To The Man Who Asked Me to Marry Him

Monday, November 09, 2015

Batanes Proposal

My Dennis,

On that late September morning, the salty breeze brought with it an addition and a subtraction.

I remember it as pivotal moments are remembered: in beautiful fragmented details — far from complete and mawkishly sentimental, but earnest.

I remember how lovely the weather was and how we fretted over sunblock, or the lack thereof. I let you have all of it because melanoma doesn't scare me one bit. I remember how you said "Merf" while patting my bonneted head, and me snickering. (You meant "Smurf" and the table was turned on you. That was really funny. I'm sorry if I still couldn't shut up about it to this day.) I remember I made a comment about the wave breakers in the port of Ivana looking like pieces from Hiro's robot, and you agreed. You always do when it comes to this kind of things.

"I wonder if it's beautiful over there," I remember you saying.

"Of course," I told you breathlessly.

Already we were both breathless, not from the trek but from the surrealism of a fantasy staring us at the face.

I remember you telling me to stand right there.

"Here?" I checked, and you nodded. You were still fiddling with the GoPro as I turned to face the world, to every thing that made up, if not both of us, then one or the other.

I was sure in my core was the ocean — not an unkind force but largely unknown, even to itself. I carry storms and hurricanes inside me just like the ocean. You know this — you've been in the center of some of those storms. But here we are. And that is how I knew you were made of coves, mountains and shores, of the things the ocean needed and loved.

I remember you walking up to me, saying strange but beautiful things, inspired, I guessed, by a dream being realized. I think, right then I knew what you were about to do, and in some complex part of the ocean in me, I wanted to silence you. I wanted to break the tension — the one that spawns from pouring one's heart. It made you vulnerable, and I, being on the receiving-end of that outpour, felt the same way. It's like when the ocean lashes out at a cliff's face just because of its sheer resolve. You might've noticed how I punctuated your sentences with kisses. That was my ocean lashing at your cliff. But just like the rocks that we were standing on, you did not give.

I remember a box from your pocket and suddenly you were on one knee.

For all my ramblings, that moment left me with no words. It was a blur, it's true. One moment I was sure where my feet were — there, in the uneven rocks, as firmly planted as one could ever hope for, then I'm propelled to a swirl of momentary shock and undignified sobbing the next. I say unto you, that was a small price to pay.

I remember the comedy that was us not knowing which hand to put the ring on, and a teeny disappointment that you did not get me Nenya. But then there came another box and there it was. You have no idea how happy you made me that day.

I remember focusing several feet below us, on a pool of water looking at ease and content, surrounded by rocks. The water wasn't forced inside, it simply came because that bulwark was there. It provided shelter from the rest of the ocean, a kind of peace and sense of individuality from a vast existence. Then I heard you screaming and enlisting the world as our witnesses. It was both so silly and sweet.

After that moment, it seemed that everything that preceded it was a white insipid light. The moment you asked me to marry you was the prism. All that followed it was nothing short of iridescent.

Four words were all it took to end one chapter and start another. I am that pool of water and you are the rocks.

In a life full of uncertainties and doubt, you are my resolution.

I sure hope you're ready for more storms, because I'm not taking my yes back.

Forever and always,
Celine

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