Monday, June 6, 2011

Chapter Thirty: A Question, A Ring, A Kiss.

I felt as if everything “big” was happening for us with such big gaps in between them. We were best friends for a year before we dated or held hands, we waited two years to say “I love you”, and two and a half years before he even kissed my cheek. It seemed so unrealistic and unusual to everyone else, but for us, it was absolutely perfect. We were so proud of ourselves for setting out goals before our relationship in the beginning and actually adhering to and sticking with it. We had the sweetest relationship that first and foremost, honored God.

Our junior year ended and we felt as if each semester went faster and faster. We were into another summer and this particular one was wonderful yet frustrating. We felt closer than ever and the thought of having to do another whole year apart was sickening. Literally. I was sick of being apart, sick of saying goodbye, sick of making the drive just to see each other, sick of talking on the phone and sick of everything that came with a long distance relationship. We both loved our colleges and had great years there that we wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, but the so-far three years was a long time to be apart with only 3 months each summer thrown in there. It was maddening.

We relished in that summer being the last one of our college career. The last one before the last year of college. We spent a few weeks apart again that summer, with my counselor responsibilities and family vacation, but we were pros at it by now. My birthday rapidly approached, which meant the end of summer was coming to a close as well. I dreaded the end, but again, looked forward to getting the next year out of the way so that we could finally be together.

August 6, the day before my birthday, quickly came and Darin picked me up for my birthday date. He always took me on a birthday date, so I really didn’t think anything of it, but on the other hand, I kind of did. I couldn’t help but wonder – will he propose?

I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I tried pushing it out of my mind. He picked me up around eleven that morning and we headed to Tulsa for lunch. I wore dressy cropped khaki pants, a flowy brown top, gold heels and big gold dangly earrings. I wanted to look extra special for my annual birthday date. We ate at The Bistro at Seville and stuffed ourselves silly on their fabulous “chokes and cheese”. We shared a Monte Cristo sandwich and it happened to be the worst sandwich either of us had ever eaten. We were definitely glad we had the appetizer or else we would have starved. After lunch, we headed to the Tulsa Cinemark Theater where we watched The Bourne Supremacy. Our luck was rapidly fading because the movie was not any good either. We suffered through it, thanks to some popcorn and milk duds.

We roamed in and out of a few stores after the movie, killing time before our special dinner. The day was nearing an end and so far nothing “special” had happened, so I was beginning to doubt him popping the question that night. It was finally time for dinner and we went to an upscale steakhouse, Monte’s Chop House. My first hint that the dinner was going to be horrible was when they brought out raw meat on a platter and told us to choose what we would have. Honestly, I think they took our choices and simply threw them on the grill because there was absolutely no seasoning on our steaks whatsoever. We enjoyed the ambiance and the conversation, but that was about it. So far, our day had three major strikes.

On our way back home, we laughed about our disastrous day and relived a few moments. Our houses were only about a mile apart from each other, so when we headed down our road, I didn’t question him. He was going to drop me off at my house and conclude my birthday date. We came upon the T in the road where you either turned right to go to my house or left to go to his. He turned left. I glanced at him with a confused look on my face and he said he needed to stop by his house and get my present.

“Go ahead and come on in with me,” he said. “I need to feed the dogs anyway.”
I jumped out of the truck and pranced in the house. All the lights were off and I ran through switching them all on.

“Where is everyone?”

“Mom and Dad went to dinner with some friends – don’t worry, I’ll only be a second” he assured me.

I moseyed my way through the house, stopping by the kitchen to see if there were any treats I could snatch. I heard him open the back door and I glanced his way … the dog food cabinet was still shut.

“Come here! I need to show you something,” he yelled through the house.

I stopped my search for something sweet and headed toward him. He ushered me through the back door with his hand on the small of my back. He was wearing his cute little nervous smile and his eyes were twinkling. I made my way out and onto the first step of the patio when I stopped dead in my tracks and nearly passed out.

The entire back yard was covered in hundreds of sparkling little tea lights, lining the rose pedal path to a beautiful table for two adorned a white tablecloth and a dozen red roses. It was absolutely stunning. Tears streamed down my face and as I twirled around to look at him, he was on one knee.

“Whitney, you are all I ever asked God for – all I ever hoped for but never knew existed. You are absolutely everything to me and I love you more than you could ever know. Will you marry me?”

“YES!!!!” I squealed!! I draped my arms around him and hugged him for the longest time. He opened a small square box and a tiny light shone on the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever laid eyes on. A perfect, pear shaped jewel waiting to be slid onto my finger. I was mesmerized and could not stop looking at it. Darin led me down the stairs and to our table for two.

“I have something I want you to see,” he said.

He flipped a switch and suddenly, the most amazing slide show of us played on the back of the house with all of “our” songs in the back ground. I couldn’t control my tears – it was the most precious thing anyone had ever done for me.

When the pictures stopped and the music ceased, Darin looked at me with a sly smile.

“I have another question for you, Whitney.”

I wiped the tears from my eyes and noticed another small box in his hand.

He opened the worn box and there inside, on a bed of velvet as before, laid the little glass kiss I had given him years earlier.

“Can I trade this in?” he asked with the sweetest smile.


The thing I had waited so long for, the first kiss of my life, was finally about to happen. When I imagined this day, I thought I would pass out from nerves or completely mess it up and do it all wrong. Now that the time was actually here, I wasn’t nervous in the least bit. It felt so right – so perfect – so how it was supposed to be.

He gently kissed my lips and I giggled as it ended. He smiled that beautiful smile, his eyes sparkled in the moonlight and he kissed me again.

It was the perfect end to the perfect day with my perfect fiancé.