I decided to include the corner girls from freshmen year, her D-group girls, and her roommates from this year.
I had to decide where the people would be and which people would be where. The places she would go were easy to choose. I wanted places that had special meaning to the both of us.
Naturally, all of our firsts became the destinations. Where we first met was the first destination, where we went on our first date became the next, then came where we had our first kiss, and finally the place where we became official boyfriend and girlfriend.
While waiting to pick Steph up from the airport after Christmas break, it was down pouring and I needed an umbrella so I went from store to store searching in vain for an umbrella. While I was at Kohl’s, where I did finally pick an umbrella, I had an epiphany. I saw 100 votive candles on sale and I envisioned a pathway lit by candles up to where I will be waiting at the end. I decided to get these and find something to hold them later on.
Another thing that I wanted to do for Steph was to play a song for her and what better song than Growing Old With You by Adam Sandler. I looked up the chords and lyrics and practiced a little bit to get it down.
The week of the date was full of making sure I had everything I needed and contacting the people who were going to be involved. I got Chinese take-out boxes to hold the votive candles for the pathway, emailed those involved, and took care of any last minute business.
On the day of, I went to two out of four classes and told my work I wasn’t going to be in. I needed the extra time to set up everything at the park. Mark was with me and he was awesome. He went up to the houses across from the park to let them know why 150 candles were going to be there and he also made sure some guys who were hanging out in the park weren’t going to mess anything up. These guys ended up being our saving grace. It was getting windy and the candles kept going out. They stayed and helped us light a good majority of the candles and made sure they weren’t going to blow out. It was funny because they stayed and watched most of the proposal from their car.
I had gone earlier to pick up Cold Stone because the night we had our big talk we went to Cold Stone before. Anyways, Steph had class until 7 that night so we had that time to get everything set up. She called me when she got out of class and I told her I’d be right there to pick her up, but I wasn’t really going to.
I had Becky pick her up and had her take Steph back to her apartment to change into a dress and give her the first clue, with a rose, to the first destination, UTCC. When Steph arrived, the corner girls were there to surprise her and give her the clue, and this time two roses, to her next destination, Chili’s.
Upon arrival, Steph had to go into Chili’s and the waitress asked her what her name was. When she told her, they had a table waiting for her and her D-Group girls were all there. They had the clue along with four roses and sent her off to the last destination before the park, Adam’s Lounge. She walked into the lounge and noticed her two roommates sitting there watching A Walk to Remember, the movie we had watched the night of our first kiss, along with another person she didn’t know. When the mystery person turned around, Steph realized that it was her best friend, Courtney.
At that point, I knew Steph would realize what was going on for sure and she did. They held the clue to her final destination, Pioneer Park, along with 8 roses this time. As Steph and Becky pulled up to the park, the candlelit pathway designed for her to walk on surprised Steph. She came up and as soon as she got close enough to hear, I started playing the song.
When it was over, I asked her to come behind the swings where I had apple cider waiting for her. I told her that from the moment I saw her, I knew I could spend the rest of my life with her. I said that we’ve been through a lot over the course of the past two years and there had been drama and hard times as well as good and amazing times. I said that there wasn’t anyone else in the world I wanted to be with and with that said, I walked out in front of the swings and had her follow me. I then said “So…” as I got on one knee. She knew it was coming and put down her roses. I then said “ I have just one question for you…Will you marry me?”
She then said, “Yes, of course I will!” I put the ring on her finger and then she got down on her knees and nearly tackled me. We knelt there for a while, hugging, kissing, and whispering how much we loved each other. We then got up and toasted “To us!” with apple cider. We had some Cold Stone, Cheesecake Ice Cream with Graham Cracker, Steph’s favorite, but we both weren’t very hungry.
I then asked her if she had any questions about the whole thing and we talked for about 25-30 minutes and then I told her I had one more surprise for her.
We left while Mark, who had been video taping the whole thing, and Becky, who had been waiting out in her car, stayed behind and cleaned up the whole thing. I took Steph to a hotel in West Covina. Waiting there was Steph’s family and we got to share the whole thing with them. We took pictures and just enjoyed each other’s company.
While we were with her parents, Mark had anyone who wanted to come, meet at our apartment to watch the proposal on video. When we left Steph’s parents at the hotel, we went back, changed into more comfortable clothes, and watched the events that had happened just a few hours ago.
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