “So, you’ll be my wife?”

She brushes her nose against his then rests her forehead against his, “Of course. All you ever had to do was ask.”

The End

* “Misery Business” song writers: Hayley Williams and Josh Farro; lyrics copyright: Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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