Skydiving (#22)

Little box 'o terror.
Little box o’ terror.

A piece of golden stationery and a Honda Civic that smelled of cat pee led me to the door of a room in a fancy hotel. I pushed the door open. Andy, my Chinese-American boyfriend, stood in the center of the room, holding a rose. My nervous eyes jumped around the room. Huge bed, already turned down, decorated by a box of See’s truffles. The man knew me well. (One dinner mint on a pillow isn’t even an appetizer!)  The room was bigger than my apartment. The furniture was mahogany. The floors were marble.

Thankfully, there was no sign of a square jewelry box. Maybe it was just a weekend getaway, not a stage set for a marriage proposal. I’d been busy with the American Film Market for the last two weeks, while Andy had been at his Place of Top Secret Employment, putting out fires. (Metaphorical fires? Real ones? That’s classified.).

Andy kissed me and handed me the rose. “I got you a massage for tomorrow. Dinner reservations are in about a half-hour. Want to take a walk? The gardens are gorgeous.”

“I’m sure they are. But it’s DARK.”

“They have lights. You love plants. Come on.”  He pulled me out of the room, down the hall, and out into the night.  We ambled along some well-lit paths until Andy decided to go off-roading. “Let’s look at this pond,” he insisted, tugging me onto the grass.

I was in heels. Mud turned them into flats.   My protests to return to the solid path fell on deaf ears. Andy dragged me along until we reached a waterfall. I giggled. “Are we going to stand under this one?” (Post #11)

Andy barely smiled at my awesome joke. Instead, he took both my hands and said, “You know I really missed you these last few weeks, right?  And I don’t ever want to be without you.”

As he spoke, Andy backed me up, until my mud-covered heels smacked into a big rock. I nearly lost my balance.

Andy said, “Why don’t you sit down?”

I gave the rock a dubious look: “It looks kind of dirty.”

“It looks fine.”

“It might be a Ritz Carlton rock, but that doesn’t mean it’s clean–”

“It’s fine!”

“Then YOU sit on the rock and I’ll sit on your lap.”

“Just sit!”

I sat. Andy went down on one knee.

Now I gave him the dubious look. “You sure you wanna do that? The grass is wet and muddy.”

He reached into his pocket and doggedly went back to his script: “I don’t ever want to be without you.”

“You said that already.”

Andy gave me a look. Most guys would have given up. Andy is not most guys. He pulled out a BLACK VELVET BOX.

I could only manage a terrified, high-pitched, panicked squeal: “Oh, no oh no ohnoohno!”

Andy was either very foolish or very brave. He continued: “Will you marry me?”

It was done. I hadn’t been able to hold back the terrifying question. But now, now that the question had finally been asked, I felt something else. A sense of anticipation, tinged with joy, bubbled up. I finally understood all those crazy people who prepared to skydive for weeks, were still terrified, and yet JUMPED OUT OF A PLANE anyway. Those brave, foolish souls sailed into the sky, off on an unforgettable adventure. Like all my twice, thrice, and quadrice-divorced parents, if I jumped, I might fall hard. I’d seen a lot of marital splat-marks in my life, many of them up close and personal.  None of them were pretty.

I looked at Andy, kneeling in front of me, holding out a box and a vulnerable heart.

I jumped.

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Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

17 thoughts on “Skydiving (#22)”

  1. Teared up a little at that one, because sometimes it’s not a marital splat we watch. Sometimes it’s a long, slow freefall into pain. But we jump anyway, because sometimes it’s neither.

    Also, Marital Splat is the name of my next band.

  2. What? Really?? Congratulations!! I thought you were trying to make it look like there was going to be a proposal but then it would be something else and you would have panicked for nothing hahaha.

    So?? Do you have a date yet??

    1. Thanks, guys! I don’t want to say much, because I haven’t caught up to real time yet! I’m typing as fast as I can, though, and soon you will see the battles regarding names, venues, and the number 8. 🙂

  3. Oh, my gosh! What a fantastic proposal! It sounds like you were hard to catch, but he was just the one to do it.

    1. Thanks, Nicki! Hopefully Andy reads this and feels all his hard work was appreciated. Sometimes he mutters, “‘The rock looks dirty!'” and shakes his head at me.

      Sometimes you find the right guy, but at the wrong time. And sometimes it’s the wrong guy at the right time. I found the right guy, at just the right time. 🙂

  4. Ahh no worries gf I would have said the same dumb crap at the same time. I’m major jealous though. That is so beautiful. Makes my nerves jump reading it. Thankfully Michael won’t be that suave so I won’t have a moment to completely make a fool of myself ( I would have actually probably fell in the mud). All I’m aware of is my dad can’t keep secrets and I know as of a week ago Michael asked my dads permission to marry me and he wants me to be free to go into NYC in three Wednesday’s from now…….dun dun dunnnnnn

    1. Wow! That is very exciting, although kind of archaic to be asking a father’s permission in this day and age.Though one of my best friends from high school had a boyfriend that had to call Kuala Lumpur to speak to her dad (old school religious). The assistant kept asking the poor boyfriend to state his business and finally the guy cracked: “I need to ask him for his daughter’s hand in marriage!”

      I think he had to keep waiting on the line for another ten minutes. 🙂

      Thanks for the nice compliments and I am glad you are enjoying the posts!

      1. Well it was me who told him how important it was to me for him to ask my father. My father and I have a very deep and respectful relationship. I wanted it for my dad because I’m his youngest and *favorite daughter :). My dad basically raised me so he plays mom/dad to me with advice and we keep nothing from each other. I knew it would make him feel important and proud lol.

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