I prayed that he would propose on our fifth anniversary. I thought about it all day, alternating between “this could be it!” and “no, too predictable.” It stayed in the front of my mind through dinner (after dessert?), on the drive home (under the moonlight?) and straight until bed time (hidden under the pillow?)

He didn’t propose. If I knew what I know now, I would have understood. But at the time, I was sad.

***

The rest of the year I was obsessed with getting a proposal. I tried not to talk about it,  but would hear myself asking when day after day. I cried all the time. Mostly to myself but often in front of him too. I hated my behavior, but I couldn’t stop. People all around me were getting engaged and after five years and no ring in sight, I was starting to question if he really wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

He said he did. He told me to be patient.

***

In the summer he bought a brand new expensive vehicle. I figured that was the answer to my question.

***

I set a time frame in my head. New Years Day 2008. If it hadn’t happened by then we would have to have a very serious talk. I dreaded even the thought of that talk. The possibility of not being with him for the rest of my life made me sick.

***

Michael is a thinker and a planner. He researches products for months before he buys them. He takes the time to go over every angle before making a big decision. If I could have only known what was going through his head.

***

On a beautiful day in September he answered the question my heart had been asking. The proposal is a memory I play in my mind over and over, like a favorite movie that never gets old. Somewhere between tears and laughter, he asked me to be his wife.

There was no hesitation in my answer.

Yes.

***

For weeks we floated in a bubble of happiness. Even with my wedding planning meltdowns he stood tall, supporting me when my strength gave way.

***

When offered a new job he sat with me for hours weighing the options. He told me he would support whatever decision I made. He helped me make the right choice.

When that job took me across the country he was sad.

“Don’t you ever leave me again,” he said into my hair as we hugged at the airport. I smiled at the realization that he needs me as much as I need him.

***

“Happy birthday to my beautiful fiancée,” the card read. “The only year I can call you that!”

***

“Guess what today is?”

“Ummm….” he said, being cheeky.

“Exactly seven months until I marry you!”

“Oh jeez,” he laughed, faining bemusement, before scooping me up and holding me tight.

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