BEFORE IT ALL BEGAN

1996 – the year he and she became classmates…

3 – the number of years he and she were in the same class…

4,800 – the number of hours he and she were at the same place at the same time…

10 – the number of lines he and she exchanged in 3 years since 1996, despite the 4,800 hours they spent together…

Of the 10 lines, one is especially memorable – “you look pretty when you smile”… although he now denies he ever said that…



THE CONFESSION
Kalamazoo Michigan, the most romantic place on earth

They went on separate paths after finishing high school… he to Kalamazoo, Michigan… she to Ames, Iowa… not that they knew or even cared where each other was at that time…

One fine day in 2001… she received one request that was going to change it all…

Someone asked her for his contact presuming she would know… she tried to do a good deed and took the trouble to find that out… little did she know that her good deed was going to pay off real well…

He and she started contact… that thing called internet and another called phone did wonders to their friendship… they found soul mates in each other despite the geographical distance…

August 2002… he invited her to his graduation… for the first time since high school, they met…

24th August 2002… she was to catch her bus back to Ames… he asked her to stay for another day… she said yes, both to the direct question, and to the not-so-direct question… he got her nod to date her…



THE COURTSHIP

4 years, 5 months, and counting...



THE PROPOSAL
a well-planned 2-day plot

21 April 2006
The fact that it was the eve of his birthday aside, this day started out just another day… she went to work, he to endless meetings…

What was unusual was, he finished work early at 6pm sharp, picked her up from the office, and played the perfect boyfriend for the rest of the evening… they went shopping, to the movie, and a nice dinner – all the little things she enjoyed but he usually too busy to do with her…

The last stop that day was Shangri-la, where he brought her straight up to the top floor suite… and she found all her toiletries and necessities and even… an evening dress for the following day’s dinner nicely placed…

22 April 2006
He continued to be the perfect boyfriend… doing everything he knew to keep her happy… movies… shopping extravaganza… he was so sweet and caring that she almost felt it was HER birthday…

10 minutes before they were to leave for the restaurant she had booked earlier… he said he would rather have his birthday dinner at LaFite – the restaurant just on the ground floor of Shangri-la…

As he asked to be seated, the restaurant manager fumbled through the reservation log… no reservation under his name found… reservation been cancelled… him being his usual hot-tempered self appeared having a hard time concealing his anger…

The restaurant manager obviously tried everything to keep the customers happy… profuse apologies, courtesy drinks while they waited, before leading them to a nicely decorated candle-lit private room…

She was worried if they would be charged extra for the ambience… but he seemed satisfied that the restaurant manager went the extra mile to make up for the earlier apparent mishap…

Everything was just perfect, she thought, could not ask for a better ambience than this… maybe just this crystal looking decoration on the table – too ugly to fit into all these… but everything else was just perfect…

The food was good… conversation was great… a perfect evening…

The manager came in with a lit birthday cake… followed by a waitress with a huge bouquet… and handed over to… him…

Disappointment and jealousy hit… she had expected the bouquet to be handed to her… as a little surprise from him to her… now, he too appeared surprised by how much the restaurant was doing to make up for the earlier mix-up…

Bill was asked to be sent… another mix-up by the restaurant manager… instead of sending the bill, the idiot sent a… SPOON…

A silver table spoon…

He took the spoon, and the bouquet of 99 roses, and walked to her...

He asked her to take the spoon and knock open the crystal looking decoration, the one she thought too ugly to fit into the nice ambience…

She did as asked…

Crystal looking decoration broke… unveiling a box inside…

She started crying… he took out the box, went down on one knee, and popped the question…

She did not know then why she was crying… she now realized it was called the tears of joy…

He got her second nod in their relationship…

Two deeply in love people were officially engaged that night…