He’d stuck to her from the off, mirroring every movement, like the magazines told you he would. For week after week, she couldn’t go anywhere without him somehow turning up and working his way steadily across the room until he was across from her, eyes fixed on hers, predatory. She was unsure whether to be flattered or terrified.
One time, he came cycling with her and a couple of friends, except that he didn’t have a bicycle. He’d spent a year in the French military, he said as he kept pace with her effortlessly, officer class. She cycled faster, giggling as she left him behind, feeling elated. It rained, and his shirt stuck to his chest in a way that did things to her body that alarmed her.
He’d become progressively less charming as their lives had become more entwined. Most of what she said seemed to cause offence, and her protests turned him to stone. As they teetered together on the brink, it came to seem so much easier to keep her feelings to herself. When anybody asked, she told them everything was great and that she couldn’t be happier.
And so when he asked her to marry him, that’s what she told him too.