You play a videogame in the next room. 

The one I find boring and also disconcerting—shooting pixelated wildlife in a Wild West landscape to sell their skins to the butcher for ten cents, or some such nonsense my animal-loving sensibilities struggle to disregard. 

I tolerate it because I love you, and because you tolerate my nonsense too. 

You proposed to me last weekend, beside an outdoor firepit under a swath of white pinprick stars.

My parents were there; they filmed it, because you’d planned it all out for months. 
I was stunned, but the good kind of stunned—my immediate reaction was yes, yes, yes; three times, at varying degrees of astonishment. Not once did the thought of a refusal cross my befuddled mind, my fight-or-flight-activated brain, and I take that as a promising sign. 

My hand shook wildly as you pushed the ring over my knuckles to sit on my fourth finger.
I’m going to be your wife, and goddamn does it feel great.

I don’t know what our future holds—not really. 

But I do know these things: 

You’re my favorite person to see in the morning and at night, and when you go to the store for an hour I miss you and await the sound of the garage door opening and the ear-splitting bass from your car’s sound system reaching all the way to where I work at the kitchen table. 

You make me laugh and catch me off guard and it’s one of the best feelings in the world; to remember that you’re mine, and that we’ll soon promise to keep it that way. 
You’re the only person I’ve ever kept my eyes open for, hungry for your pleasure, when you reach the place I’ve brought you to. 

I hold you close as you shudder in my arms.

Let’s keep moving on this path of the unknown together. That’s all any of us who make such vows to our partners are doing, anyway.

Taking on the unknown, but not alone. 


Ashley R. Carlson

Ashley R. Carlson is a freelance editor and writer whose short fiction has appeared in Metaphorosis Magazine, and whose nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Darling Magazine, Medium, and elsewhere. She lives in Phoenix with her fiancé and their three furry children. Find her at: or on Instagram @ashleyrcarlson1.


  1. good writing turns light-hearted into passionate work. truly impressed.

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