I’ve been asked by so many people how the proposal went down, and I wouldn’t mind being able to remember the sweet details six months from now, so I’m about to make you tear up and “awe” all over the place.
It’s Christmas Eve. I have been standing in my sparkly nude heels for about two hours at this point, so I finally weigh the pros and cons and decide to walk around the church barefoot. The first service is over, thank God, and I’m about to sit down in the choir room to rest my blistering feet. I’ll probably look over my music a little bit since I completely ruined the first song of the service. I couldn’t remember where I was supposed to sing for the life of me.
I look across the white walls of the room and stare at the long white table of food. Bethany makes her grand entrance into the room, giggling and practically screaming as she walks over to me. She wears all black with her hair in a low, classy bun.
“I’m hungry, Bekah. Come get food with me.”
I grab a bowl and get some lasagna-type ravioli things and some kind of banana-zucchini bread. I don’t know what they are. I don’t really care, I’m just hungry.
I sit in my comfortably shy spot in the back of the room, and Bethany sits down in the purplish gray chair next to me. I honestly can’t accurately describe the colors of the chairs. It’s like a purple-gray-red-tinted-really-strange color.
I take a few bites and she says, “Hey, I need to grab my drink from Mom’s office.”
I stare at her with my mouth full, “Then go.”
“But I don’t want to go alone.”
“Well, I’m eating.”
“Please come with me, Bekah. I don’t wanna walk by myself.”
I breathe a heavy sigh. Fine. Give me a minute.
I take bite after bite of my food and Bethany starts looking ancy.
“Come on, Bekah. I’m thirsty. Can’t you just set your food down and come with me?”
“What the heck,” I stare at her, “Just let me finish my food?”
“Please,” she drags out.
“Holy crap! Okay, fine,” I say.
I stand up, carrying my heels in one hand and my white plastic bowl in the other.
“Yay! Thanks, Bekah,” her voice jingles.
We leave the choir room that is tucked into the core of the church and head out towards the fellowship area where groups of people dressed in fancy reds and greens are mingling now that the first service is over.
“Hide my feet, Bethany,” I whisper.
“What?” she yells.
“Hide my feet!”
She laughs and stands close in front of me as we shimmy our way down the wall, being as invisible as possible in the big crowd. Once we make it to the end of the wall, my Mom’s office is in sight. We cross the hallway and walk inside the door that contains all the little office cubbies.
It’s dark in the room, but I quickly notice that to my right, there is a walkway of rose petals leading to a door that is shut. That’s really weird. My first initial response was that there was some kind of promiscuous thing happening in this church on Christmas Eve and I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Then, I hear Bethany’s quiet voice and her hand on the small of my back pushing me towards them.
“I think those are for you,” she says.
“What?” I say.
Then my heart starts pounding and my face feels hot. I think she repeated herself or said something else to reassure me, but I wasn’t listening.
I stare at the rose petals and I walk towards the door. This is it, isn’t it? My body is begging me to let it cry, but I hold off as hard as I can until I inch up to the door. I place my hand on the doorknob and creak it open.
The room glows in a soft orange haze. On a table dressed in white, candles create bubbles of rounded light that disperse throughout the room, creating dancing shadows as they flicker. There’s a man dressed in black standing in the far side of the room, only a few steps away from me. He hears the door open and peeks over at me, making sure it’s his woman, and he fully turns around.
His smile confirms the occasion. It reaches out to the edges of his face, creeping up into his sparkling eyes. I can feel my cheeks rising and my heart pounding and my stomach wrenching. I can feel these little sparks of electricity shooting up my chest. I can feel my head start to spin and my feet moving towards him.
“Are you surprised,” he asks.
“Oh my gosh, yes. This is amazing,” I shake out.
I come closer to him, feeling the magnetic attraction keeping me close.
“I have a special gift,” he says.
My eyes well up in tears and my thoughts are all over the place. I hear him speaking, but I can’t remember what he’s saying. Am I here right now? Is this me? This has got to be a dream. But it isn’t.
“You might want to set those down,” he looks at my shoes.
I set them on the chair against the right side of the wall.
His mouth forms more words and he reaches out to the white table, grabbing a little gold box in the midst of the lavender tulle and the flickering white candles. He fiddles with it in his hand and then his body slowly moves down. My body is a furnace.
He grins up at me, opening the little gold box to reveal a sparkling rainbow flashing off the tip of an intertwining diamond ring.
“Will you marry me? Spend the rest of your life with me? Hold my hand forever?”
I stopped listening after the words “marry me” and my head shakes up and down, my smile hopping all over my face and my face becoming matted with tears.
“Yes! Yes,” I tell him.
He picks up the ring and starts to slip it on my finger, and I help him push it all the way down with my other hand. His body moves back up to my eye level and his warm, blue eyes look into mine. He reaches out and swipes away the tear that rolls down my cheek.
I grab his neck and hold his warm, thick body in my arms, swaying back at forth. He pulls away kisses me and pulls me right back in. I rest my head on his left shoulder.
“I love you so much,” I whisper to him.
“I love you too, baby,” he tells me.
We stand there hugging, swaying back and forth in the candlelight.
I tell him about my initial thoughts and he tells me that my mom, sister, and my mom’s friend, Beth, helped him set it all up. We talk and hug each other and sway until it dawns on me that other people might be waiting outside.
I grab my heels and make my way to the door, my fiancé walking behind me.
Outside, my father waits. He looks pretty bored until he sees the door open with flicks of orange candlelight escaping the room.
“Guys! They’re done! Jonathan!”
I laugh and Daniel puts his hand on my waist, pulling me close to him.
The rest of the night was full of congratulations, retellings of the story, and jokes about who was going to pick up the rose petals.
All I know is, I’m engaged to be married to the man of my wildest dreams.