Natalie came running in from her third tour, scrambling for guide fuel, telling me about her last tour when out of nowhere she gasped and sprinted from behind the counter and jumped into the the eager arms of Ben.
He came home “early” from deployment and gave her one hell of a surprise. Putting her down, he said, “I have to ask you something.”
Before she could respond, he bent down on one knee and pulled out a ring box. She almost started crying as she put her hands to her face. His smile bespoke of nothing but confident love as he looked up at her and asked, “Natalie, will you marry me?” Her hands still covering her face, he laughed and asked, “Are you going to look at it at least?”
“Yes! And yes.”
She bent down and kissed him and cradled him against her. The stillness of the shop was permeated with joy. I’ve never seen anyone propose before. It was fantastic and so completely amazing. In that moment, for them, there wasn’t another soul in the universe. They wouldn’t have noticed fireworks popping off next to them, so absorbed in the moment were they.
Luckily I had the wearwithal to grab my phone and snap a few photos of the moment. I hope they bring them joy in the years to come, to look back and see the moment frozen in photo of the rest of their lives together as one.