I shut the door behind us, Alyssa and I having just walked back from the Metro and a happy hour with some of her co-workers in downtown D.C. We sat down on the couch together, and I pulled over my cooler containing all the souvenirs I had bought over the past few weeks. Suddenly, I got up and went to the corner of the living room where I kept my camera gear.
“You know how I was recording everything during the trip, wanting to make a movie of it all? Well, I want some of this too. Something to close with, an epilogue. Me, back at home, showing you the stuff I got from the trip,” I said as I positioned the camera on my tripod, pointing it at the couch. Happy with the framing, I pressed record and sat back down next to her.
Starting small, I showed her the various maps I had acquired. The Tail of the Dragon, the town of Enid, and several from the Durango/Silverton train. I went over each with her, adding small details as to how and why I had them. While she was looking at the train maps, I pulled out the railroad spike. She took it in her hand, commenting how it sparkled, saying it was like diamonds. I laughed, and reached back into the bag.
“Alright, I know you have a thing for magnets, so I got you this” I started, pulling out the magnet I bought from the Grand Canyon. “I know you said you wanted a rock, but this is a painting of some rocks. It’s the same thing, right?” She laughed, and I told her the story of how I got to go onto the Skywalk for free.
“Okay, I figured that wouldn’t be quite what you had in mind, so I also got this” I said, and grabbed from my bag a pink quartz-like rock that had been glued to a magnet, one of the souvenirs I had picked up at “The Zion Prospector.” Her eyes beamed and she said the things most women would say. “Aw, thank you hon, it’s so pretty: I love the color.”
I looked at her for a moment and then continued, “Yeah, but I also thought you may want something that wasn’t a magnet, so then I bought this.” I unwrapped the next gift, a polished and rounded heart-shaped stone I had also bought in Zion. This one had completely surprised her. She hugged and kissed me, thrilled by my purchase.
“I don’t know, I thought it was too…um…” I paused for a moment, struggling to find the word as my heart started pounding, knowing what was coming next. She finished my sentence for me: “not rockish enough?” “Yes, not rockish enough,” I agreed, thankful for the out.
I reached back into the cooler for one last souvenir, the memorable one I had purchased from San Francisco. “I got you one more thing. I went out as far west as I could, until I hit the ocean -”
“Seashells?!” she interrupted.
I continued, mentally locked onto my pre-rehearsed script, “and I found something.”
“Seashells,” she said again.
“Close,” I started, and I rose from the couch to kneel in front of her, in my hand an open box containing a ring with a single diamond. “Will you marry me?” I asked.
She leaned forward, eyes wide with surprise and nearly laughing in hysterics. “Are you serious?” she answered, only before realizing that wasn’t an answer. “Yes!” she said, laughing, and leaned forwards even more to kiss me. She fell back, “I think I’m in shock right now! Yes, yes, yes.”
And with that, one adventure was over and a new one was about to begin. But first, I needed a shave.