There’s a chorus of ‘Aww’ from the staff, but it’s nothing compared to the effect his words have on me.
I told myself yesterday I wouldn’t get all teary when Foxx told me how he feels, but I think this qualifies as an okay-to-tear-up moment.
“You know I will, Foxx,” I squeak. “Yes. Yes. Yes!” I answer in a stronger voice.
The cheers and applause of everyone else are drowned out to a murmur as Foxx kisses me.
“I love you, Mandy.”
“And I love you, Foxx, more than anything in the whole wide world.”
The real gem, the real diamond moment, is a single word from her.
It’s all I need to complete me, to complete us as a couple.
Waiting another minute without asking her, proving how much she means to me, and asking for her hand, I’d just burst.
Choosing the ring is like everything between us now, done together. And I may have broken tradition by not having a ring already. But how could I do something so special without her knowing? How could I know she got the one she really wanted otherwise?
There are no secrets between us, ever. And there’s no way I could leave her alone somewhere while I pick a ring on my own. Besides, I don’t know anything about diamonds. Only that my woman looks happiest like she should the more she has on her.
I know which one I’d choose if it were just up to me, though, and I’m happier than Mandy is when she finally chooses the same one.
Slipping it onto her finger, I’m not surprised it’s a perfect fit. I ask her again, out of formality, to be my wife.
More new words that I never thought I could say out loud, but with Mandy, it’s easy because it’s true.
“I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Words like that can only be spoken with someone who means everything, and she does.
It’s some time before we exit the jeweler, her ring gleaming on her finger, but her eyes are looking up at me. Shining brighter than any rock could, and mine feel the same.
She hugs me as we walk, and noting I’m not headed for the carriage, which is still waiting, I let her know we still have a little more shopping to do.
“Don’t panic,” I tease her. “We’re not wedding dress shopping…just getting you whatever you want. A whole new wardrobe if you like. And anything else you need,” I explain.
Not even mentioning her other stuff. All the things she does or probably doesn’t have back at her old apartment.
Mandy seems fine with leaving it that way too. I know she’d ask if there was something she had to go back for, but I make a mental note to find out the landlord’s details later.
Square up anything owing and arrange to collect her things if she wants them. But yeah. Something in me knows it’ll be something done over the phone than in person. The life she had before wasn’t good for her then, so why go back. Even for a moment?
True to my prediction, today is better and a little more demanding on Mandy. But in a good way.
She tries on fewer outfits than she chooses once we discover that most places this side of town cater to all body types and sizes. Even mine, meaning I’ll probably get just as many new threads as Mandy does.
It’s hungry work, and once I see her starting to fade a little, I suggest lunch. Our carriage is just a text message away. And in no time, it’s loaded with our shopping as well as us on our way to some food.
Mandy has a new outfit, just jeans and a tee like I opt for too. But it’s the smile on her face and that ring on her finger that takes my breath away every time I look at her. Which is a lot as we settle on a place, ignoring the onlookers rubbernecking at the carriage and getting down to the serious business of eating something.
Simple, but the best.
Our meal of burgers and fries sounds plain, but in this neighborhood, everything is fancy.
Even the basics.
But a good burger and a plateful of fries are what we’re both craving, apart from each other. And it’s getting clearer that home time might be a good time right now.
Maybe we could pick up where we left off this morning when I was keeping my distance, so we didn’t spend all day in bed.
But there’s plenty of time for that now.
“I wonder how Mrs. Peters is doing?” Mandy asks once we’re on our way home.
“Hospital’s not far,” I observe. “We could drop in and say hi if you want to,” I say.
I’m even prepared to run the risk of bumping into my boss, who’s been dogging me on the phone and by text since late yesterday.