I had waited for this moment for ten years. Every special occasion, every holiday, I had endured friends and family giving the wink, expecting me to flash them a grin and a sparkly ring. Eventually they stopped winking.
His face was full of turkey sandwich when he finally asked, his trousers unbuckled, the TV blaring and the tree lights flickering.
‘Shall we get married, then?’ his eyes didn’t leave the screen. He picked a piece of cold stuffing off the plate, rolled it into a ball between his fingers and launched it into his mouth. I could see white bread clogging up his teeth.
His present to me, a hand-held vacuum cleaner, lay in a puddle of wrapping paper at my feet.
‘No,’ I said finally.
The sound he made was somewhere between a snort and a cough. Eventually he said,
‘I’m waiting,’ I replied, ‘for a better offer.’