The Proposal8:23:00 PM
At 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning I boarded the plane to Los Angeles. Compared to my 15 hour flight home from India the week before this two hour flight should have been no problem but it felt just as long. The love of my life would be waiting at the end of that flight, and nothing seemed to matter but seeing his darling face. I did nothing on the plane. Everybody was wearing their cheery Thanksgiving faces; my Thanksgiving wouldn’t start until I saw him. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t write. I just drank Ginger Ale and tapped my toes, staring straight ahead and trying not to wrinkle my red silk shirt. When the plane finally landed it felt like everybody was moving in slow motion and I was caught in the thick of it. I didn’t want to call Kory, our flight landed a little early and I wanted to surprise him. When I got to the escalator leaving the airport I felt my phone vibrating. It was him. “Kory! I’m coming right now!” “Happy Thanksgiving beautiful girl. You’re going to get to an escalator to leave the airport and I’ll be at the bottom of the escalator!” “Wait, you’re there now?” I stopped talking then, but I couldn’t put down the phone. As I descended down the escalator I saw a familiar pair of shoes and jeans. I ducked down hoping it was really him and still holding the phone to my ear. I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit when I saw his smiling face. We hung up our phones and I ran to him when I got to the bottom of the escalator. We just stood there and hugged in the airport, I wanted to cry I was so happy. We kissed and hugged and laughed. I loved seeing him in his normal non-Indian clothes…the first time I had in four months. I loved that first smell of his cologne. It had only been five days since we’d said goodbye in New Delhi but it felt like months. He was standing next to his dad, and when Kory and I finally broke away from each other he pulled me into a tight embrace and welcomed me to the family. It was the perfect airport scene and I was in heaven.
The drive to Kory’s house was bliss. We sat in the back like sixteen year olds, giggly and cuddly as ever. When we finally got to his house I stepped out of the car, anxious to meet the people who would become my family and fell in love with them immediately when I did. We spent the day preparing for Thanksgiving and just talking. At this point Kory and I knew we were going to get married, we had the temple date set and we were just counting down the days. We weren’t allowed to get engaged in India because of the rules of the program we were on and wouldn’t have had ring resources even if we could have so I knew he’d have to propose sometime, I just had no idea when. At around lunch time Kory panicked and said he needed to go help his Grandma set up for Thanksgiving dinner, I had no idea that what he was really doing was setting things up for the engagement. Completely clueless, I helped his mom with Pecan Bars and waited for him to get home. That night we ate Thanksgiving dinner at his Grandma’s house. I didn’t eat much because my hunger was still jet lagged but Kory ate even less. A roll and a piece of turkey. On Thanksgiving. But somehow I didn’t think twice about… oblivious, I know. It wasn’t until we were watching the football game and I had my hand on his chest that I realized how fast his heart was beating. I asked him if anything was wrong and he acted like he had no idea. He said he needed to go to the bathroom but really went to get the ring from his mom. I was still oblivious. He came back and about two minutes later his Grandma walked in and told Kory he should show me the backyard. “Okay Grandma, we’re just going to wait until half time it’s in like 32 seconds so I’ll just show her after.” He told me we didn’t have to go look at it if I didn’t want to but I told him we should. He kept playing it off like he didn’t want to but after a few minutes we did it.
When we stepped outside I saw an arched pathway of trees that led to an area of the yard that was completely enclosed with trees, all of it covered in Christmas lights. It was like a secret little garden, the ground lined with bricks and the back wall of the enclosed area strung with large bulbed lights, my favorite. I saw candles, two emerald colored glasses, and a Martinelli bottle in an ice box covered with a white fabric napkin on the table. I turned to Kory, obliviously, and said “Kor, I think somebody is planning something we should go back inside.” “We’re okay sweet girl.” In retrospect, I have no idea how I didn’t catch on by this point, but I didn’t. Kory started telling me how much he loves me, we stood there, hugging, dancing almost. I had my hands in his pockets, and unknowingly almost grabbed the ring. He turned me around when I almost did whispered in my ear that he loves me. I was still oblivious and worried somebody would be coming out at any minute for their special date. After the fact Kory just said “Mal, how did you not know when I started like professing my love to you?” “Well babe, you do that all the time.” We decided it’s a good thing that him telling me how much he loves me didn’t give me a reason to think anything was up. I mentioned to Kory that I was nervous somebody would come out and he told me to lift up the napkin over the bottle and see what we were working with. I was nervous, fully expecting to find a bottle of wine that did not belong to us. I lifted the napkin and found the Martinelli bottle, just as I began to think this was all for us I turned around to find Kory on one knee. “Mallory will you marry me?” This is where I turned into the classic girl. He stayed on his knee, ring in hand, waiting for an answer. I stepped away, started laughing, crying and almost fanning myself because I didn’t know how else to let out all my emotion. I sat on his knee and hugged him, and finally remembered that I still needed to say yes. I pulled him close, still crying, “Yes.” I wanted to say it a million times. “Okay, you need to let me put this ring on your finger okay?” I nodded my head, still crying. It was at this point that I finally saw it. The ring. “Oh my gosh, Kory, how did you get this?” It was a ring that I had fallen in love with sometime in March or April. When my sisters found out about everything happening with Kory and I in India they tracked down the ring and sent me a picture, a picture which Kory eventually got a hold of. The ring was in Provo, Kory was in California, and had been since we came home from India, making it impossible for him to have gotten it, I thought. I found out later he had had it sent to California long before I ever had time to think twice about it. He slipped the ring on my finger and I was still crying. We hugged and kissed “Mally girl you have to remember all of those things I said to you before I proposed, cause I meant every word.” That’s when we heard everyone inside…”she said yes!” We couldn’t help but laugh. Kory’s sister Tauri came outside to take pictures, I was still shocked, and felt a little bit silly that I hadn’t caught on to it all. We stepped inside and received a hundred congratulations and a whole lot of hugs. Everywhere we went for a week after I just wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I wanted everybody to know. Hello!! I’m getting married! Look how great he is! Kory tells me every day that he’s the lucky one but all I can do is shake my head. At the end of every day, I know that I’m the luckiest, I’m marrying the most amazing man in the world.