What was it about this man that made my heart quiver every time I saw him? He leaned casually against the railing, waiting for me. He was so dashing in a suit. He was tall and slim, and his toned muscles were ever-so-visible through his shirt. I wondered for the hundredth time what it was he saw in me.
He held my hand as we walked out to his car. He seemed distant tonight, distracted. He must have sensed my unease, and squeezed my hand in reassurance.
In the car, we talked quietly about our day. Simple, easy conversation. That's how it always was with him. No awkwardness, no pretense - it was effortless and comfortable. It felt like nothing I'd ever known. It felt like home.
We got to the restaurant and he held the door for me. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed his hands were shaking. Insecurities clouded my mind. Had he brought me here to end it? Was this daydream romance going to be over so soon? I marveled at how attached I had grown to this man in such a short time. He was a piece my heart had been missing. His sudden arrival in my life had made me feel whole for the first time. I doubted my heart could take it if he walked away now. I took a deep breath and followed him to our table.
The waitress came and took our orders. He barely glanced at the menu and ordered the exact same thing as I did. We continued talking - the familiar ease washing over me. I began to let the doubts slip away. I focused instead on his dimples and slight smile as he talked. I let my eyes wander up to his deep blue eyes, surrounded by long, dark lashes. Lashes so perfect that women everywhere wept with envy.
After we had eaten, the hostess approached our table. In her hand was a small, white box. She smiled as she handed me the gift.
"The boutique next door is having a special, and some of our guests get gifts tonight," she said.
I tugged on the ribbon and began to unwrap the small box. He was silent. Watching me.
Inside the box was a silver bell. It was beautiful. I could hardly believe my luck. Such an unexpected prize. I never won anything.
But then I noticed it. There was writing on the outside of the bell. And inside...there was a ring.
No -- could it be?
I looked at him as tears filled my eyes. He stood up. He swiftly slid out his chair and put his napkin on the table.
He got down on one knee, visibly shaking.
"Will you marry me?" he asked, terrified.
Tears spilled down my cheeks and I ran into his strong arms.
"Yes, yes, I will marry you."
He took me in his arms and kissed me. The restaurant around us erupted in cheers and applause. For a moment, I had forgotten there was anyone but us in the room.
When the tears slowed enough that I finally could see, I looked at my beautiful, silver bell. He'd had it engraved to read, "You are the ring in my bell." He gently took the ring out of the bell and slipped it on my left hand.
It was a perfect fit.
And he has lived every day of his life since then in pursuit of my complete and utter happiness.
I love you, baby.