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He sat on the couch waiting for Anna to come home. Tonight was the night he was going to broach the subject of the Timer and his appointment.

The dining table was adorned with lit candles; the food sat served on the plates, just like the movies He made a simple lemon pepper chicken and roasted vegetables along with garlic mashed potatoes. Anna wasn’t a huge fan of the potatoes, but Howie had wanted them with the meal, the plate didn’t seem complete without them.

He heard the door rattle as Anna opened the door and let out a small gasp of surprise when she saw the table. “Howie?” she questioned. He could see her face turning a pale pink.

Dropping her purse on the hall table and slipping her shoes off by the stairs, Anna moved to where Howie sat and took seat on his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned down placing a soft, warm kiss on his lips. “You are the sweetest guy.”

He ran his hand up and down her back, massaging it slightly, he hoped she would remember that sentiment later.

“How did you do this all with your recording schedule?” Her fingers were now combing through his hair, a feeling that almost always put him in the mood.

“I just said I had something important to do tonight.” He kissed her softly and held her tight. He hoped this worked. He wanted to prove his love, prove that they were meant to be together so that she would finally consent to be his wife.

“I'm starving,” The words came from Anna as she stood and moved towards the table. “Let's eat before this gets cold.”

Howie watched as Anna cut into her chicken and tried her vegetables. He took a few bites himself, but his nerves were on edge and he was sure he would have a hard time keeping the food down if he ate too much.

When she was almost done, Howie could no longer hold out. “Anna, I want to put a proposition your way.”

She dropped her fork, her face a little surprised. “Please, Howie, not again.” She started. “You've asked me ...”

“No,” he interrupted. “I am not going to ask you to marry me again. I know you are unsure, that you've been hurt badly before.” He moved his chair closer and took her hand in his. “I want to prove to you that I am the one you are meant to be with.”

“Howie, I love you. I know you have a good heart, just give me a little more time.” she leaned in and kissed him softly.

“But, there is a way for me to prove that we are meant to be now.” He moved his plate aside, her face full of confusion until he pulled out the brochure to get implanted with a timer. “I know how you think you feel about these, but please hear me out.”
“Howie! No!” Anna pulled her hand away from his.

“Anna, listen. I know you are my one and only, my true love. I want to prove it to you so you can finally know for yourself. So you can push any doubts from your mind, so you know that we can be man and wife and will be for the rest of our lives. I've made us an appointment for the twenty-seventh of August, please just go with me to hear them out if nothing else.” Howie attempted to grab a hold of her hand again, but she kept it from him.

“Howie you listen. Those....those things are unnatural.”

“They work off of your own body chemicals, your own hormones. How is that unnatural?”

“People are supposed to get to know each other, get to understand one another and deciding to make a commitment together and work on their lives together.”

“I am not talking about everyone else Anna. I am talking about you and me. We know each other, we understand one another. I've asked you to marry me and you've turned me down, twice. This is how I want to prove to you that we are meant to be.”

“If you really loved me and thought we were meant to be, you would wait until I was ready. You know what I went through with Brad. You know how he treated me, how he abused me. The memories of that are not just going to disappear because a wonderful man enters my life. I know that it's not completely fair to you, but we moved in quickly and I need to slow things down to get a better grip on everything.” Anna pushed back her chair and stood, moving towards the stairs. Howie stepped in front of her stopping her in her tracks, he pulled her in and kissed her passionately. She pulled away.

“I can't do this, Howie. I am starting to think that you don't know me as well as you think you do.” She pushed him aside and moved upstairs. He heard the bedroom door close. Defeated he dropped to the couch and put his head in his hands.

It was a mere thirty minutes later when Anna re-emerged from the bedroom carrying a large suitcase and two garment bags thrown over her shoulders. Howie stood up to help her. “What's going on?” Howie asked, fighting tears from forming.

“I just need to get away to think things through Howie. I called my friend Beth, I am going to stay with her for a little while. I love you.” She said while opening the door. She struggled with the bags and Howie couldn't help me, he grabbed the garment bags from her and carried them to her car.

“Anna....” he started but she was climbing into the drivers seat and started the car.

When she was a distance away, Howie turned back towards the house. “Shit!” He hoped he had not lost the best thing to happen to him for years.