it had become Saturday. The seventh day we spent on our beloved campsite on the Danish countryside. Five years ago, we arrived here for the very first time, having been together for only six months and unknowing this would become our little happy place for years to come. Even though we were still new to each other, we had an amazing summer. We loved it so, this place by the lake, that we came back the year after – no doubt in our minds. We came back the following year. Still together, still happy. The year after that, last year, we decided to travel to the west coast of America. Despite the greatness of everything we saw there, a big part of us missed our tiny little camping spot. Call it quirky as you want, I am glad we both do not need much when it comes to holidays.
We had longed for these days so badly when they finally arrived. We packed up my love’s old Volkswagen and drove up north. Our first week went by quickly; a bit of swimming, some reading, a lot of road tripping along the hills and through the endless small towns.
Soon the 11th of August arrived, along with the rain. The heatwave seemed to have left and to have made room for heavy, dark clouds covering our tent. Same as myself, my love seemed disappointed by the sudden change of weather. That day, we decided to drive to Ålborg, one of Denmark’s bigger cities, where we spent the day conquering the ongoing rain in matching poncho’s. Suddenly, while driving ‘home’, the clouds started to fade slowly and a tad of sunlight hit our skin. After arriving at our campsite, we decided to go on a short walk through the flowery fields. The sun slowly started to set for its nights sleep as the moon prepared to rise, invisible for us to see.
In a small amount of time we got to the end of the lake, the trees rustling, the birds carefully sipping the water, the wind quite roughly blowing through our hair. I looked at my love and noticed him looking nervous – just a tiny bit. Lost in thoughts, busy trying to make up his mind. Doubting maybe, considering, rationalising. As always. Now – I knew what he was thinking about. I had known all along. Months earlier, a certain package arrived at our home, accidentally. It took me only one quick look at the senders name to know what was the content of the oversized box and for me to know that I. was. definitely. not. supposed. to. see. I am sorry, my love – I am just a very quick reader.
As nothing had happened yet – believe me when I say I dropped enough hints (again so sorry love, I am also very impatient) – and I feel the same way about our little summer hideaway, I just knew this was the place. And this was the moment.
He waited for me at the end of the dock. Standing there, looking at me while I filmed the shimmering water. “Come here,” he said calmly. I got nervous. “Why?” I asked, obviously the most useless question of the decade – I knew why. “I just need you here for a second.” I pulled the strap of my camera over my head, lay it down on the picknick table next to me and took off my cardigan. I suddenly felt very hot. Wearing only my new flowy green flowered dress and short rubber rain boots, I walked up to him. I nervously smiled as he took both my hands in his. “Are you ready?” he asked. I felt my heart pound. “Yes,” I managed to say, right under my breath. Not sure if I actually was ready for this. A moment I hadn’t been able to wait for – suddenly so real and a bit frightening even, to be honest. “I just need to ask you something.” He let go of my hands and pulled me as close as he could. I buried my face in his neck as I heard him say, his voice trembling: “you know I love you so much.” I felt my tears well up and my heart jumped. Trying not to start sobbing right away, I nodded quickly. “Yes.” I simply could not stop the first tears finding their way down my cheeks while he looked me in the eye – so kind, so soft. He let go of my hands and went down on his right knee, as if in slow motion. I felt my body freeze and watched him carefully, having a hard time figuring out if this was real or a film. He took a small, white box out of his jacket’s left pocket, opened it, and held it right beneath me.
I wish I could say I immediately loved it, that I stared at it in awe, seeing its details in the shimmering evening sunlight. But no. While the wind slowly brushed my wet cheeks, my eyes were struggling to regain their clear sight. I could barely distinguish the silhouette of my love, my dear love, and the slight shimmer of bright new gold. I felt my heart skip a beat. There he was, the actual love of my life, in his hands the tiny symbol of us wanting to be together forever. His eyes were watery and his lips clearly searching for the right words to say. He stared at me for a short moment as I brought my both hands to my face – the cliché move I promised myself not to perform, ever. Eyes soft, emotional, full of love, barely catching his breath.
He asked me to marry him.
It was hard to answer – he moved me so. My breath slow and deep, I heard myself softly say yes. Oh, yes. Yes please. So very please.
For a moment we were just there. Him on his knee, me trying to get back to reality when truth was, I could see nothing but him. All was gone.
He stood up, slowly, and carefully put the most beautiful golden vine band around my left ring finger. His face tightened. “Too big,” he sighed, disappointed. But I could only smile. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. Nothing had ever mattered, but this. These moments. These full hearts. Hopefully, forever.