A/N: This chapter is inspired by Adele’s song called Lovesong.
Sebastien and I have both been busy with our respective work. While he has an office for his venture capital firm back in California, he’s still in the process of opening up operations here, hiring people, and solidifying an investment strategy. For me, Helpr’s offices opened six months ago and I’ve been traveling a lot, most recently to New Orleans to meet with community service organizations there about partnerships.
Even with the stress of it all, I am honestly living the dream. Never in my life did I expect to make a career out of helping people, but here I am.
Although it’s the middle of the week, today turned out to be one of the first ones in a while that Sebastien and I have completely free at the same time and we’re starting it with brunch at my — and what has also turned into his — favorite spot: The Bistro. I consider it to be where we had our first date, but Sebastien swears down it was after his interview when I showed him around Atlanta and then he took me on the ferris wheel and we kissed for the first time.
Sebastien hums his satisfaction with the food. “Mhhmm, the shrimp and grits here never fail. Did you know that my first time here was also my first time having the dish? I regret that I went 39 years without it.”
I giggle and shake my head as I take a bite of my waffle. “Yes, love. And they’ve reached the point of already having it prepared when they know we’re coming here.”
“The same goes for your chicken and waffles,” he replies, pointing to my plate. “Anyway, you should eat up because have a busy day ahead of us.”
“Oh?” I raise a questioning brow. “And what does this busy day entail? I thought we were supposed to chill?”
“We are chilling,” he replies with a shrug. “Neither of us have work and we can enjoy the beautiful city of Atlanta when it’s not too hot by doing that aimless wandering you’re so fond of.”
“You know me so well.” I reach over and take his hand. He knows how much I love this city, despite the nightmarish traffic, crowds, and unwavering summer heat. Sebastien has also grown to love Atlanta — at least in the fall and winter months.
As brunch goes on, we catch up on work stuff and figure out some upcoming travel plans to visit California, we also have another talk about our schedules so we can get better aligned on them. While we come home to each other every night when neither of us is traveling, our weekends tend to be packed, whether we attend work or events as a couple or individuals and our one-on-one time has become gradually scarce.
I imagine that once things are a bit more established with Helpr and he’s more comfortable in his transition to southeast, we’ll be in better shape as far as time. Whatever happens, I’m just happy to be in such a healthy relationship with a truly incredible man, and I hope it stays that way… forever.
As promised, after we finish brunch, Sebastien and I go on our walk through the city. Today, we’ve had the privilege of losing track of time, as has been normal when we’re together and before we know it, the sun has already set.
We sit in a bench in Centennial Olympic Park eating gelato — pistachio as always for him and tiramisu for me. His free arm around me, he caresses my shoulder while I lean my head against his. In front of us is SkyView Atlanta — the ferris wheel where we had our first kiss.
I smile as the memories of Sebastien and I’s relationship flood my mind and when I think about it, this whole day has been nostalgic
Almost as if the man can read my mind, he asks me exactly what I’m thinking.
“Do you want to get on?”
“Yes!” I nod with a wide grin and after finishing our gelatos, we make our way over.
When we arrive, it looks like it was just in time because no one else is boarding the ride and there’s only one cart left for us to get into.
Different from the last time we were on this thing, Sebastien and I are comfortably cuddled up together as our cart ascends and when we reach the top, we’re met with the beauty of the Atlanta skyline.
We sit there for a few minutes and it feels longer than carts are usually allowed to stay at the top of the ride. I begin to panic that it might be stuck or something else could be wrong and I get up to investigate.
“You’re right, I do know you well,” Sebastien teases when I stand up to peak over the other side of the cart that has a better view of the booth where they operate the ride. “I knew you’d get up and check if something was happening.”
I look down and nothing appears to be wrong, the operator is just standing there — at least from what I can see. He is pretty far away considering how high up we are. I look around the street some more searching for any emergency lights and there’s nothing.
“Maybe he just lost track of ti—“ I stop when I turn to Sebastien and see him down on one knee with a little blue box in his hand looking up at me anxiously.
“Naomi Violet Monroe…”
“Oh my god!” I gasp loudly, interrupting him before covering my mouth.
“Dear, let me get it out, at least,” he chuckles nervously and the more I stare at him, I realize that he is shaking.
“Naomi Violet Monroe, I love you more than I can put into words. You’re kind, caring, passionate and compassionate, ambitious, and honest… I couldn’t imagine life being anywhere but by your side… Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
“Oh my god!” I repeat, my eyes switching between my new fiancé and the ring. I begin to wonder why he hasn’t put it on my finger yet and why he’s gradually looking more terrified when it hits me that I never finished my sentence…
“Yes! Yes! Oh my god, yes!” I say it clearly this time and the beaming grin on his face is immediate. Sebastien slides the ring on my finger and my makeup is completely ruined by my tears, but I don’t care because I am now engaged to the man that I love.
“I love you, Sebastien Francis Laurent!” I shout before our lips are against each other.
I don’t even notice when the ferris wheel begins moving again, but the next thing I know, we’re at the bottom and practically have to tear our mouths from each other just so we can get out of our cart.
And when we do, we’re met with a crowd of familiar faces and I almost collapse with the overwhelming emotions that hit me. My parents, brother, Gianni with Eva on FaceTime in her hand and other friends of mine.
“She said yes!” Sebastien announces triumphantly and in return he gets congratulatory cheers.
“Show us the ring!” Gianni shouts and and I hold up my hand for them to see the emerald-cut diamond ring with a grin on my face so wide that my eyes are almost closed.
“Oh shit, girl. That is a rock! Good job, Sebastien!”
My now-fiancé holds my waist tighter and kisses my cheek.
“It looks like we’ll be spending plenty of time together now, baby.”
A/N: Welp, the next chapter is the last. I’m willing to confess that I shed a tear or two while writing it. 🥲 Naomi and Sebastien have come far.