42. Well?

Surprise.  

“Wait.  What’s happening?”

Nook’s first reaction to my proposal, to my dropping to one knee and saying my piece.

She both knew and did not know what was going on.  It was obvious, but it was also epic.  She knew that at some point, you know, in Novembery, this would happen, but she had absolutely no expectation that on her first trip to this amazing city she was in, and so soon in our story, that I would ask for her hand in marriage.

One of the things that Nook and I discussed prior to this moment was that we did not want to wait in beginning our life together.  In some ways, we felt that we lost out on many years of togetherness through the way that fate and life coerced us.

I took that sentiment to heart.

I was not getting any younger, and I knew that what I had with Nook was singularly unique and deserved the true depth of ultimate commitment.  I don’t make these comments to sound unnecessarily morbid, but, it was a fact that time was passing, and I simply wanted to get on with enjoying life, together, with Nook.

And so there I was, offering that commitment, that devotion to us, and waiting on her decision.

Yet before Nook even had a chance to answer, we heard screams of encouragement from nearby.

As I mentioned, this was a somewhat public setting, and it was an important day in the sporting history of the city we were in, and a number of revellers spotted the obvious taking place -- a man on one knee, a small black box, and a woman looking attentively downwards -- and started cheering the situation.

At about that point, Nook threw her arms around me and pulled me up.

But it wasn’t actually a yes.

So being one for accuracy, especially about something like this, I asked, directly: “Is that a yes, then?”

I think she was just so overcome with emotion that actually formulating the words by way of a response was proving trickier than she thought it might.  Perhaps if I had actually waited until November, it would have been a much smoother reaction...

But she nodded vigorously, smiled broadly and was clearly taken aback by the moment.

I removed Sparkly from her box and placed her on her new home -- Nook’s finger.

With her arms around me, and giving me a “most definitely the answer is YES” kiss, what was a few revellers cheering us on became quite a menagerie of well wishers.  People cycling past cheering for us, people in boats in the canal below honked their horns and cheered, cars passing by, and even someone leaning out of their window of their house who happened to witness the whole thing...

Our hearts were beating fast, the question was asked, the answer was given.

We needed a moment to take it in.  There was, at least for me, no question at all that this was where our relationship belonged.  Even Nook was certain of that...and whilst the timescale may have been slightly different from what she was expecting, it was also, for us, just right.

After a few minutes of hugs and confirmation that the answer REALLY REALLY was yes, I took a few photographs.  Of Sparkly on Nook’s hand, moments after being placed there, of the bridge, of the street, of the canal along side -- this moment, this place, needed to be recorded.

We had a busy afternoon and evening ahead of us now.  Nook needed to call and tell her family (whom I’d still not met, but only spoken with a few times on the telephone) and we had my friends from out of town visiting for the weekend...none of whom have met Nook either.

But the question was asked.

And the answer was given.

And Nook and Chair were now engaged to be married.