Nick has been working around the clock trying to boost our savings for when we return to New York, which is really great; it means things aren't as scary as they were this winter, but it also means we don’t see each other a lot. Or when we do, we’re asleep, or it’s that groggy coffee/email checking/getting ready to go to work time. I have to admit, I’ve done a bit of feeling sorry for myself because we’re here in London and it’s summer and light until 10 pm and all I want is to be one of those couples holding hands and drinking and laughing by South Bank, but we don’t get to do that very often. I’m so grateful that Nick has work that he loves and is able to do this for our future, but I don’t always have the best attitude about it. When he does have a rare day off, he’s understandably exhausted and wants to rest, and I have to fight the urge to be like a little kid on Christmas morning.
On Friday night, some friends of ours were DJing at a pub in North London. Nick managed to get out of work early and we met at the pub around midnight. It was a warm summer night, the music was good, and the pub was full of friends we hadn’t seen in months. I was wearing a new sundress and cute shoes and a week-old haircut. We drank gin and tonics in tall glasses and kissed and flirted in the corner like we’d just met. Everyone looked flushed and happy and everything was buzzing.
Nick said, “I’m going to see if they’ll play that song we like,” and I went to the bar to get another drink. I noticed the girl in line next to me was wearing an antique-looking heart-shaped necklace. I touched her arm and said, “I’m sorry, but does your locket open? Where did you get it?” She seemed as cheerful and talkative as I was and more than happy to discuss her necklace. She’d found it at Urban Outfitters, but it didn’t open; was I American, where was I from? Oh, New York, she loved New York! Since we were instant friends and I’d had a few drinks, I rambled, “I have a heart-shaped locket that opens, and my friends’ little girl loves it. I’m getting married in the fall and I want to get her one of her own as a flower girl gift, but I’m getting ahead of myself there—” and then she cut me off, grabbed my arm and said, “Wait, say that again.”
I hesitated, “Which part?”
”’I’m getting married in the fall,’” she said.
“I’m getting married in the fall?” I repeated.
She grabbed my arm again and smiled so big and said, “That’s so wonderful! You’re getting married in the fall! I love that, that’s so happy!”
I was suddenly flooded with gratitude for this complete stranger. I’ve spent so much of the past year fretting and worrying and thinking “if only this,” waiting and wondering and focusing on money and our pending visa and living logistics, and sometimes I forget the big picture here. I have the steadfast love of an amazing man who makes me happy in every way possible. If all goes well, I am getting married in the fall. How often in life do you get to say that?
“Oh wow,” I said. “I’m getting married in the fall! I don’t ever really think of it that way. Thank you!” And we both smiled and squealed and squeezed each other’s arms like we were old friends.
Then Nick reached out and grabbed me and said, “They’re playing the song! They’re playing it right now, come on!” and pulled me out of line to dance. We were both sweaty and smiling and singing along while he spun me around.
“Guess what?” I shouted into his ear.
“We’re getting married in the fall! How great is that?”
He smiled bigger and kissed my ear before spinning me out again.
I am not allowed to ever complain about anything.