Subject : Crushed but Happy.
Posted Date: : Feb 12, 2007 11:40 AM
I was right to not get my hopes up. It didn't happen.
Saturday night would have been the most perfect night in the world for him to propose to me, and he didn't take the opportunity. He was completely overwhelmed by all that I had done for him. The flowers at the table took his breath away, but at the end of dinner when his gift was delivered by the server, he was completely speechless. He sat in awe for a while, wondering how I could have possibly had the time to set all of this up. I'll start at the beginning.
I ended up taking the day off work on Friday after finding out late Thursday that I was going to have to work on Saturday the 17th, one of the few days I have with Pete. I was livid! I bargained to have the days traded and when Friday morning rolled around, Pete had no clue. I got up the same time as usual, he made coffee for both of us, and I left the house at the same time I normally leave – only instead of going to work, I headed to my old apartment. I grabbed some stuff together, loaded up my poor little tiny car past the point of its normal safe capacity (I had to leave the top down to fit all of it in) and headed back home. I knew that by the time I had gotten there, Pete would be gone for his normal 12-hour shift and it would be safe for me to follow out my plan.
I waltzed straight in the front door of the main house and stumbled into Bryan, one of the roommates. Since Pete and I live in the Guest Quarters out back, it's rare that I run into Mike or Bryan, the two renters for the main house. Panic struck, and when I'm panicked, I think fast.
"Bryan, Pete doesn't know I'm here and I don't want him to know." I gave him the 'puppy dog' eyes, and he melted.
"I wont tell him then."
I wandered out back and opened up the sliding glass doors to where Pete and I now live together. I dropped off the mail that I had picked up in the main house from the day before and went back to my car to start hauling in all of the stuff I had brought over.
After about 8 trips up, the living space was completely packed with stuff everywhere – but that was just fine by me. My plan was to completely redo the entire place anyway. That was the reason for taking the day off. This was to be one of the Valentines gifts to Pete.
The first thing I did was make the bed. I didn't want anything getting lost among the covers when I started piling the contents of his 8 tier dresser on top of it. Once that was done, I moved the dresser to another spot in the room. I then took the TV off of the cabinet it was resting on in the opposite corner of the room, leaving it blocking the entrance to the bathroom. Me being a girl, I needed access, so I knew it couldn't stay there long. However, Pete had mentioned that he wanted the TV on top of the mini-fridge, but the fridge's inner freezer was packed with ice and needed to be defrosted. That went outside on the patio to face the sunlight for a while. The TV would have to wait. The cabinet the TV had been sitting on went over by the dresser and was loaded up with DVD's VHS Tapes, cassette tapes, pictures that didn't hang on the walls, and other random media that all needed a home. The microwave went on top of the dresser, and then I started loading up all of the Tiki treasures I had collected over the past month on the top of that, decorating that corner of the room in a very Tiki style. I stepped back and admired my handiwork. Fitting everything back into the dresser was going to take a while, so I moved on to the next project in stead.
It would have made much more sense to go at the room in a clockwise fashion, but I didn't feel I was ready to attack the mounds of stuff on the couch yet, so I moved instead to the bathroom. It needed help, head to toe. 'Nuff said. I installed a medicine cabinet that I knew Pete would appreciate – a very rustic style. My tall jewelry box from my mother went in the corner under that, and the pictures that once hung on the walls where the medicine cabinet now sat instead were moved to a spot over the mirror. A bamboo water fountain went under the mirror, adding a very tropical touch. (I never got the fountain to work. For a while it ended up as a tooth brush holder.)
Then I attacked the desk. I had cleaned it up a month ago and surprised Pete with the finished results. This time I did even more. It had piled up again in a hurry – Pete needs some help with his organizational skills, but I'm good at that. Next thing I went after was the CD rack, which stood against the wall on the opposite side of the couch from the dresser. That was a bit of a challenge, since Pete certainly has an unusual way of organizing his CD's by his favorites to his least favorites. I cant read his mind quite THAT well, so I did the best I could with the piles of CD's I found laying around.
The couch came next, but most of that got piled up on the bed with the contents from the dresser. Then came my own wardrobe and his closet. His shoes were a disaster, his clothes needed to be re-hung, his jackets had been laying in the floor of the closet, and his ties needed a home. My own wardrobe wasn't in much better shape since we had just shoved everything into it once it was built in order to get it all out of the way and out of the floor.
The bed was next – WOW what a project! It took me an hour or more to refold the contents of the dresser, and it wasn't easy finding a place for everything. He has two and a half tiers full of T-shirts and more miss-matched socks than I've ever seen in a single drawer, including one dark blue sock with white polka dots.
In between projects, I was banging away at the ice in the mini-fridge with a hammer and screwdriver the way I used to see my mom do when I was a kid.
Finally, the sun was fading in the sky and I had spent the entire day cleaning. I put the defrosted mini-fridge under the TV as my last act in the room for the day. I was beat! I still had much left to do though.
I usually meet Pete when I'm on my way home from work in order to share a meal with him while he's on shift. I still needed to call him to set that up – but I also needed to drive the hour it took to reach Kincaid's restaurant in order to drop off his gift. I didn't want him to see me carry it with me to dinner, so I had to make sure it was there waiting for him ahead of time. I jumped into the bath after making sure I had a place and time to rendezvous with Pete and got rid of the days filth. I closed my eyes a minute in the tub and the next thing I knew it was time to go and my hair was all wet!
I was less than two minutes from the rendezvous point when Pete called me to let me know he had been called out to the scene of an accident. I took this opportunity for all it was worth and continued my drive on to the restaurant in order to drop off the gift. I was pretty sad that I wasn't able to meet him for dinner, but he's a cop. It's his job. I understand completely.
I was just walking out of the restaurant after securing the gift in the trusted hands of the maitre d' when my phone rang.
"Where are you," Pete asked. I couldn't lie to him, so I told him honestly that I was at the Redondo Beach Pier.
"The WHAT? Why did you go all the way out there?"
I couldn't tell him I drove all the way out there because I was setting up a surprise for him or it wouldn't be a surprise! I had to think fast. "I thought I'd go back to my old stomping grounds," I said, not completely lying or telling the truth.
"Oh" he sounded disappointed.
"Wanna meet for coffee?"
"No. It's ok. I'll just get called away again."
Saddened, I drove back home again after picking up a sandwich to go at a pizza place along the way.
I had worked all day long on the room, but when I walked inside I didn't see the amazing change I knew Pete would see when he walked in. I had watched it transform, so the change was gradual to me. To him it would be much more dramatic.
Completely wiped out, I sat on the foot of the bed to watch TV and eat my quick meal. I scarfed down my sandwich like I hadn't eaten in a week and the next thing I knew, I had passed out.
I was completely unconscious and so disconnected I didn't fully comprehend what was going on when I heard Pete come in exclaiming "Oh Wow" with every breath. I woke up and sat up on the bed, cursing myself out mentally for passing out and not having lit the candles I had placed around the room. Pete was taking it all in slowly.
"Oh Wow," he said again when he looked at the couch. "Oh Wow," he whispered when he saw the desk. "Oh Wow," he nearly shouted when he saw the Tiki'd dresser and cabinet. "This is amazing! I don't know what to say!" He reached over and kissed me. "Did Bryan help you or something?"
"No," I explained. "I didn't' want anyone helping me with your Valentines gift."
"This is amazing," he said again. "Thank you."
The following day we had a wonderful day out. Pete spent a bit more time looking at all of his new Tiki things in awe, and even snapped a picture or two so he could share them with his family. He even told me at one point that he had talked to his mom recently.
"I told her that you and I were going to be living together. She was a little surprised at first since she knows I've never lived with a woman before and I've never wanted to. I told her that you were the end-all-be-all for me and that I had good intentions. I told her that we were going to get married someday." My eyes lit up, I'm sure. Did this mean he was going to ask me to marry him for Valentines Day?
We made it home in time to get ready for the dinner and left early. I thought that was absolutely perfect! If we were there early, they would have a better chance at setting up the right table for us in time. I was specific in asking for a table where he would have plenty of room to get down on his knee if he chose to do so. They let us know that the table would be ready at exactly my specified time, so we sat in the lounge / bar for a bit to wait.
When finally we were seated at the table, the white roses with the card to Pete were sitting directly in the center of the table. Pete noticed them, read the card, and sat in stunned silence for a moment.
"Wow" was all he could muster when he finally found words again. "What else do you have planned?"
"Who, me?" I grinned, not wanting to let slip the last surprise of the evening.
"How long did you have this planned? Did you have the table planned too?"
I looked out over the pier from the very best table in the house and smiled. "The flowers have been planned for about two weeks, and the table position has been planned since the reservations were made a month ago."
Pete smiled at me. "This is amazing. I can't believe this."
During dinner, we had a conversation about our relationship in the eyes of his roommates. He admitted something to me that I never thought I would hear.
"I told Mike that I know he thought you were too good to be true, but that I had loved you since the day I met you. I just didn't want to admit to it. You could have ripped my heart out." Tears filled my eyes. I had wanted to tell him that I had loved him since I met him… I just never had the courage to do so. He saw it in my eyes and nodded in understanding. A tear streamed down my face on either side. There was only one thing in the world that could have made me even happier than I was at that moment.
Dinner came and the conversation shifted towards my CHP application and my admittance to the academy. "They determine your placement based on several factors," Pete explained. "If you request an area nobody else wants, like South L.A, my office, there's a good chance you'll get it. But other than that, they rank you on marriage, kids in school, home ownership, and other similar factors. If we're really worried about where you end up, we could just get married before you go to the academy." I laughed almost bitterly, thought that's not the way I had intended it to sound. "What's wrong," Pete asked.
"Nothing's wrong," I explained. "I'm just not accustomed to planning a wedding until I've at least been asked." As quickly as that, Pete changed the subject. That left me puzzled. That would have been a good opportunity for him to do that very thing, and he quickly passed it by, leaving it as a part of history.
We finished dinner and the server brought out a small red package that he handed to Pete. Pete looked at me with a mystified half-grin. He looked back up at the server with curiosity, but he just turned and walked away with a wicked smile. When Pete opened the engraved 8G iPod Nano he gasped. The server returned, this time with a Cr..me Brule on the house. This time it was my turn for surprise. Neither of us had planned this one!
Dinner was finished and Pete took my hand across the table. He looked into my eyes and smiled.
"You're amazing," he said genuinely. "Here I thought we were just going to go out for a nice dinner and you have completely overwhelmed me. Thank you." He grinned. "I'm glad I still have a couple of days left until Valentines Day."
Crushed, I smiled at him and dropped my gaze towards the table. That statement told me that not only had he not planned on asking me to marry him, but that he hadn't even gotten me anything for Valentines Day at all.
I refused to let it dampen my spirits. Perhaps he was just playing it smart, the way I had the gift delivered to the table. I didn't want him to see me carry it with me into the restaurant, maybe he didn't want me to see a proposal coming from a mile away.
We drove home in the fog, the weather very much matching my mood – not exactly transparent. I put on a brave face, smiled a lot, and even cracked a few jokes. He had enjoyed the evening and that's why I did it; not to try and get a proposal out of him. I wanted to do something nice for him. I remembered that and was perfectly fine with the outcome. I had rendered him speechless – that was gift enough for me.
Upon arriving home, he unlocked the door so we could go in. I had to go potty pretty badly after the long drive home, so I made a b-line for the bathroom. "I'm going downstairs for a minute – I'll be right back."
Once more my imagination went wild. Had he hidden a ring downstairs to keep me from finding it? I had cleaned everything upstairs and hadn't come across any mysterious packages or small fuzzy boxes, but if he had hidden it downstairs in the main house, I wouldn't have even come close to finding it, would I? I went pee and calmed my mind. No, he wasn't going to propose to me tonight or any other night for a while. Still, I hoped.
He came back upstairs with a bag of chips, no little fuzzy boxes to be seen. We snapped a couple of our customary couples-pictures, some of which are hysterical, and called it an evening.
That was it – that was the Saturday I had so looked forward to. Pete really loved the lengths to which I had gone for him and had never been given flowers before. He thought it was the most romantic evening he'd ever had. For that I'm eternally grateful.