'Not in there!' Alex snaps, batting my hand away.
I felt something in her pocket and must look startled as Alex apologizes, but without explanation. We continue walking on, but now my mind is racing: 'Is that a ring in her pocket? No, it's a funny shape for a ring box. I don't even know if she's gotten a ring! It's her sister's wedding weekend. I thought I was going to have to wait until August, after exams and papers and everything. Could she really be proposing today--where?!!?'
As a family, we walk on to the Fishing Museum. I have absolutely no interest of going inside at this point.
'You're too clever,' Alex says, a bit deflated.
'I don't know what you're talking about,' I reply.
'Should we go for a walk?' I ask.
Brighton beach is rocky and I take off my flip-flops to manage over the rocks; Alex is quiet for a minute and then says, 'I've always wanted to propose on the beach.' We stop near the edge of the surf.
Alex turns to me, takes my hands. She looks gorgeous: her hair wind blown, black shirt, white jacket; I can't believe she's my girl, my financee.
She says, 'Erica, I love you. I want to go on this big adventure with you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Every day I am in awe of you: your strength, your beauty, your passion.'
The tears start rolling. I try not to lose focus.
Alex takes the little cardboard ring box from her jacket pocket.
'Should I get down on one knee?' she asks.
'You don't have to,' I reply.
'I want to,' she says and kneels before me. 'Erica, will you marry me?'
'Yes. I will.'
Tears are streaming, I can barely speak. She places the ring on my finger. I kiss her and we hear applause from up the beach--a group of people our age are cheering for us!
We giggle and go all mushy and then make our way back to the Fishing Museum where her family is waiting for us:
'Wanna see my ring?!'
we only have this one of both of us!
(And some pineapple for good measure...)