My Proposal: a draft.
Quiet love, I think, is my favorite kind. Of the millions of kinds of love out there, quiet love strikes me most frequently.
And Sara Bareilles has a performance of Coldplay’s song Yellow, and all I could feel during it was quiet love and a need to write.
- Please just assume that all the following feelings are reciprocated. It is much more fulfilling that way.
- Play her cover of Yellow while reading.
- The lyrics within the writing shouldn’t dictate your reading pace.
*The piano starts, solemn. Two notes at a time. The key and one in harmony*
I have been waiting for about ten minutes now, starting to get a little cold in the briskness of this cool autumn night. The lights around me, Christmas in color and shape, warm and yellow, dozens of tiny suns, illuminate this open room. I look down one more time to ensure that I look as good as I possibly can look; I am trying to impress someone tonight.
*Look at the stars. Look how they shine for you.*
I see you peek around the corner, eyes curious, but I know you know what is happening. I reasoned that the curiosity was mostly around not knowing how it would all happen. Your hair falls and bounces slightly as your head tilts to see, and actually feel, the lights. You once told me, “Warmth is as much something you feel with your skin as it is something you feel with your heart.”
*And everything you do. They were all yellow.*
You bring your body around the corner, your gait slow and your attention focused. You look to the right, and you see a picture of us in a frame. It was a week ago, and the weather was cold as rain fell heavily. I took a picture of us right after we reached the theater. You were a little discouraged because you wanted to look nice that night; you thought seeing a musical at the theater demanded a certain level of presentation. I will admit that your hair did not look as good as it did before we ran into the rain, but I loved it anyway. And though I reminded you of this and often remind you of this, I never told you why. I love it because it looks like it did when I met you. And every time I see it, I fall in love again.
*I came along. I wrote a song for you.*
You see the next picture. I did not take it. Rather, it was seven years ago, about two years into our relationship, when I was playing guitar with my cousins, the song Yellow by Coldplay, and I was doing my best to do the singing justice. And I looked at you as I sang, “You know I love you so.” And you looked at me, blushing with cheeks so pink, I could have died right there from overwhelming glee. If that were how everyone passed away, I do not think we would be so afraid of it.
*And everything you do. It was all yellow.*
The next photo is a photograph I took of you. It was our second date, and we went to the city to see the Christmas tree lighting event. It was cold, and you were power-walking in front of me because we were slightly behind schedule and thought we might miss the lighting, so I took the opportunity to take a picture of the tree while it was still unlit. We were within a few yards of the crowd in front of the tree when it lit and you turned around to me as I was taking the picture. I lowered my phone to see your eyes more clearly, and in that moment, with our breaths frozen in the air and your nose and cheeks pink from the cold and your shoulder raised into your chin, I felt the world get brighter, lighter.
*So then I took my turn. Oh, what a thing to have done. It was all yellow.*
The last photograph is one taken by a close friend of ours. It was summer, and I took your hand for the first time. You and I were the earliest versions of our current selves. I say this because if my life were organized into two halves, the first half would be my life “Before you,” and the second half “With you.” Usually, “before” and “after” are used together, but I cannot imagine a life after you. There is only you.
*Your skin. Oh yeah, your skin and bones turn in to something beautiful.*
The next frame is a small mirror. I drew on it. A cartoon veil and as much of a wedding gown as I could fit. As you step in front of it, I step quietly behind you and lower to my knee as silently as I can. I assume you have put together that this is the last part, so you turn around.
“I love you. I never knew how precious those words would be to me, but I remember seeing you for the first time nearly a decade ago, and even then, I imagined myself on this day, saying it to you, with a reminder in my hand that these words would always be true. And then I saw your hands, and I could not imagine holding them for anything less than forever. Obviously, that is not very realistic, but you have always been good at ruining physics. How else could I explain my heart filling my chest when I see you?
*You know I love you so. You know I love you so.*
“Love, will you marry me?”