Who doesn’t love surprises?
J has never been able to surprise me.
I take that back. There have been a handful of times, like a few months into our relationship when he surprised my by traveling two hours to come see me. Or the time he got me a present I’ve always wanted for my birthday. But for the most part, I can pretty much read right into his awkward stone-faced diversions from our conversations that cut it a little too close to the truth of his surprise.
Then, everything changed.
On Sunday, Jan. 20, J wanted to take a few of his friends who were visiting from Wisconsin up to Camel’s Back Park. Once you see the hills in this city park, it’s fairly obvious as to where the park’s namesake comes from, but the peak of the hills give way to this breathtaking view of Boise and the foothills and mountains behind it. We made a plan to leave the house by 8 a.m., but on the morning of our trek, we awoke to blinding fog.
Now, we grew up in the humidity capital of the Midwest; fog is a weekly occurrence. But this sheet of cloud cover was thick, and I could barely see to the end of my dog’s leash.
After letting Tripp out for his morning stretch, I came in to let J know that we might want to push back the visit to Camel’s Back Park. We settled on 9 a.m., and I settled into my book, not really even rushing or moving to get ready until 8:45 a.m. Once we loaded up â Tripp in tow, too â we made the sleepy drive over to the park.
On the way up the hill, J kept asking me to slow down. Strange, I remember thinking, but then again, it had been a few weeks since we had climbed up that way. The holidays had taken more than their fair share of a toll on us, but this wasn’t anything too treacherous for any of us. It was maybe an 8-minute walk. Still, I slowed my pace.
Once to the top, I wanted to stop and snap some photos of the fog. It was just dipping below the mountains, and the scene was so serene and quiet. But J wanted to keep going. Now, he’s being very weird, I mused. I had a feeling something was happening, like he had this plan, but as we continued down the path on top of the hill, I heard J from behind me say, “Hey guys.”
Just then, the four coats in front of me turn around, and everything came into focus. I soon forgot about the “weirdness” that was J and realized this was a wonderful surprise! Suddenly my Midwestern college friends were standing atop a foothill in a Boise park, and I was so dumbfounded by the moment, all I could do was stammer out questions as I tried to get my dog to calm down.
And then I really wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
Just then, I hear behind me, “Samantha…” and as I whip around, I see friends scurrying, rushing to get their phones at the right angle. I turn around, and among some of our closest friends, with our dog going absolutely berserk, my best friend asked me to marry him. I look down at the ring in his hand, and I realize it’s the same ring my dad proposed to my mom with. And the stone is my birthstone.
J finally did it. At one of our favorite places in the world, surrounded by people we love, with an animal we’ve grown so attached to, J pulled off the biggest surprise, six months in the making.
It’s been my favorite surprise to date.