We walked along a gravel pathway lined with birch trees and maples and oaks on either side of us and there was some shade from the early afternoon sun because of sprouting leaves on the trees. I took her hand and it was sweaty and slick from the heat and bug spray we had on and I held her hand firm in mine. I asked her how she felt and what she thought of our walk and she told me that she felt fine and that it was so nice to get out of the city even though we were still very much in the city, just in a part where there wasn’t towers and stores and cars and people on any side of us. I smiled and said I was glad that we could do something like this and that it had been a little bit too long since we had and that this summer we should take advantage of such a nice trail and she agreed and said in two weeks we should do it again, that is if we didn’t die of exhaustion today. I laughed.
We reached a large circular sitting area with a fountain in the middle and a number of benches and picnic tables and drinking fountains and gardens. She asked me if I needed a break and I told her that I did but I didn’t really, I just wanted to sit and enjoy the colorful trees and fresher air and the sun and the company we had in other hikers and joggers and strollers. We sat on a bench and I was still holding her hand. I asked her if she was having a good time and she said that she was and to stop asking her that because I had done so a few times already. I told her I was sorry and that I just wanted her to be happy and she said she was and as such I should stop asking. She smiled and kissed me and I allowed her to and I took it all in and I could feel her slick and sweaty hand on mine and my sweat was one with hers and I loved her. I took my lips off of hers and I stared into her eyes and I could smell her hair and the flowers around us and the fresher air. I smiled and I told her I was glad she was happy and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else and she said something to the same effect and kissed me again.
I was happy and perfectly content in that moment and I knew that I had a plan for that night but like most other things I do I had to double check last minute that I was sure of what I wanted and that I had done my due diligence. I made a decision to ask her to marry me later that night after our dinner out and in that moment I knew it was the right decision and would be for the foreseeable future and I dare not try to look past where I’m not meant to or capable of. She was going to be mine and I held her hand in mine and I squeezed it hard but brief and I smiled at her once again while her head was turned from mine as she was looking at people walking by and the sky and the trees and flowers, and as she was looking at whatever her eyes were fixed on she asked me if I felt like just ordering pizza for dinner tonight instead of going out and I told her that was the best idea she ever had, and she laughed.