the proposal

The wind.
The rain.
We walked with our feet in the sand; the sand on the beach where I spent my childhood.
The beach that my grandmother raised me on.
The beach that holds my fondest memories.
We ran and skipped toward the icy cold water.
“Come on my little California boy,” I teased, as I grabbed his hand, leading him to the ocean waves.
We tiptoed into the foamy sea. I felt the water crash against my toes, my ankles, my calves, my knees.
He squealed from the cold; I squealed, I was home.

I waded through the water, looking out as far as I could see. The feeling of serenity, of comfort, of knowing that I could see the edge of the Earth and all was calm. He ran around me in circles, singing. I could not stop the smiles, the laughter, this boy of mine. The childlike innocence on his face, in his movements, in his giggles. Just when I begin to think that I could not fall any further in love with him, he proves me wrong.
We walked along the ocean’s edge, paying no attention to how far we were drifting away.
When the chill began to burn our skin, we turned around.

The rain pounded against us, dripping off of our faces.
The wind threatened to blow us away.
He held on to each other as we tried to return to where we came.
The elements were screaming at us not to leave.
His moans.
His pleas for mercy.
There was no other life around.
We were completely soaked, freezing.
And yet, my heart had never been more warm.

“Go play in the water,” he told me.
I did not question or object, I never turned away an opportunity to frolic in the sea that has carried me through life
He did not follow.
I turned back to him from time to time, wondering what he was doing.
Playing with a stick.
I thought nothing of it, for I was completely immersed in the experience of the moment.
Finally, he walked toward me.

He took my face in his hands,
“Has today been a good day?” he asked me, piercing my soul with those blue eyes of his.
I smiled, “It has been perfect.”
“Perfect?”
“Yes.”
He kissed me, softly.
We began walking back toward our destination, “I forgot my shoes,” he spoke, as he motioned ahead of us.
Again, I thought nothing of it.

When we approached his shoes in the sand, I saw the heart he had drawn.
Words written inside.
“Erica, marry me?
(I wanted this)”
[Throughout our relationship, I’ve always told him that if things don’t work out, to just remember, he wanted this]
As soon as my eyes read the words, my brain turned to fuzz. I began laughing, nervously … and I walked away.
I couldn’t breathe or think; I could just walk and giggle.
Confusion. Nerves.

All he could say, poor thing, was “Just forget it, just forget that even happened.”
I found out later that he had thought he had just lost me; that I would now run home to pack my bags and leave him forever.
But I didn’t.
I said, “Let’s go back.”
We turned back around, my body trembling.
Was he serious?
What a cruel joke.

We reached the writing in the sand once again.
We stood in silence for what seemed like hours.
He moved in front of me, dropped to his knee.
“I will never deserve you ..” he started.
And continued to say the most perfect things.
“Will you marry me?”

The wind.
The rain.
The world stopped.
There was no one else, there never had been.
I took a second.
A minute.
Two.
I wanted to scream, “YES!” but no words would leave my mouth.

 

I took in everything.
The purple sunset.
The beauty of the setting.
The comfort of being at my soul’s home.
I looked into his eyes,
this moment,
you cannot prepare for this moment.
Will I say yes?
Will I keep this promise?
Give him me?
All of me?
His?
Forever?

I smiled,
“Yes.”
He stood, with that boyish grin, a giddy bounce to his step.
He kissed me and lifted me up into his arms.
We walked back,
through the cold rain and wind,
knowing that nothing would ever again be the same.
And then I rolled his fingers up in the window.

My doubts and fears and confusion are all still there,
but they aren’t as loud.
I have found him.
My other half.
My soul mate.
The one that I thought I would never find.
He fills every hole I had inside of me,
every void.
He gives me everything I never had,
always needed,
always wanted.
I guess that old saying is true, after all …
When you know, you just know.