Kevin left a few days after Christmas to go back to Pensacola, and I followed a few days later. I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment with a group of wonderful new roommates. Kevin moved into the same complex about 2 buildings down with a group of great guys. So conveniently, we got to see each other a LOT.
I knew it was only a matter of time before he popped the question. We had talked about it, and even looked at a few rings on a date at the mall. I ventured to guess out loud that he might do it on Valentine's Day. That was a mistake.
"How did you know?" he asked, incredulous.
Our One Month Anniversary arrived and I fully expected that we would spend some time together to celebrate (what is it with us women and stupid dates, anyway?) I gave him a cheesy construction paper card I had made in honor of the momentous occasion. "Cool, thanks!" he said, "I'm going to go hang out with the guys today, OK babe? You and I can hang out when we get back."
What could I say? I tried not to look too disappointed as I reluctantly agreed. I mean, I didn't want to force him into anything.
So, dejected, I went home and started stewing. Hang out with the guys?! On our One Month Anniversary?! How could he?! (I know, that sounds so unbelievably petty right now.)
This continued for most of the day, and the later it got, the more ticked I was. He FINALLY knocked on my door at around 9:30, I think, and excitedly asked if I'd like to go for a drive. Mind you, our curfew was at 11pm, sharp. I said yes, but I was still a little put-out that he had only saved an hour or so for ME...on our One Month Anniversary.
So off we went. We drove...and drove...and drove. I remember getting more and more agitated as it got closer and closer to curfew. Did he not know what time it was? We were going to be late for curfew...and who know what would happen then! I mean, we already had a reputation from the whole "4:31 Club" affair.
Finally he pulled over on a completely deserted road in the middle of nowhere, parked the car, and excitedly came around to open my door.
"We're getting out here?" I said.
"Yeah, I want to show you something!"
I may or may not have had a moment of panic just then wondering if I had inadvertently fallen in love with some sort of psychopath.
He grabbed my hand and dragged me through some trees and brush until we arrived, breathless, on a sandy beach.
It was beautiful. We were, in fact, on a secluded beach in Perdido Key and across the bay there were hundreds of lights reflecting on the still water. It was perfectly quiet and we were the only souls around.
"This is one of my favorite spots," he said.
I could see why.
What happened next is still a little bit of a mystery...mostly because it was so dark. I looked over at Kevin, and it appeared to me that he was preparing to pick me up and, I assumed, toss me in the water. So, I, of course, began protesting and tried to turn and run.
He caught my hand, and it was then that I realized he was kneeling in front of me. And I could see, with the little light there was, that he had something in his hand that was reflecting the lights from the bay.
"Jenny, will you marry me?"
I screamed. And then I said yes. And then we laughed and hugged and kissed, and tried to get the ring on my finger in the dark without dropping it in the sand.
It was quite late by this point, so we hurried back to the car, where I got my first good look at the beautiful ring he had SPENT THE WHOLE DAY SHOPPING FOR with the guys.
Yeah. I felt pretty awful. And I told him so. And, of course, he thought nothing of it because that's just how wonderful he is.
He had picked out a round, half-carat solitaire set in white gold, with the date 1-18-99 engraved inside...our One Month Anniversary.
to be continued...