It wasn’t a question I was surprised to hear; Scott and I have long known that our lives were meant for forever. You might be surprised though that there was never a conversation about when, or how, or what ring I “wanted”. No such thing. I want a life that is bound to this man – details are only details.
With that being said, I knew it was coming. At almost 31 years old, I heard in the distance the faint sound of a biological clock – though not constant and certainly not loud enough to distract, I recognized the sound. I think Scott heard it too, as our conversations started to involve future career goals, possible living arrangements, etc. The topic of marriage or weddings were always taboo – my past didn’t allow for such items to be discussed without cynicism or regret. However, I realized that those topics were unimportant in the grand scheme of things and what was meant to happen, would.
Thursday night I spent late at school, attending parent/teacher conferences. Scott had offered to have dinner ready, and asked that I text him when I was on my way home. I did, and then spent the drive home chatting on speaker phone with my Mom as I babbled on and on about my students. It wasn’t until I walked up to the apartment door that I abruptly asked if I could call her later – a letter was taped to the door…
The letter, typed with care in Scott’s usual style, instructed me to come in, get comfortable, put in the DVD that was waiting on the counter and press “play”.
Without even taking off my heels and coat, I ran to the TV and sat on the edge of my seat as the story of us unfolded onscreen. A story about 19 years ago and the note that Scott passed in our 6th grade English class asking me to the Halloween dance. I may have told him no 19 years ago, but I knew watching the DVD that the night would end with me saying “yes” to him forever.
20 minutes later after watching our past two years of photos and videos to our favorite songs interwoven with our story, the last line told me to be safe, and now I had to go to him. There was another letter taped to the inside of the front door – a letter I had not even noticed.
There it was, the affirmation that he was waiting for me on the Waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, ready to burst with a question.
I think it was dangerous, what he did – making me drive the short 5 minutes down to meet him. I don’t remember the drive, as the nerves and the excitement took over my entire being. I parked the car, and without caring who saw or what they thought, I ran down the streets of Old Town like the little boy in Love Actually runs through the airport, and there he was – waiting for me at the end of the Waterfront.
Honestly, I don’t remember what he said. I don’t remember anything but throwing my arms around his neck and not allowing him to say or do anything. He finally had to peel me off – and there it was, just the two of us – he took to one knee and asked me to marry him.
Later on he told me that I didn’t even look at the ring. It took walking back to the car to even notice the most exquisite ring now situated on my finger. I had no input, I didn’t help him – but he knew enough about me to nail it completely.
There were no cameras, there were no photos on bended knee. It was just us. And that’s the way I will always remember it – a night that was completely about the love we share and the memory that is only ours to keep. Writing it does it no justice, but the night I keep replaying in my mind is all I’ll ever need. It wasn’t until we almost got to the car that we snatched a quick first photo…
There are some moments in this life we wish we could delete – scratch from our mind’s eye forever. And all too often we forget the ones we hope we can permanently etch there to relive. This one, I promise you, will always be one of my very favorite memories.