If you haven't read the first 4 posts, please do so now. :)
1. He Should Have Known
3. Chaperones in White Jackets
4. Isn't He Romantic
All caught up? Well, then get grap some Valentine's chocolate and get comfortable.
As you've read, the first date was a rather eventful one. On Sunday the church was all abuzz and had us married in their minds already. Even Travis' co-worker told him on Monday, "Travis, you HAVE to marry her! That's a great story to tell your grandkids!"
Fast forward 3 months and we are beginning to agree. I know, I know. 3 months is not a very long time to get to know someone and be thinking about marriage. But in all fairness, we'd known each other for over two years already. It was beginning to look as if this might get serious, but neither of us had vocalized that yet. We weren't anywhere near talking about marriage, but we both knew deep down that that's exactly where this relationship was headed.
I think I'd known that since I was 15.
My birthday was near. It had become a tradition in my family to go to Apple Hill for my birthday. I loved it there, especially sampling the just-made apple juice! It was also where I caught my first fish and I wanted to share this with Travis. So, the Saturday nearest my birthday we made plans to drive to Apple Hill together, just the two of us, and have a picnic lunch.
I was the navigator.
I'm as good with navigation as I am with gas pumps! I told him, "Just get on 80 and keep going until you see the signs." So, he did.
We wound up in Tahoe... 2 hours away from our destination!
"Oh," I said. "I guess it's 50."
We decided to make the best of it and see Tahoe before heading to Apple Hill.
Now, I must let you in on what Travis was up to. A few days before, Travis kept asking me if I wanted my birthday present early. I wanted it on our special date, so I declined the offer. He asked several times, each time I said no. The day of our date, he started it with, "Are you SURE you don't want to open your present early?" Why was he so excited about this present?
He was asking nervous all day. In Tahoe, we took a walk at a beautiful place and I mentioned that it would be a pretty place for a wedding. Travis paused for a moment and said,
"Would you want to have a wedding here?"
"Would you want a big wedding or a small one?"
"Outside or in a church?"
He was merely talking hypothetically, but one would have to wonder if perhaps he's putting out feelers. Hmmm...is he having the same gut feeling? Does he see spending the rest of his life with me?
Not going to entertain that thought. Not now, anyway.
We went back to the car and drove back the way we came until we could turn toward 50. By the time we arrived at Apple Hill, it was dark and everything was closed down. We'd planned on having a picnic lunch, but we decided to save it for dinner. And now it was dinner time.
We searched and searched in the dark for a place to have our picnic, but to no avail. We finally decided to eat in the middle of an apple orchard.
It sounded romantic.
Until a bird rustled in the trees and tricked me into thinking there was a mad man with a chainsaw about to attack us!
As we finished, Travis asked, "Are you ready for your present now?"
Yes, I was. So he went to his car to get it, acting nervous. What was the big deal with this present?
He came back, handed me the gift bag, and I proceeded to reach into the bag for the gift.
It was small.
It was a box.
It was velvety.
Travis took it from me and got down on one knee.
Oh, my gosh. Can it be...?
"Rachael, I know we haven't been dating very long, but I do know that I am sure of my feelings for you. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."
All I caught was the first line. I was now outside my body, looking into his eyes, asking myself if this was real. He was NOT going to propose!!! He can't! I'm not ready. Three months... I'm pretty sure I want to marry this guy, but I'm not ready to say it and I'm certainly not ready to promise it! I can't say yes, but if I say no will I lose him? Will I totally crush him? What am I going to say? Oh, man. I can't believe this is happening. I...I...I...
"Rachael, will you...."
He opened the box.
"...accept these diamond earrings?"
diamond..diamond...wait. Diamond EARRINGS??
I looked down and, sure enough, there was small pair of diamond earrings.
I cannot express in words the relief I felt! At this point, I should have called him a name and asked him what the heck he was thinking, but I'm not that quick on my feet. Plus, like I told you before, he was a practical joker. Everyone came to expect the unexpected with Travis.
I slowly travelled back inside my body and put the earrings on. I don't have a clue what happened the rest of the night. But on Monday when I showed the guys in Chemistry class what Travis had given me for my birthday, they all agreed that he was planning on marrying me.
And they were right.