I stood in line at the security gate in a cold sweat as a million thoughts raced through my mind. “What if they ask me to open my camera case and take the ring out? What if Emily sees what is in there? Oh my God, what if I end up proposing to her right here, in the security line at Logan Airport?!” To me, at this moment in time, these all seemed like very likely possibilities. I needed to act fast. Time was running out....
I turned to Emily who was standing behind me in line and said as I gestured over to the right “I am going to hop over to that line over there, it looks a lot shorter.” Emily looked towards the line I was referring to and gave me a weird look. The other line was just as long as the one we were in. “Ok…” she replied.
Phew, what a stroke of genius. I was saved… for now.
Emily and I were travelling to Italy together for a ten day tour of the country. This was the first time either of us had been to Italy, and we had been planning the trip for over five months. As we boarded the plane, both of us knew that this was the culmination of the many hours spent planning and the many sacrifices made in order to save up for the trip, and we were both brimming with excitement.
I, on the other hand, had been working on another plan for quite some time. I was going to propose to Emily on our vacation and was carrying with me the proper piece of hardware required to make such an effort. I had taken the day that we were leaving off from work for what Emily thought was a dentist appointment. As far as she knew, the dentist had discovered a cavity the week before and said I needed to get it filled before I left. The truth was that, after more than a month of searching for the perfect ring, I had arranged to finally pick up the one that I had chosen from the jeweler. Be at the jewelry store at 10am and on the plane to Italy at 6:00pm.... what could possibly go wrong!? Thankfully, I pulled it off!
Two days later, Emily and were walking through the narrow, winding streets of Capri. We were both in heaven as we twisted our way through the town exploring shops, trying different foods, and doing our best to get lost in the maze of interlinked, unnamed streets. I had not planned out how I was going to propose to Emily, but I had thought all along that Capri would be a good option. I thought that, at some point, I would realize that the time was now, and the place was here. Well, there we were, and I knew it was time to act… almost.
“Let’s get a glass of wine.” I said to Emily. So I needed a little liquid courage, big deal! We stopped in a wine bar and sat down for a glass of vino. We paid and left, and continued our journey. As we walked back to the town center, we found ourselves looking up at a staircase that led to a high street level. Two nuns were making their way slowly down. Emily wanted to see what was up there and I obliged.
As we reached the top of the staircase, there was a small sign that read “Vista Panoramica 100 Metri”. We decided to check it out. As we walked up the inclined street, we passed door after door. These were the entrances to people’s homes, nestled way up on a hill overlooking this beautiful island. “What a place to live” I thought. “How do they get their furniture up to these houses?” Emily said. Always the pragmatist, that one.
After walking for what seemed to be much more that one hundred meters, we came to an overlook that was partially obscured by branches from the trees that grew on the hillside. What a letdown. We took a few pictures and were about to turn back when Emily said “Let’s keep going, maybe there is something further down the path.” I agreed, and we continued onward.
After walking for another five minutes, we emerged from the tree lined path into a place that I will forever remember.
We stood on a terrace, hundreds of feet above the clear, blue ocean. The sun shone down gently upon our faces. We could see people below us that looked like tiny little ants milling about. In the distance stood two massive rock formations protruding from the sea, like sentinels charged with protecting the island from harm. I could hear soft voices in the distance and the faint clinking of forks against plates as a family settled down for a late meal. Emily peered over the edge of the terrace down towards the ocean.
I knew that this was the place. I had the ring. I had the courage. It was now or never.