The building was huge. We had no idea where to start. During our wandering, we came across a tour group. As casually as possible, we edged closer. Listening to all the history pouring out of the guide’s mouth. I was enthralled. The rooms were enormous and beautiful. The history vied for both of our attention. Our final destination was the very top of the golden dome. To get there we wound up the tiniest, steepest stairs and entered a small balcony. When I say small, I mean shoulder’s width apart, with a wall on one side and nothing but a tiny railing keeping you from falling all the way down to the first floor of the building. I was terrified. As much as I wanted to snap a picture of the view, I couldn’t. Fear froze me in my tracks.
Joey wasn’t super thrilled with the space either, so we broke off from the group and headed back down. He asked me what my favorite room was. I thought for a minute. My conclusion was the library. Shelves upon shelves of books with the most ornate spiral staircases between the levels. It was gorgeous. Joey, wanting to make the trip everything I wanted, suggested we go back to get a second look. We approached the enormous doors and gave the handle a pull. Locked. My hopes were dashed.
Not wanting to let me down, Joey suggested we head back and take a look at the grounds. We went to the front of the building to check out the magnificent exterior. Joey liked the cannons placed out on the steps, I was more interested in the view. We strolled through the grounds. A military group practiced their drills out in the yard. Besides their group, we were the only ones around. We walked down a hill and up a few stairs to take a closer look at a bronze statue.
As we stood at the top of the steps, Joey wrapped me in a hug. His fleece jacket brushed against my cheek. He told me he loved me and couldn’t picture his life without me. Then before my disbelieving eyes, he sank down onto one knee, grabbed my hand and presented me with a ring. The diamonds sparkled in the sunlight. It was blinding. I felt a daze of emotions wash over me. “Will you marry me?” he asked.
I couldn’t find my words. The weight and meaning of his question filled my head. My answer will change both of our lives forever. He looked up at me, awaiting my response. “Yes?” I said. My response was not as confident as I wanted it to be, but it was good enough for him. He slid the ring onto my finger, stood and wrapped me once again in that warm embrace.
I couldn’t believe what had just happened. It was real though. I was going to marry my absolute best friend!
I: Middle School Band, Day One
II: He likes me, he likes me not
III: Summertime Crush
IV: Royalty and Selfies
V: Cookies + Texting
VI: Gas Station Hugs
VII: The First “Date”
VIII: The First Kiss
IX: Plans for a Future
X: Dancing the Night Away
XI: I Said “Yes?”