It started by me asking her parents to eat lunch with me once I purchased the ring. We ate at a sushi place in West Des Moines and I asked their permission to marry their daughter. They gave me permission, and that night I came home and we were both doing homework. The whole time I was mulling over how to propose. I knew one thing was certain:
She didn't want any sort of public proposal. She had mentioned that before in passing.
I kept coming up with all these grand, elaborate ideas like proposing after going skydiving. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I didn't want to wait any longer. I wanted to ask her that night.
And then it hit me: I should propose in a story.
And so I wrote a short story and, when she was done with her homework I asked her if she would let me read her a story and tell me what she thought about it.
And here is how it goes:
Once upon a time there was a beautiful young princess who was the envy of the kingdom. She had long brown hair and a smile that could melt any man’s heart. Her brown eyes sparkled brighter than any star in the sky. Her skin was smooth and fair in complexion and as soft as silk. When she sang it left men enchanted by her angelic voice. She had a great many suitors during the prime years of her youth, but she never met a prince in the four corners of the earth that could win her heart.
One day a young poet was in the courtyard when he heard the young princess singing. It filled him with such rapture that words flowed freely from his quill onto the parchment, filling it with such perfect lines of poetry that he became convinced that he must meet the source of such a sweet melody. Every day he came back to the same courtyard, hoping to hear that sweet voice. Nearly a week passed until he once again heard the wonderful singing, and although his urge to write inspired poetry was great, he instead followed the sound of the voice until he came across its source.
When he first laid eyes on the young princess he instantly believed that she was an angel sent from heaven, so great was her beauty to match her voice. He admired her from behind a bush, and watched as several men tried in vain to get her attention. She ignored them all and continued singing, and the poet had an idea and began to write a new poem. When the singing ceased, and the men all dispersed, he walked over toward the window where she had stood and began to recite his poem.
The young princess had never heard words filled with such fire and emotion, so she came to the window to see what manner of prince was making these claims. When she saw the poor poet, she took an instant liking to him because he was nothing like all the boring princes she had rejected. For over a year the two continued to meet in secret, since it was forbidden for the young princess to take an interest in anyone but a prince. Yet her heart sang every time she was with the poet, and the poet’s soul was filled with such sweet verse that neither one wanted things to come to an end.
One warm spring day the poet professed his undying love to the young princess, saying he wanted her to run away with him and live down by the sea in his hut. While she loved the poet, she could not bear to leave her family and her castle behind. She ached to do as he asked, but before she could give up her life she decided to test the poet to determine his commitment.
The next day, when the poet came and proclaimed his love for the princess and once more asked her to run away with him, she presented her challenge to him. He had thirty days to prove to her his love and, if he could do this, she would run away with him. If he could not do this, she would have no choice but to accept he did not love her and they would never speak to each other again.
Over the next twenty-nine days the poor poet tried everything he could think of. He wrote her songs and poems about his love for her, but that could not move the princess to be convinced of his commitment. He brought her jewels and flowers, but she was still not convinced. He begged and pleaded for her to change her mind, or to give him a hint, but she stood firm by her decision. On the final day of the test, the princess woke up feeling sick with despair, knowing that this might be the day she would have to say good bye to the poet forever. While her heart ached to consider the idea, she knew she could never leave her life behind. She put on her best dress and went to her window, and there was the poor poet waiting for her.
He looked up into her eyes and smiled, certain he had finally figured out what he needed to do. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a small box and opened it up, dropping to one knee as he spoke to her, saying:
“You are a wonderful woman and I am so happy to be with you. I am so happy you are a part of my life and I want you to be part of my life forever. I love you so much. Would you do me the absolute honor of marrying me?”
At this point I was on one knee with the ring in my hand as I said that last paragraph. She cried and said yes. And then we tried taking a good picture of the ring for about half an hour. It was dark and the flash wasn't cooperating. Then we watched her favorite movie: Twilight.
Ten months later we're still happily engaged and celebrating her birthday today. I love her so much and can't wait to find out where our lives will take us as we journey together. Forever.
Happy Birthday Nicole. I love you. :)