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Melissa M.

The day after our three year anniversary, my boyfriend and I decided to go out to celebrate. After I got out of class, I went home and got ready to go to dinner. My boyfriend Luis and I both got dressed, but his brother, who was supposed to come, didn't call like he had promised. So, Luis said we should just blow off the dinner and go spend some time together and take advantage of the babysitter. I agreed, and we got in the car with no particular destination in mind. Then, Luis told me he knew a place to go that would be perfect for some alone time, but he wouldn't tell me where it was. By this time, I was getting a little frustrated because I started to think that Luis has no idea where he was going, and I was hungry.

As we approached a highway exit, Luis began to second-guess his memory of how to get to this "perfect place " and told me that he didn't know which exit to take. After getting lost for quite a while, I began to see signs for Petit Jean State Park and asked Luis if this was where he was trying to go. As we began to drive up towards the top of Petit Jean, I started to feel more and more relaxed because I could imagine that going to the top of a mountain at sunset would be a nice end for our little adventure. However, Luis was still acting strangely and driving really quickly up the dirt road that led to what I assumed was some sort of overlook.

As we approached the top of the mountain, Luis was still driving rather quickly and almost ran over some kids trying to get back in their group's bus. I was excited by the beauty of the location, but I was still confused about what had gotten into Luis. My questions were soon answered. As we approached the biggest clearing of the bluff, I began to realize that I had been tricked. At the edge of the bluff with the sun setting brilliantly behind it was a romantic picnic setup. There was dark red cloth laid out on the ground with matching pillows. On top of the cloth was an arrangement of finger foods including meats, cheeses and vegetables and strawberries and grapes. Surrounding the picnic were dozens of candles in glass holders with dark red rose petals. On a large boulder next to the picnic was a huge bouquet of a variety of yellow, orange and red flowers. To top it all off, there were two champagne glasses and a bottle of my favorite sparkling wine.

I was in shock and immediately felt my eyes begin to swell with tears. Luis led me to the picnic where we toasted to a long life, and he thanked me for being patient with him through the last three years as we battled life together. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the view and touched by the effort Luis had made to show me how he felt. As the sun finished setting and our light began to fade, Luis began picking up the candles and packing up the picnic. I was so happy that I could not have asked for anything better. I then heard footsteps coming from behind us near the road. I assumed it was probably another group of people coming to see the view. But, soon I heard a little angel voice say, "I got a pretty present. " It was my daughter, carrying a cute little basket with a box inside. I took the box from her and opened it to see the most perfect ruby ring I could imagine. She then asked in her perfect bell-like voice, "Marry daddy? " Of course I said yes!

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