Darling Darla

(I couldn’t find a good image for this because I don’t draw her much…)

“Evening, dear.”

Darla Stableson was quickly snapped out of her daze. What was she thinking about again? Was it the recent turn in the upcoming election? Perhaps a dress in the window of a nearby shop. She didn’t remember the specific topic of her drifting thoughts, but she knew the purpose. She needed something- anything to keep her mind off of the upcoming events.

And here it was. Started with two simple words spoken as sweet as honey and as deadly as arsenic.

A smile fluttered onto Darla’s smooth, pretty face. It was instinct by now whenever she heard that voice. Her head turned to the source, and her cold amber eyes fell on a young man with brown hair tied into a ponytail reaching to the bottom of his neck. He stood a few feet away on the sidewalk where the road met expensive-looking shops of velvety colors and textures. 

Darla smiled with thin, pink lips and let words of plastic effortlessly leave them. “Good evening, Dante.”

He strolled over to her. His eyes were brown and swimming with a warped kind of passion. Darla knew it best as possession, and she knew better than to scowl.
Dante made his way behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She felt as his lips brushed her neck and planted half a dozen kisses there, each slow and affectionate. 

Darla hated it. She hated when she couldn’t see him- when her arms couldn’t push him away at any moment of discomfort.

But she stood there all the same. She smiled all the same.

“You look so beautiful tonight, dear,” he whispered, “Is that a new dress?”

“Yes, it is.” She had purchased it that day with her friend, Jeanie, as per their suggestion. It was pink, his favorite color on her. It was light, resembled cotton candy, and had flowy sleeves and exposed shoulders. She also wore a garnet necklace that he had given her when they had started dating- if you would even call an arranged betrothal dating.

“It’s absolutely stunning,” he told her, sweetly.

“Thank you,” were the words she forced, “You look very nice, as well.”

Dante laughed, stepping in front of her and cupping her face. “Oh, you flatter me.” 

He gave her a sickly sweet kiss, but she did not return the gesture.

. . .

Their date was long yet uneventful. Dinner and an opera, that’s how it was. Darla ordered a salad for dinner. She was never in the mood to eat with him. They made small talk, and Dante droned on about politics or friends or something. Darla would nod and limit her answers to as few words as possible. 

She would occasionally let her mind drift to more pleasant places. Her favorite place was the topic of her closest companion, Pietro. She liked to imagine she was having dinner with him instead.

He would probably call the waiter by their first name no matter how awkward it would sound or order the most expensive bottle of wine and only take a few sips, leaving the rest for her. He would create the strangest pick-up lines or beg Darla to talk about her day. And he would insist on splitting the check even though he knew it would surely clean out his wallet. 

Pietro was the only person Darla truly liked, despite his terrible sense of style and his low social status. Keeping him in her mind always managed to make things bearable. 

The opera was the better half of the date. No talking or forced smiles. Just masterfully composed music and an enthralling story filling the mind and distracting it from all worries. The only thing that kept her painfully anchored was Dante’s hand in hers.

And after the show, he talked about it and Darla quietly agreed with each opinion whether she truly felt that way or not. She was simply relieved to have their date so close to fruition.

The pair soon began to walk to the carriage that would take Dante back to his home. But, this time, Darla’s date took a detour and led her to a bench.

“Quite a nice night isn’t it?” he said with a smile as he gazed up at the stars.

“Yes, it is.”

“Y’know…,” he began slowly, “We’ve been together for a while. I remember when I first met you. The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you would be the one for me.”

Darla forced a flattered giggle, her hands going to her long braid of chestnut hair.

“And now, the wedding preparations are starting.” He sighs. “How time flies.” “So…I was thinking we should do a more…conventional engagement.”

He stood up and took a small black box from his pocket. Realization sank into the pit of Darla’s stomach, as he bent to one knee with a charming smile.

“Darla Stableson. My beautiful darling. My other half,” he announced and flipped open the box. A large sparking diamond sat on the center of the ring. Smaller diamonds were arranged around it like glistening stars to the sun.

Darla stood there, stunned and horrified as the dreaded four words were spoken:

“Will you marry me?”

The words hit her like an anvil and left her in a fearful daze. Her eyes were fixated on the ring. It was a realization that she would spend the rest of her life with this man. Sixty or more years of faked smiles and complacence, of this excruciating lack of control whenever she was near him. Tears welled up and fell from her eyes, soaking her dress. Shakily, a smile stretched onto her face, and she spat out the words like another moment of them in her mouth would poison her.


Dante’s smile of that stale-tasting passion grew to one of assurance. “Good.”

He took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. Then he looked up at her. “No one will ever love you as much as I do.”

And for the second time that day, he kissed her fervently as Darla simply sat there and bitterly allowed him to, knowing that his words were a lie.

. . .

Knock! Knock!

Darla stood in front of Room 23 of the Emerald Groves apartment complex. She had dropped Dante off at his car and declined his offer to stay at his house saying she would be staying with her friend Jeanie that night. She also declined him driving her there because, in reality, she wasn’t going to their house.

Instead, she stood at this rickety apartment door with a feeling of positive anticipation. And when it finally opened, there was Pietro standing in the doorway with brown, gelled-back hair, black multi-pupiled eyes, and his signature red flannel. He smiled a wide, sharply-fanged smile the moment he noticed who was at the door.

“Woah! You look stunning! But, I thought you didn’t like pink.”

Darla gave a small smile at the reassurance that she was with someone who knew her well. “That’s because I don’t. Can I come in?”

Pietro thought for a second, leaning against the doorway, before saying, “Well, what’s the password?”

A childish game he was playing, but she couldn’t help but chuckle as she rolled her eyes. She decided to play along.

“I think I have the key somewhere. Hold on,” she said and began rummaging through her purse. “Aha!” She retrieved her hand which held nothing and watched as her friend quirked his eyebrow in curiosity. 

Then she took her hand, placed it at his chin, and gave him a gentle peck on the lips. Pietro, despite being used to such an action, couldn’t help but be surprised. He instantly froze, and his face flushed red.

“Uh…click,” he chuckled, holding the door open for her with a big grin.

“I thought I told you I didn’t like you wearing flannel,” she said as she strolled right in.

Pietro quickly shrugged off his plaid jacket and threw it to the side. “Sorry sorry, I didn’t know you would come by. Why-“

“And you should take off that necklace of yours,” Darla interrupted. She kicked her heels off and began taking in the surroundings of the small apartment.

“Oh, uh sure.” He unclasped the crystal tied on a string from around his neck. Two pairs of brown spider limbs flickered into existence behind his back. He was always self-conscious of them. “Wasn’t your date with Dante today? Is that what the dress is for?”

“Didn’t you say you were going to tidy this place up?” asked Darla, ignoring him.

“I did, but- Wait, stop avoiding my question,” he huffed.

“Avoiding? I’m not avoiding anything. The date went fine,” she responded coolly. Her hands moved to his wrists where she slid off his black fingerless gloves. It was something she often did to mess with him since she knew he didn’t like it.

His suddenly jaw drops and he takes her right hand. “Then what is-” He lifts up the hand to her and, with his other, he points to the shiny new rock on her finger. “This?” 

“Oh that,” she chuckled at it, her face slightly pink.

Pietro tilted his head at her. “What’s with the look? Do you…think I’m mad at you?”

She looks up at him with half-hidden guilt which she turned into annoyance. “I mean it’s not like my social life is even your business. I couldn’t care less as to what you think,” she paused, secretly hoping he wasn’t upset at her, “Are you mad?”

He scoffed and said, “Hell no. I could care less about that ring- despite it being able to pay for like a year of my rent…” He gave a bitter expression at this but quickly shook it off. “The point is, I care most about how you feel about it.” His eyes softened to one of loving worry.

And her own worry melted away to solemn vulnerability. “I just…,” she sighed, “I can’t stand the thought of spending my whole life with him- and I knew it would happen eventually, but today it suddenly felt more…”

“Real?” Pietro supplied.

She nodded. “I just…I don’t want to think about this anymore. That’s why I came here.”

Her friend smirked to lighten the mood and said, “Not because I’m hot and irresistible?”

Darla covered her mouth to help hold back her laughter. “You’re plenty all that, but you also have a high-quality wine cabinet that you waste your money on despite never using it.”

“I’m a collector, not a drinker,” he proclaimed, making his way to the reworked closet he kept the wine in. “Do you want one of the reds or…perhaps…” He looked back at her with a smirk and gestured to her dress. “The rosé?”

Darla was none too impressed- save for her restrained amusement shown only by her quivering lip. “Red, if you please.”

“Coming right up, milady.” He took a glass from the kitchenette cabinet with a flourish and left the room to his closet. His voice was muffled from the distance as he kept up the conversation. “So, did you go to a symphony again?”

“An opera,” she corrected, taking a seat on his couch. 

“Ooo! An opera. Fancy!”

“Highlight of my night- second to you of course.”

Pietro came from his room, poured a generous helping of wine into the glass, and held it out to her.

“I wish I was betrothed to you instead,” Darla sighed, taking the glass. She tipped it back and forth and watched as the blood-red liquid coated a thin film onto the glass.

Her friend plopped next to her and planted a kiss on her cheek. “Agreed. And not just because I want to be rich.”

Darla smiled wide. “So the money comes first and I come after?”

He methodically unbranded her hair as he said, “You know better than anyone that you always come first. The goddess I worship.”

She shook her head at his poetic words and brushed her hand to his face. A sappy response came to the tip of her tongue, and after a moment of consideration, she decided to risk her possible embarrassment. So she leaned against his shoulder, smiled softly, and said, “Then, my devoted disciple, come and pray to me?”

He didn’t say anything witty. He simply smiled and kissed her long and lovingly. And, unlike with Dante, she happily returned this act of affection. This was what real connection felt like. Not that stale, one-sided “romance” that Darla was stuck in. 

But, that night, she didn’t have to worry about that anymore, for she had a man in her arms that cared for her more than any lover ever could. And she was happy with that.

“Now, my shining deity, why don’t you bless me with an explanation of that wonderful opera?”

[8 pages]

(I hope you enjoyed this. I love their characters to bits and wrote this for them in three individual parts- as indicated by the ellipses -without any intention of publishing it. But, I decided to last minute. I’m a bit shy with posting something more romance-based, but hey, Twilight has written much sappier and much more dramatic scenes.)

(I think it turned out pretty good. I’m thinking of writing something else for Ophelia and one maybe one entirely on Pietro’s backstory. But, I don’t know. Writing stuff like this takes a lot of energy.)


The amazing owner of WRandR!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *