There is a knock, quick and steady, upon the hotel room door. Almost 8:30. Breakfast. This is it, I tell myself, as my heart settles in my throat. A young man brings in a silver tray, sets it quietly on the small table in the living room. I look at the tray, disappointed. It doesn’t look how I had imagined it. I expected it to be full of various objects, glasses, silverware, condiments, very elegant, where the ring box would sit hidden, to be discovered by surprise. Instead, the tray is simple: the two lidded plates stacked over one another. The box is going to be obvious. I sign for our meal and send the young man away.
I step quietly to the closet and dig the little white box from the bottom of my bag where it has been hidden for the extent of our trip. I cautiously open it to make sure that everything is right, to make sure that this simple, yet expensive thing that, in only a few seconds, will determine my future, is ready to be transferred onto the hand of the woman I love. There it would stay, sparkling, on that beautiful freckled hand, binding that finger, dimpling the flesh, tying us to one another.
It had been on a bus in Vail, some six months ago, that I realized that I was in love with her. We sat together among skiers in brightly colored outfits who talked about shopping, the condition of the slopes. Outside, the piles of snow glistened, reflecting the light in many directions. My attention, though, was focused on her.
The late afternoon sun of winter struck her through the windows, brightly lighting her red hair as it flowed out from under her hat. It was her rosy little nose and smiling cheeks that inspired me. It was the way she looked at me.
"What are you thin...
... middle of paper ...
...ing in St. Louis, my mind had been made up. The white box has been in my possession for well over a month. I called my mom the day that I bought the ring. She was not home, and I had to leave a message saying that I wanted to talk.
"What is it?" My mom’s timid voice sounded exceedingly nervous when she called back
"Well, Mom, I’m going to ask her to marry me."
"Oh, honey." I heard the sniffles start on the other end of the line.
"You know, your dad knew it when you called. He said, ‘Oh no, he’s going to do it.’"
"Tell him I am."
I am prepared. I have anticipated it. I am doing what I never thought would be done.
I hold myself together and pull back enough to see her face, which only makes it harder for me not to cry.
"Will you marry me?" The words are rough coming out of my throat, but she pulls me back to her.
"Of course…. Yes, yes."
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