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Amanda M.

My boyfriend Brian's 30th birthday was coming up during a very busy time for me: I was just about to graduate with my Master's in Special Education. I was teaching through the whole summer and was beyond busy every day. His birthday fell on a Thursday, which was the same day that I had a project due, and I was to be observed by my supervisor. I also somehow had to get to the mall to pick up his gift that was going to come that day. The worst part was that I wasn't going to have any time to plan much of anything to celebrate. I wasn't even going to have time to bake him a cake, which I always do. I felt so bad when I told him. He said with a smile that he'd be happy to plan his birthday and wanted to simply have a low-key, relaxed night with me, maybe go to dinner and a movie. He said that any time with me would be a gift.

The day of his birthday, I was running late and rushed around to get in and out of the shower and dressed with enough time to get to the movie. Though I made us about 20 minutes late, we got on the road without much of a snag. He told me that the plan was to see a movie and then go get sushi at our favorite place. He asked if I minded seeing Mamma Mia because it was the only movie that was playing at the right time. As we were halfway there, he told me that we had to go to a different theater than our usual one because it had the only time that worked for our dinner reservations. As we pulled in, I mentioned that this was the same movie theatre where we had met. He replied, "Oh yeah, that's cool."

Midway through the movie, he got up to use the bathroom and was gone for about ten minutes, which was long enough for me to begin to wonder where he was. Just as I looked at the door, he walked in, carrying a gigantic soda and sat back down. I asked, "Did you get enough soda?" with a smirk, and he just laughed and whispered, "In case you were really thirsty." As we walked out across the lobby, he and I were holding hands and talking about how much we liked the movie. He held the door and said, "Oh look, our ride's here." I looked out the door and saw a black stretch limo. I laughed and said, "Yeah right." He and I joke all the time, and I thought this was just his humor. As we continued to walk, holding hands, he started gently pulling me toward the limo, while I gently pulled him toward his car. He said again, "But I said, our ride's here" and reached for the handle of the door. I pulled at him and said, "Don't! You don't know whose car this is! What are you doing?" He laughed and opened the door.

Hanging in the doorway was his blue suit jacket. He reached past that and pulled out a big bouquet of flowers and handed them to me. The whole time, I reached for the flowers, saying, "Why are you giving me flowers? It's your birthday..." I was so confused, thinking that maybe he wanted to do something nice for his birthday. I stood by the limo, hugging the flowers to my chest, watching him put on his jacket. As he buttoned it, I noticed his hands were shaking. I was surprised to see him shaking but thought it was just out of excitement. At the same time, however, I knew that something much more was about to happen. He started to speak to me as I hugged the flowers. He said, "I wanted to bring you back to the place where we first met, back to where our story first started to see if you will write the next chapter with me."

He got down on his knee, and I could hear the gathering crowd gasp and begin to whistle and clap. I just hugged the flowers tighter as I saw him pull up his pants leg and reach into his sock, where the box was hidden. "You are my very best friend. I love you very much and I want to laugh with you forever. Amanda Mele, will you marry me?" He opened the ring box and looked up at me with his sweet, teary brown eyes. I managed to squeak out a yes and hugged and kissed him as he put the ring on my finger. As we hugged and kissed again, the crowd began to clap and cheer, and a group of teenage girls bursted out into a simultaneous, "Aw!" We giggled and an older couple walked by as we looked at each other in awe. The older man held my elbow and said, "We've been married for 33 years! You're a beautiful couple! Best wishes."

It was all just like some sort of movie scene, except it was all ours. He laughed and said, "Well get in! We've got to go to dinner and celebrate!" He had even arranged to drop by my parents' house before dinner to pick both of our parents up. We all went out to dinner, laughed, ate and celebrated. It was such a surprise that Brian gave me the best gift on his birthday. It was the most romantic night of my life with the sweetest boy I know. The cutest part was that Brian whispered in my ear on the ride home, "I got the best birthday gift today. Thank you." He then kissed my cheek!