When we last spoke, I’d just discovered that the love of my life was pregnant with my child. Also, that she was a fish from the waste down, at least under bathtub-like conditions. So, honestly, I’m not sure what the point of all this is now. It’s not like I’m ever going to top that.
Since then, some things have changed. Nalani’s gotten a little larger than she used to be, and I’ve finally found out what Father Winter (or, at least, the nice old crazy guy who claimed to be Father Winter) gave Nalani at Winterfest.
This happened the same day she let me know she was expecting, before she had the little baby bump I posted above, and no, you may not tell her I did that. She showed me her gift from Father Winter, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It seemed to be a photograph of me, from the back, taken on Playa Del Sol beach during one of my visits there. I was looking out over the ocean, or maybe at the large rock just off the coast. Other than the fact that someone — Old Man Winter, I assume — was taking photos of my back without my permission, I couldn’t see why this picture would be so important to her. Then I noticed the sunlight glinting off something bluish-green, which seemed to be perched on the offshore rock. Squinting my eyes a little, I could just barely make out a vaguely female shape, one I immediately knew, though I couldn’t say how, to be Nalani.
“That’s the first time I ever saw you,” Nalani explained. “I don’t know why Father Winter took a picture of it, or why, or if he’s even the one who took it. All I know is that the gift he gave to me at Winterfest is a photo of the moment I first knew I loved you.”
I can’t remember another time in my life when I felt so happy and so totally creeped out at the same time.
I chose to focus more on the joy and pride I felt that Nalani had loved me at first sight, rather than wallow in terror that there could very well be a potentially insane, creepy, voyeuristic, paparazzi stalker in a Santa suit outside my window right at that very moment. It was just easier that way.
The more I thought about her watching me from that rock on that beautiful day at Playa Del Sol, the more I felt overwhelmed by the love I already felt for Nalani. For several seconds, except for a brief moment where I glanced over toward the window to check for camera lenses and/or festively-dressed psychopaths, all I could think of was how much I loved the woman standing in front of me, and how lucky I was to have found her. Or, more accurately, based on new information, for her to have found me, before “accidentally” appearing on my doorstep due to a GPS malfunction that clearly never occurred.
I can’t really explain what happened next, other than that I completely lost control of my body.
Sandwiched in the space between the bed and the stove, trying not to dampen my pants in the water that was perpetually leaking onto the floor from the shoddy plumbing job I’d done on the kitchen sink, I found myself dropping to one knee in front of Nalani.
I pulled a ring from the pocket of my cargo shorts. Don’t ask how it got there or it’ll ruin this whole narrative I’ve got going that this was a spontaneous, involuntary action on my part. Let’s just say that I happened to have the engagement ring my dad had given my mom when he proposed to her in the pocket of my pants for fortuitous and unknown reasons, and leave it at that. We will not be taking any further questions on this subject.
“Nalani,” I said, totally spontaneously and with no pre-planning whatsoever, “I love you, too. You make me happier than I’ve ever been in my life, and I want to feel like this forever.”
Nalani put her hand to her chest, speechless and clearly surprised, which she should be, because even I had no idea I’d be doing this, despite any damning clues to the contrary which I may have just produced from my pants.
“Please say you’ll marry me,” I asked, my eyes locked on hers for any sign of a response, preferably positive.
Instead of her eyes, I should have been watching her feet. She leapt up into my arms so swiftly an unexpectedly that I very nearly dropped her to the recycled hardwood floor. Then she said yes.
I’m pretty sure that was the happiest moment of my life so far. I may not be able to ever tell a story again here as shocking as the time I unknowingly impregnated a mythical sea creature, but I’ll also never be able to tell one as important and wonderful to me as when the woman I loved with all my heart agreed to be my wife.
If you’re hoping for a wedding invitation, I’ve got some bad news for you. Considering that my family’s pretty much all dead, and hers are currently migrating south toward warmer waters, there really wasn’t any reason for something big and fancy. We just headed to the closest courthouse, fill out some paperwork, and called it a day.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you Mr. Addison Rex and Mrs. Nalani Rex. I have already taken the liberty of kissing the bride.