“How did he propose?” It’s one of the most common questions I’ve been asked since Jon and I announced our engagement last September. To be honest, I don’t know why more people just don’t ask Jon. He’s the one who planned it, after all.
It was the morning of our anniversary, and the picnic basket was gone. This was only important because it was the basis of our entire day. Six months earlier, my little brother Daniel had lent it out to a young up-and-coming couple to help them celebrate Valentine’s Day. The problem was, it was now September the 12th, and the picnic basket was still in Daniel’s locker at school.
I was livid. How could Daniel be so lazy? I mean, surely bringing the basket home would have made life easier for him. He would have to reach around the dang thing to get into his locker. I’m going to admit it I cried a little when I found out where the basket was. In the end, everything worked out, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. No one wants to read about a failed proposal.
Jon picks me up, late as usual, in his mum’s old beat-up car. It’s mostly beat up because of the scratches Jon’s made on it. He’s brought me some flowers though, so that’s nice. When we get in the car, he starts sneezing.
“Hayfever,” he says.
Jon starts up the engine without telling me where we’re going. Terrible jazz music starts playing over the radio. Thanks PBS. Traffic is really busy and I start to wonder if we’ll ever reach our destination. Finally, we pull into the carpark at the State Rose Gardens. My heart flutters. The rose gardens, that place I had always wished Jon would take me, but he never had.
I had managed to borrow a picnic basket from a mate. What a lifesaver! Somewhere in the garden, I’d left my older brother Aaron to look after the picnic we’d set up. Hopefully he’ll make himself scarce once we wander into the garden.
The first thing I notice is that all the roses are DEAD. What will the gardeners do this spring, when the roses are supposed to be blooming? I suppose I should write a letter to let them know. Everywhere I look, there are dead flowers and browned leaves. This is the least romantic thing ever.
This is the most romantic thing ever! I can’t keep the smile from my face. I grab Jon’s hand and squeeze it tightly as we stroll along the winding garden path. It’s September, so of course the flowers aren’t in season, but the garden looks lovely nonetheless.
Out the corner of my eye I notice my crippled brother Aaron, cast and all, dive headlong over a fence. I breathe a sigh of relief. Everything is going to be fine.
We find the picnic well enough and we sit down on the blanket.
I never thought Jon could be this romantic! He’s packed the basket full of all my favourite foods – strawberries, chocolate, ginger beer, and even a plate full of fairy bread laid neatly in the bottom of the basket!
Tucked away beneath the feast is a little purple box. It has my name metaphorically embossed into the cardboard. I don’t see the box at first, which makes Jon look anxious. He starts jerking his head towards the basket, repeating over and over again, the words, “What’s that?”
I say, “Do you wanna go halvies in this ham sandwich?”
That’s when I see it. I pick up the box and turn it over in my hands. “What’s this?”
Inside is the most stunning ring I’ve ever seen. It’s opal – my favourite, and my birthstone too, and I love it. I’m so caught up in my own thoughts that I barely even hear Jon as he starts to speak.
“So would you do it?”
I look up and catch his eye. With a smile, I reply, “Would you?”
“I mean, look,” he says. “I would, if you would.”
“Okay, let’s do it,” I say.
And just like that, we’re engaged. The smile stays on my face for the rest of the day. I’m going to be marrying the most amazing, most wonderful person I’ve ever met. This day couldn’t be more perfect.
Somewhere in the distance, I’m sure I can hear Aaron groaning.
“My leg hurts!”
Much love, A + J