Just nearly a month ago now, d.jack and I went out for dinner. To Town, because we love to go there. I wore a pretty dress, because we both love that too.
We ate some delicious food, drank some nice wine. I waited for d.jack to go to the bathroom. And waited. And waited. The bread come and gone, the carapaccio devoured, the main more than half way through. My plan had been fomented around the fact that we have never had a meal out together without at least one bathroom visit from the other side of the table; it's a family joke. I was certain I could rely on it.
I did what I normally do with uncertainty: flushed and got very quiet.
Fifteen minutes later, after alternately staring at my plate and asking d.jack if he had noticed how suddenly hot it was, I took a small plastic box for organizing your office supplies out of my purse, and placed it on the bar beside his plate.
His eyes widened. "For me? Really?"
"It's a surprise. I'm not sure what you'll think of it."
Just nearly four years ago now, Jennifer and d.jack were at a wedding for a mutual friend. Towards the end of a drunken night, he pulled her aside and pressed a shiny silver binder clip into her palm.
"Give this to Megan for me?" he said.
By her report, she was pretty wary. No one wants to be caught in the middle of two friends. "Okay, I'll give it to her," J. replied. "But you're on your own from there."
When she gave it to me the next day, I was confused. "Is he asking me out?"
"I don't know. I told him I would give it to you and that's it."
"Am I supposed to ask him out?" She shrugged her shoulders.
Being otherwise distracted at the time, I tossed it in the jar with my other binder clips, and proceeded to proceed as I was. But pretty much every time he was back visiting Ottawa from school, why yes, I did just happen to be free for a friendly beer.
He unclipped the lid of the small plastic box and dug around in the tissue paper. Pulled out a shiny silver binder clip holding a folded piece of paper. It had taken me a remarkable amount of time the night before to get it to just the right size, with the words spaced out just the way I wanted across the folds.
The front said WILL YOU.
Unfold. WITH ME?
D.jack blinked hard and his voice was very quiet. "Really!? You mean it?"
I nodded, staring intently at him instead of my plate.
His eyes got blurry and he said "I will! I will elope with you."
It was a strange mix of feelings, and the sudden rush of oxygen maybe made them all the more heady. I leaned in and kissed him, then pressed my cheek to his cheek. I smelled him into every crevice of my lungs.