Sunday, January 23, 2011


This is the fourth part of an unplanned series. If you want to get caught up on who these people are, you can go to part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Alex was amazed at how nervous he still felt whenever he was with Alyson. After dating for more than a year, he was beginning to think that she would always have this effect on him. However, it was possible that, tonight, his nerves were amplified by the tiny box in the pocket of his jeans.

Aly had made him promise that he would take her into the city as soon as summer hit. So here it was, June 21, and they were walking along the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Alex had always loved seeing pictures of all the amazing buildings and monuments in DC as a kid. Now that he lived so close, he realized that he didn't make it into the city nearly as often as he would have liked. Bringing Alyson for a night on the town was a great excuse to see some of the sights.

They walked hand in hand as the sun set behind the 16th president. Alex's free hand kept straying into his pocket as he nervously ran his fingers over the felt on the box. Each time he did so, he had to mentally remind himself to stop, for fear of rubbing all the felt off.

"I know I said 'as soon as it's summer,' but you didn't have to take me literally," Alyson said looking up at Alex. "We've got work tomorrow. It's kind of gonna cut into our ability to stay out late tonight."

"We could always call in sick," Alex said.

Alyson gave a very short laugh. "You fall back on that one a lot. You act like you don't like your job."

Alex stopped walking and let go of Aly's hand. She turned to face him. What she saw almost frightened her. His face had lost all color. From where she stood, it looked like Alex was going to be sick.

"I love that job," said Alex, but Alyson knew he wasn't talking about the job. "No matter what happens in our lives, that office will always be the place where I met you. It'll always be the place where I fell in love with the one woman that I want to spend forever with."

And with that, Alex dropped to one knee. Alyson's hands flew to her face, trying to hide the surprise as she gasped for air. His hand went to his pocket again, but this time, he pulled out the box. He opened it and held it out, revealing the ring that he had been holding onto since Christmas. There was nothing more to his speech. Just the simple question: "Will you marry me?"

Right there, standing by the reflecting pool, with dozens of tourists and Abraham Lincoln watching, Alyson said yes. Alex jumped up, unable to hide his joy. He grabbed the love of his life and held her in his arms, kissing her as if they'd never kissed before. He slid the ring on her finger and she kissed him again.

This wasn't what he had planned. In fact, he had stopped trying to plan the perfect proposal months before. Nothing seemed to work out. Every idea he came up with just came off seeming cheesy in his mind. So he just decided to constantly keep the ring in his pocket, hoping that he would just know when the moment was right.

In that moment, hugging his bride-to-be, he knew that the moment had been right. All because she said yes.

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