The next four weeks were full of dinners, a baseball game, meeting friends, meeting family, a cabin trip, breakfasts, lunches, ice cream in the park, etc. We saw each other just about every day during those weeks. I was so content. I had moved to Arizona with hopes of finding myself. I likened myself unto the girl sung about in Dixie Chick's songs about needing wide open spaces. I didn't want to find love. I wanted to figure out who I was. But, I think I found that through my relationship with Aaron. I was able to talk to him and tell him everything. Things I didn't think I'd ever tell anyone. I kept waiting for him to run. And then one night he called. There was something about his voice, I knew a lot was on his mind. He asked to come over and "talk". We had been dating just over two weeks at this point.
He showed up at my apartment looking pretty sullen. We walked around and eventually ended up at a little playground. We made small talk for a while. I was trying to ignore the tension growing between us, as I figured he was about to break up with me. He finally looked at me and said, "Look Lauren, I've been praying a lot lately about us. I was reading my scriptures today, and went to the temple, and I got a really strong impression. I don't think you're supposed to be my girlfriend for much longer..."
I choked back some tears. And started to say, "Okay - well that's fine..." When he interrupted me, took my hands and said, "Because I think you're supposed to be my wife."
Pretty much felt like someone punched me in the stomach. Or slapped me in the face. It was a physical shock. "WHAT!" I exclaimed. And he repeated, "I think you're supposed to be my wife." And then I punched in him the arm. With all my might. The first of many arm punches Aaron would receive because of his phraseology. "Seriously!? You thought that was the best way to phrase that?"
"Well I figure you're going to think I'm nuts, and break up with me right now anyway, so I thought I'd have some fun with it." Was his response.
"I'm not going to break up with you. I don't think you're crazy at all." Was my response. Which completely shocked him. I then proceeded to tell him how I already knew he was going to be my husband before he ever even kissed me. Then we both cracked up laughing.
So he asked me to pray about it. Which I did. But I already knew the answer. Despite how crazy it seemed, and how crazy I would think anyone else was for doing what I was doing, I knew it was right. It's hard to explain if you've never experienced it before. But I just knew, deep in my soul, that marrying Aaron was the right thing to do. I also knew it wasn't going to be easy.
We decided we'd probably wait until after the term was over to get officially engaged. At least that's what I thought. However, four weeks to the day, from that first fateful Wednesday when I called him first, Aaron officially asked me to marry him.
He thought he was so tricky with having me plan our date. Which he was. Because I literally had no clue what was coming. Of course he suggested a few things along the way. So we ate Cheesecake Factory where Aaron was nervously worried about making sure his truck was locked, while I just thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my Chicken Madeira. We stopped by my apartment on our way to Saguaro Lake to look at the stars, like we did four weeks earlier. I had been dressed really nice, but wanted to get into something more comfy for the drive. Aaron insisted I stay in my cute clothes. Which ticked me off. My roommate also urged me to stay dressed up, which I just thought was weird. I ignored both of them and put on my sweatpants and t-shirt.
As we drove out to the lake I told Aaron I wasn't sure we should get engaged so fast. Or maybe we should just break up. I really have no idea why I was saying these words. Aaron didn't even acknowledge what I just said. All he did was take his cell phone out of his pocket and call his friend Sean. This infuriated me, and sealed in my mind that wasn't a good idea after all. And I had no clue what he was talking about. I now know that Sean was at the lake setting up music, flower and fruit where Aaron and I had shared our first kiss. With me dropping this bomb of not wanting to get married anymore, Aaron had to tell Sean to maybe hold off. He was able to communicate all this with Sean, by talking about yard work. Or something. I was convinced at the time that Sean was helping Aaron's parents with something and Aaron had to tell him what to do. After 22 years of best friendship, I guess you can say a lot without really saying it. Anyway... back to the story at hand. Aaron pulled over. He asked me if I would say a prayer to know where these thoughts were coming from. I agreed. As soon as I finished my prayer I knew that these thoughts were not mine. That may also sound strange if you've never experienced it before. But I know that I was letting outside forces effect the decision that I honestly knew was right. I apologized to Aaron. I told him I still wanted to marry him. That I still knew it was right. And that I loved him. Pretty sure you could have heard his sigh of relief about 2,000 miles away.
He carried a blanket awkwardly as we walked down to the pier. I didn't know what he was doing. Turned out he was carrying a box of long stemmed roses under that blanket. I probably saw the box and never even knew what it was. As we walked to the end of the pier, music started playing. I STILL didn't know what was going on. There were flowers everywhere. Potted plants. Flowers. Fruit... like watermelon and pineapple. (Yeah I didn't know what that was about... Sean's doing. It all makes sense now that I know Sean.) Then Aaron started singing my favorite love song. Eric Clapton's, Wonderful Tonight. It felt a little strange to stand there being serenaded to, having no clue what was going on. Then he finished the song and gave me the roses. Then he got down on one knee. And then I knew. He told me he got me a ring to replace the one I lost there, four weeks ago. He told me the only thing he would ever change about me was my last name, if I'd let him. Then he said, "Lauren, will you marry me?" And I said, "Yeah!" And he said, "Yeah?" And I laughed and said, "Yes! Yeah. Yes." And then I couldn't open the ring box. It was dark. And tricky! But he put that ring on my finger and kissed me. And kissed me and kissed me. A few minutes later a fisherman went by. I yelled to him, "We just got engaged!" And I'm pretty sure one of us said, "She said yes! Everybody mambo!"
And so that was it. On April 27th I was engaged to the love of my life after the happiest four weeks of my life. Which has lead to the happiest years of my life.