I met Matt in February 1998. I was playing around on ICQ’s random chat feature and came across this guy who didn’t seem creepy so I struck up a conversation. It led to a phone call later in the evening that I found out was a way for him to determine whether I was indeed the female I purported myself to be. After talking for a while, he was convinced enough by the sound of my voice that I was who I said I was. It took a few more days before I finally got around to getting a picture scanned - no iPhones or digital cameras back then to make that happen and I didn’t own a scanner.
Fast forward to late November 2000 and Tallahassee, Florida was embroiled in presidential election controversy, my department at work was in the middle of a re-org (so more controversy) and I’d just put my cat down and found out I’d been approved to move to another country and my boyfriend was on his way from Canada to pick me up. He was due in late on Saturday night just a few days before Thanksgiving.
The night of his arrival I made plans with my dear friend and roommate to go out for one last girls’ night together at our favorite bar, Bennigan’s. He wasn’t supposed to be in until late. Just as we were about to leave, Matt called to say he was in town and wanted to know how to get to my apartment. He explained that he’d left earlier than planned to get into town earlier than planned. Being the sensitive and loving girlfriend that I was, I met him at a gas station by the interstate and he followed me back to my apartment where I proceeded to tell him that I had plans and left to go out with my friend. (He said he didn’t mind!)
What followed was several days that probably left Matt wondering what in the world he’d gotten himself into. We didn’t have any time alone. He went to work with me and traipsed through the entire office complex searching for boxes to pack my things, because I hadn’t packed anything. He was tireless helping me out all day finding boxes, encouraging me to get as many loose ends tied up while I could, helping me pack my apartment at night. His productivity levels during my final week as a resident of the U.S. were stellar.
At one point, when I was in the middle of doing some of the aforementioned work, he came up and kneeled beside my chair and called my name. Not looking up, I responded but was sidetracked when a colleague walked by and started chatting with me. When she walked over to my desk, she gasped, apologized and quickly walked away.
I was confused.
I looked at Matt and realized (finally) that he was on one knee, holding a ring up to me. I don’t remember the words that came just then. I only remember his face and the deep emotion of that moment for him. And, really? The words didn’t even matter, because his face said it all. For him, only one word mattered and it was the next one that came out of my mouth: “Yes.”
This post was based on the prompt “Married? Tell us the story of how the question was popped.” from Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.