Declan attempted to make guesses about what was going on. He hadn’t gotten it, yet. That made me nervous but I didn’t want him to get it either. The drive took twenty minutes. The parking lot was empty. I shut the jeep off and got out. I helped Declan out of the passenger side still blind-folded. I closed the car door and locked the jeep. I took him by the hand and led him down the dirt-worn path into the trees. I walked sideways making sure Declan didn’t trip over any roots or rocks. When we got to the rocky-shoreline I was even more careful. We walked past the spot where Declan had set up his easel and the grassy hill I’d sat on behind him to watch him paint. I led him carefully until we were in front of the peace sign I’d formed with the larger rocks I’d been able to find. The rising tide had displaced some of it by a few inches but otherwise, it was the same.
“Okay,” I mumbled and let Declan’s hand go. I pulled out the ring box and looked at him. I was still nervous.
I reached up and fixed his bangs behind his ear and touched his chin before kneeling down.
“Klaus, you there?” he asked shifting slightly and reaching out to see if he could touch me.
I took his hand. “I’m here, you can take it off,” I replied.
I released his hand and he reached up to untie the blindfold.
I opened the ring box and held it.
He removed the blind-fold and glanced around. He didn’t seem fazed by the lake and surrounding shoreline. The uneven ground may have given it away. He looked down then at me and the ring. He looked a little shocked.
“Declan March, will you marry me?” I asked nervously.
He touched my face and then pulled me to a standing position. He kissed me on the lips. I returned it gently worried that no immediate “yes” was some kind of rejection.
“Yes,” he mumbled quietly.
His eyes had gone glassy.
He took the ring from me and pulled it out of the box.
I watched him put the ring on his finger. It fit perfectly.
“It’s beautiful,” he whispered.
I wanted to ask if he was sure, because he seem to hesitate. But that would give him the opportunity to question it well I was around. I stuffed the ring box back in my pocket well he inspected the ring on his finger. I looked down towards the shoreline and out across the lake. The wind whipped my brown curls. Declan wrapped his arms around my neck and kissed the nape of it.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
“For?” I asked.
I had to speak or he’d think something was wrong.
“For being you. And loving me. For everything. I love you,” he answered.
I leaned into him. Everything seemed perfect. He’d said yes. So why was I worried?
“Let’s go home, I’m hungry,” he whispers.