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-- ♥ --Of course, I was the last person to get on the plane. The last person by a long shot, the last person for whom the flight was delayed. The last person that walked all the way to the back to try and finagle her carry on into the overhead compartment. The last person that then had to walk all the way back up to the front of the airplane and ever so politely climb over two other people to get to her window seat.
As if I wasn't self concious enough about going to meet DadGuy, I had to endure the death glares and eye rolls of *very important people* who were late for *very important things.
The plane took off. I closed my eyes. I have never been a great traveler. I get a nervous tummy and headaches and have to really focus on not losing my cookies. I had just about gotten used to the lull of the airplane when the captain announced it was time to begin our descent.
I looked at my watch. It had only been 45 minutes! This was happening too fast. I closed my eyes again. Breathe. Focus. Everything is going to be okay...
We landed and I waited for everyone to leave the plane before walking all the way to the back to get my luggage.
I smiled and nodded at the attendants as they bid me good day. I said thank you and began walking down the hall.
When I got to the gate, I had no idea which way to go. I looked to my right and saw a herd of people. I decided to follow them.
I pulled out my cell phone as I walked through the terminal. I turned it on to check my messages. There were none. I snapped the phone shut, and stuffed it back into my purse, tugging the zipper closed. When I looked up again, he was there.
DadGuy was waiting for me. On his face was the biggest smile I've ever seen. I hurried to him.
"Hey," I sighed.
"Hey hon," he answered.
DadGuy hugged me with one arm, and took my suitcase with the other. He leaned over and kissed my forehead.
"So, you're here."
"Yep. I'm here."
"How was the plane ride?"
I rolled my eyes, "Don't ask."
He laughed as he looked down at my shoes. "Those aren't exactly the hiking shoes I told your mom you should wear..."
I looked at my brown leather heels. "I brought some. They're in my bag."
"Okay... What did you do to your hair?"
Again, I rolled my eyes. "My mom said I shouldn't meet your grandma with pink stripes in my hair."
DadGuy paused. "Um, my grandma is dead."
"Oh, that's... umm... huh."
I always knew when to speak eloquently.
He laughed and assured me it was fine. He told me that it was probably better that I didn't have hot pink hair when I met his family anyways, not that he minded.
"I love not knowing if I'm dating a redhead or a blonde or a punkrocker or what." His eyes sparkled as he teased me about my many shades of hair.
I snuggled in closer as we walked, following his lead.
We headed into a parking structure when I heard the familiar beep of his truck alarm.
Big Red was there, in all her glory, waiting for us.
"Your truck is here? How did that happen?"
"I drove up here yesterday. Made it in 10 hours."
He was so impressed with himself.
I couldn't believe it. Any time I'd driven to Utah with my family it had taken at least 12 hours, usually closer to 14.
"Wow, how fast were you going?"
He laughed again and opened my door.
"Just get in."
I climbed in while he opened the bed lid to put my suitcase in the back.
I was buckling my seatbelt when he jumped in and started the engine.
"What are you doing over there? Come sit by me," DadGuy commanded and I slid over to the middle.
He put his arm around me, looked into my eyes and asked, "Are you ready?"
I smiled and kissed him. That was all the answer he needed.
DadGuy pulled out of the parking space and we were on our way.
After awhile, DadGuy started pointing out various landmarks.
"This is the town I was born in," and "That used to be a hospital."
He showed me a few more places that were special to him, then he started winding up a mountain road. After a few turns, he stopped the car.
"I have to show you something. You might want to change shoes now."
He brought my suitcase to me. I threw open the lid, forgetting that it had been searched. A pair of underwear fell to the ground. Once again, I was mortified.
DadGuy picked them up with a smile, "Nice job with the packing."
I launched into an explanation about the security guards and how I really pack and underwire bras. DadGuy laughed.
"Just put your shoes on."
I put them on as quickly as I could before hopping out of the truck. It was freezing in the mountains, and my thin Arizona blood was not handling it well. My teeth started chattering in an instant.
DadGuy laughed, again, and offered to give me his coat.
I accepted, promptly using the hood and zipping it to my chin.
He took my hand and led me up a trail.
We walked all the way to the top of the mountain. We crawled on to a boulder and took in the scene below.
DadGuy turned to me and asked, "So, what happened with your bra?" and I filled him in on the whole story.
He laughed again, put his arm around me and sighed contentedly.
Until I had had enough of the sitting.
"So, um, is there, like, a reason I'm in Utah right now?"
"I knew you knew something was up. Did your mom tell you?"
"Tell me what? Why I was coming here? No. She didn't."
"Yeah right. I knew she gave it away when you told me she said you couldn't meet my grandma with 'pink stripes' in your hair."
"So I AM meeting your grandma."
"No! Like I told you, she's dead. She's been dead a long time. And I like your hair," he winked.
He turned back to look at the landscape below. He was just sitting there, daydreaming.
I tried to focus on the majestic view, but I was cold. I was thoroughly unprepared for an afternoon atop a snow capped mountain.
"Um, I really hate to say it, but I'm FREEZING. Are we going back to the truck soon?"
I stood, blowing into my hands.
"Do you know why I brought you here?"
I didn't answer.
"Seriously, do you know why? It's because this is where I'm from. This is where I was BORN. My life started here." DadGuy reached into his pocket and pulled out a small black box. "And because this is where my life started, this is where I want to start my life with you." He gestured towards all the land below, "I've climbed as high as I can. I can't get any higher without you. MomBabe, will you marry me?" He opened the box to reveal a beautiful diamond ring. "You know, I'd get on my knee but I'd probably fall off the mountain..."
Now it was my turn to laugh.
I pulled DadGuy to his feet, cupped his face in my frozen hands, and said "Yes. I will. Now can we get down?"
He leaned in for a quick kiss, "As soon as we put this ring on you."
He took my hand in his and placed the ring on my finger. It was huge. I started laughing. DadGuy was dumbfounded.
"I don't understand, I took one of the rings I've seen you wear and took that in for sizing! It shouldn't fit like that."
"What one did you take?"
"The silver one."
"Yeah... I wear that one on my thumb. Sorry."
"Well. You can't have it right now then. I don't need it falling off your hand." He took back the ring and put it in the box. Then he took my hand and led me back down the trail.
As soon as we were on flat ground, DadGuy spun around and went down on one knee.
"I know I already asked you, but I wasn't on my knee. I gotta do this right." He brought the box back out. "Okay, NOW, will you marry me?"
I offered him my left hand.
"Just give me the ring."