Louis came back into the bedroom to find me sitting in the same spot on the floor.
“Who was that?” I asked, refusing to meet his eyes.
"Sydney, please look at me."
I grudgingly looked up at his face. He had the nerve to be grinning from ear to ear. My annoyance was reaching a dangerous level. I was sure that I didn't have the friendliest look on my face at that moment.
His smile did not waver. “It was a special delivery.”
Now it was my turn to be bewildered. “Special delivery?”
He sat down next to me on the floor and handed me a square black velvet box.
I looked over at him with my tearstained face. “What is this?”
His voice was very soft. “Why don’t you open it and find out?”
Well, it probably wouldn’t make things any worse. Opening the box took a little effort because my hands were still shaking, but when I finally got it open, the contents took my breath away.
I looked up at Louis. “When did you do this?”
“During one of your many wedding planning sessions with Kate and Maya. Do you like it?”
I was speechless. Nestled in this little black velvet box was an exact replica of the costume engagement ring that I had purchased at Nordstrom. It was absolutely beautiful.
Tears filled my eyes. “I love it.” I sobbed. “And I love you.”
I put my arms around his neck and started to cry.
“Why are you crying, mon coeur?” He started to chuckle.
“I don’t know.” I continued to sob.
He pulled me out of the embrace and stroked my face. “Why don’t you try on your ring?”
My face lit up and I held out my trembling fingers. He removed the costume ring from my finger and replaced it with the ring he had had made for me. It fit perfectly. He looked into my eyes and smiled.
“Happy Birthday, Syd.” He kissed me tenderly on the lips.
I buried my face in this chest. “Thank you, Bluey.”
He cleared his throat. “Now, I am sure that you are in need of some food. Any interest in the chocolate cake that is currently in the refrigerator?”
I grinned at him. “Is that a trick question?”
He pulled me up to my feet and carried me into the kitchen. I giggled the whole way and was immensely thankful that my birthday had vastly improved. We then sat at the dining room table and ate cake out of the box. It was the best birthday cake I had ever had.
(Excerpt from French Twist by Glynis Astie, Copyright 2013.)
While I would love to be able to say that this is exactly how it happened, the reality was far less glamorous. I did, as you know, propose to my husband with a costume engagement ring, but we had very little money at the time, so my actual ring was purchased in pieces - first the setting, then the diamond. Thankfully, we purchased it before my husband (then fiance) met my family for the first time - since I can only imagine what my father would have said about the absence of a ring - and I have been the blissfully happy owner of it ever since. If you are like me and LOVE to see people's engagement rings, I have just the photo for you.