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