This memory makes me laugh. At least now we can look back and laugh. It wasn’t a laughing matter at the time…
At the end of 2009, MC and I had been dating long distance for 3 years. I was based in Durban, South Africa and he was based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. He would come on holiday every 3 months, and being the end of the year, he was arriving home on Monday 13th December. We had been invited to a wedding on the Tuesday and we were off to Mauritius to meet his family on the Wednesday.
MC called a few weeks before coming home and asked me to take an extra 2 days leave from work (the Monday and Tuesday to spend quality time with him – I was due to leave at lunchtime on the Tuesday to attend the wedding). I tried to get the leave but work had been hectic and I had to wrap things up before taking my long Christmas break. MC kept begging, even offering to call my employees and asking himself. Of course I wouldn’t let that happen!
I kept trying but on the Friday afternoon when I was leaving work, I was told that it was impossible and I had to be at work on Monday. I spent the Monday running around crazily but so excited to see my beloved boyfriend at the end of the day.
MC landed in town, drove to his parents house and patiently waited for me to finish work and fight the traffic. He kept calling to find out where I was (alarm bell #1) and still stuck in traffic, I said I was coming! I arrived at 6pm and pulled into the driveway to find this handsome boyfriend of mine at the door to greet me with open arms. After 4 months, it was so good to see him!!
He guided me inside, saying he was starving and we needed to eat. I thought it was a little rushed (alarm bell #2) but after a long day at work and hectic traffic, I was happy to gobble down. I walked into a dining room filled with flowers and candles (alarm bell #3). This wasn’t an obvious sign though as we often treated each other to surprise candlelight dinners – as you do when you don’t see each other often – so this was quite normal. We ate a lovely meal together and caught up on 4 months of chatting and kissing.
|Flowers and candles for our romantic dinner|
MC then offered me dessert (alarm bell #4) – MC doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and doesn’t normally eat dessert. But he had insisted that he had made me something special (alarm bell #5) – MC doesn’t bake!! On his way to the kitchen, he stopped by my chair, leaned over me, kissed me on the forehead and told me to close my eyes for my surprise dessert (alarm bell #6) – he was shaking terribly!
I closed my eyes and when I was told to open them, there he stood on one knee, decorated plate of flowers and my ring in his hand, asking him to marry him…
|My ring “plate”|
My response: “Are you joking?”
Yes, nobody really warns you of how you night feel when this HUGE question is asked. And I don’t think you can ever plain or explain your response or that feeling. Indescribable. And cannot be rehearsed. Obviously he wasn’t joking… And after many tears and giggles, and jumping up and down, I shouted YES and jumped into his arms for endless hugs and cuddles… as a fiancé!
|Have to have a ring pic|
We spent all evening in each others arms, soaking it all in, not quite believing the reality of it all, the pure joy and emotion of the moment and the excitement of the our future that lay before us. We chose to only call parents and siblings that evening to tell them the good news – most of them knew already. MC had called both my dad and stepdad from the UK to ask for my hand in marriage. My mom had been left out of all communication as she cannot keep a secret and would definitely have let it slip. We only called friends the next day and so the celebrations began…
|Tear stained faces…|
MC then sat me down to explain why he had so desperately wanted me to get the extra 2 days leave. He had booked a romantic evening in the Drakensberg mountains, as well as an early morning hot air balloon ride to propose in the air… This has always been my dream proposal which he had tried to make come true but work got in the way and he had to cancel it all! One day, we will take that hot air balloon ride but I still feel I got my dream proposal.