Kevin proposes to Julie.
“Hello?” she asked, breathless from running across the apartment and digging for the phone.
“Hi Julie, it’s Kevin.”
“Hey baby, what’s up?”
“I was wondering if you’d want to join me for dinner tonight, at the same restaurant I took you to on Valentine’s Day.”
Julie immediately agreed, not having any other plans for the day. They set up a time and ended the phone call shortly after that. Kevin never stayed on the phone longer than necessary, something Julie found interesting, since she could stay on the phone for hours. She placed the phone on the couch and headed back to her painting. The conversation kept playing through her head. Something about it seemed odd, but Julie couldn’t put her finger on it. Kevin had called to set up dinner dates before. He asked her to dress nicely, which also wasn’t unusual. She gave up and put all her mental power into completing her painting.
While she normally avoided painting specific scenes or people, she knew this one was different. The painting focused on a pair of hands, with fingers intertwined, in the center of the canvas. She made the hands look like hers and Kevin’s, making this painting solely for him to see. The rest of the canvas she covered with words, lyrics from her favorite Backstreet Boys songs. A few were the phrases that stuck in her head more than others, but some were the romantic phrases she loved, and thought applied to her relationship with Kevin. She planned on giving the painting to Kevin as a gift, a late four month anniversary present; she couldn’t wait for his birthday in October.
As the day wore on, she thought about the phone conversation again. She finally figured out why it felt different as she began dressing for the date. Kevin’s voice sounded different, raw, as if overcome with emotion. She couldn’t understand why he’d be emotional over a date, but she figured she’d understand once they met. After looking through her wardrobe, she chose a teal spaghetti strap dress, with matching heels. Kevin told her he’d pick her up, and at the restaurant led her to the same table from Valentine’s Day.
“You look beautiful,” he told her.
“Thank you. You look handsome as well.”
“What did you do today?” he asked her, eager for something to talk about. He wanted to wait until later in the evening to propose, needing the time to get up the courage. Kevin never imagined asking such a simple, yet important, question could prove so difficult.
“I began working on a new painting.”
“Oh, what will this one look like?” Julie quickly came up with another painting to tell him about, not wanting to spoil the surprise.
“I drew my inspiration from the beach. I used my hands to create two blurry shadows on one side of the canvas. Surrounding the shadows is a large shape representing the setting sun, but it too is blurry. Then the top half of the canvas I want to paint to resemble the ocean. I think I’ll do something with the colors of the sun set on the bottom half. I switched things because when you’re in love your whole world gets turned upside down; that’s why I’ll put the ocean on top and the sky on bottom.”
“It sounds amazing.”
“I’m glad you like it.” Julie cast about for a new subject. “I really like the new CD you guys are working on. The songs are great, catchy as always, but there’s a different feel to it than your last CD. I think your fans will love it.”
“Thanks. We all felt our new CD should stand apart from the last one, that it should bring something new. That’s our goal as a group, to continue to grow and always add something to a new CD.”
“I think it’s great how you all seem to genuinely care about each other and the group. Obviously I’ve seen first hand that you don’t always get along, but you do make an effort.”
“I do care about all of the guys, but I care about you more.” Julie blushed, and their conversation continued through the meal. When they finished, Kevin sat a little straighter and cleared his throat. “There’s something I wanted to talk to you about.” Julie wondered why he seemed so serious, unprepared for what was coming. “I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life loving you.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, white box. Julie gasped, reminding herself to breathe while thinking about what Kevin might say next. “You said you loved me too. Julie Ford, will you marry me?” He opened the box, revealing a ring. It was a simple gold band, slightly thicker around a single, marquise-cut diamond. Julie looked at the ring, and then up at Kevin, smiling, with tears in her eyes.
“Yes,” she told him enthusiastically. Kevin took the ring out of the box and gently placed it on her finger, sighing when it fit. “How’d you get my size?” Kevin explained how he’d met with Michelle and used her to get Julie’s size and help him pick out the ring by showing him what Julie might like.
For the rest of the evening, every few minutes Julie looked down at her finger, re-convincing herself that the ring still sat there. Kevin relaxed and acted like himself the rest of the time. Both smiled at each other, expressing the love they shared with their eyes rather than words. They left the restaurant after dinner and walked around a nearby park, holding hands and just talking.
“I knew I wanted to marry you a month ago, but wasn’t sure how to propose,” Kevin told Julie, answering her question. “I wanted to make sure everything went perfectly, and I wanted to have time to do plan it all. That’s why I waited until we were back home and things had settled down some.”
“Well I think you did an excellent job planning.” She linked her arm through his and snuggled closer to him. “Have you told the others yet?”
“Yes. They all knew I wanted to ask you to marry me, and offered to help in any way they could, but I told them I wanted to do everything myself. I was also afraid they might ruin the surprise.”
“Nothing could ruin the surprise. I never would have guessed you were going to propose in a million years.”
After reaching the top of a hill, Julie lay down on the grass to gaze up at the stars; Kevin soon joined her. In soft whispers, Kevin serenaded Julie with his baritone voice, soothing her, bringing her a comforting sense of peace. He finished his song, and Julie leaned over and kissed him. They left the park and headed back to her apartment. Throughout the ride, Kevin held Julie’s hand in his, never wanting the feel of her smooth skin against his to disappear. He walked her to the door, giving her a long, passionate goodnight kiss before leaving; he promised to call her the next day.
Julie walked into the apartment feeling light as a feather. Michelle brought her out of her reverie, asking her all about her evening. Julie spilled every detail, leaving nothing out she could remember. She then turned on Michelle and demanded to know every detail from her side, about the meetings with Kevin. After both shared all they knew, Michelle gave Julie one more hug and congratulations, and then went to bed.
Julie's wedding ring: http://www.kay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product1%7C10101%7C10001%7C-1%7C160931109%7C15051%7C15051.15057.15106