“Place my heart in a secret place so that all my desires shall be my own and the deceiver shall find no hold there.” – Susanna Clarke
Saturday opened like any other summer day in Maine, except for the bright sun and the secret I was carrying. First in my bag, then obvious in my pocket. My camouflage was the routine and a deception aided and abetted by the few privy to my plans. This was almost not enough.
I spent the day sideways which, if you haven’t had a boxed ring in your pocket, you probably will never understand. We were almost to the fabric store when I broke from cover, proposing a trip to a spot outside Camden with little to recommend it but the views and the quiet. If you know her, you probably wouldn’t believe that she didn’t suspect, and so she did. That she dismissed it just as quickly is a testament to the acting abilities of her parents’ and, to a lesser extent, myself.
Just after three, and three interminable side trips, we arrived. When the tourist couple and the solemn, solitary woman contentedly feeding from a spread on one of the benches got the picture and trickled out, I took advantage. Of course I bungled the actual proposal, but she was surprised enough, said her own “of course” and we were engaged.
From there, and from here, word ripples outward, digitally, at a geometric rate. The secret now satisfied, the end of the beginning is come and gone.
For that, but more for her, I’m thankful.