We were on vacation in PEI and it was our last day at the beach. It was crazy windy and sand was blowing everywhere and my head was in his lap while I was reading so I could finish my book and use it and his body as a shield. And as I looked up at him, this guy who was perfectly willing and content to sit still and look out at the ocean and let me use him as a human shield, I knew. I knew. I mean, I've known for a year that I wanted to marry him, but this time, looking up at him, I just knew.
He asked me to go for a walk and we did. We splashed in the water, played in the sand, and poked at jellyfish. And then we went back and sat on our towels for a few minutes before it was time to go.
And then he asked me to go for another walk.
"Tony! We just went for a walk!"
"No! We just went for a walk! We're leaving soon! Let's relax!"
"But I wanna get some photos. I didn't get any photos of me on the beach. Can you come take some for me?"
So we walked. And I took photos. (And I didn't realize until that night that I had accidentally turned a filter on on the camera.)
I hadn't showered that day, I wasn't wearing makeup, and I hadn't done my hair. I was covered in sand. I had untied my bikini top because the string was hurting and I would normally feel super self-conscious and I look naked in a lot of the photos, but I felt good. I felt like myself. I felt beautiful.
And we goofed around and took selfies and hugged and said so many sweet things to each other, like we often do. But this time felt... different. And I looked up at him and we were both laughing and I laughed harder and said, "It's too bad you don't have the ring; this would be the perfect time!" (I even stuck my hands in his pockets and exaggeratingly felt around—totally joking!—and didn't feel anything!)
He started laughing harder in the dorky Tony way that I love and said, "I do!"
"I do have the ring!"
Both of us were laughing like crazy.
"Yah, right!" Hahahahahaha!
And then I saw something shiny. And I gasped.
And he asked, "Should I get down on one knee?"
And we were both still laughing.
And he got down on one knee. And he asked, "Will you marry me?"
(This is where his and my stories differ a little. Because I say that I said "yes." And he says that I just stuck my hand out.)
And then we laughed some more and I kept saying, "I can't believe it! How? When? How?"*
And then we took more selfies. And laughed.
We always laugh.
It wasn't a surprise because we'd been talking about getting married for months.
It wasn't a surprise because we'd looked at rings and had it narrowed down to two possibilities.
It wasn't a surprise because he accidentally showed me an email he sent, asking someone to bring "something important" back to Beijing.
It wasn't a surprise because he told me that he talked to my dad about proposing.
It wasn't a surprise because I found the ring (but didn't see it, just the bag it was in!) in a bookbag.
And yet, I was totally surprised.
*Tony's responses to all of my how?s: Remember yesterday when we were leaving the beach, I kept asking, "We're going to the beach again tomorrow, right?" Remember this morning when I forgot my hoodie inside? Remember when I said that I had to use the bathroom? Remember when you were turned around reading your book and you asked why I was opening the backpack and I told you I was getting my headphones? It was in my pocket! I don't know how you didn't feel it!
And Melanie, if you're reading this, a big thank you to you!!!