The next morning, I got up early, and cozied up with my child development textbook and final study guide. It was still early when J called. He asked if I'd like to go on a drive with him, clear my head for a little bit. He said he was down in the lobby, since the appartments weren't open to guys that early. I said I'd be there in a couple minutes. After I hung up the phone, I remembered my final. I wanted a really good grade in that class. If I did well on the final, I would have an A for the semester. I returned to my room to change out of my pajamas. I'd go down and tell J that he'd have to wait. I had to study more.
As I was changing, the phone rang again. “E, it's for you again”. I rolled my eyes, guys could be so impatient sometimes! I picked up the phone, and was surprised to hear my mom's voice. “How's it going? So, what's that boy's name? The one who is coming here for New Years? Have you talked to him today?” I told my mom his name, that I had talked to him. I told her I was studying for my final, he was going to take me for a drive to clear my head, but that I was going to tell him no, so I could study more. To my suprise, my mom told me that I had studied plenty, and a drive would help me be relaxed for my final. I headed down to the lobby, confused by my mom's sudden interest in what I was doing. I was too tired to decifer her call right then.
In the lobby, J looked stressed and exhausted. The finals were doing the poor guy in, I thought. “What took you so long?” he asked. I told him about my mom's weird phone call, then told him I'd go on a drive, but just a short one, because I needed to study. He agreed, and helped me across the ice to his car. It was warm and relaxing to drive with J. I had been studying too much, I could feel the tension in my shoulders fading. I opened the glove box to grab a tissue, and noticed J looking at me, his eyes wide. I just needed a tissue - Everyone was acting weird, but I was too tired to think much about it. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes.
When I opened my eyes, we were pulling up next to the quiet little bridge, the same one we'd gone to the night we met. It had become “Our Bridge” over the past months, and I loved the calm peacefullness the area had. Being December In Idaho, the bridge was covered in 2 feet of snow, which was fresh and untouched. We got out of the car, and I wandered onto the bridge. “I need to grab something” J said, as he headed back to the car. He returned with a large, round box. “This is for you”. My eyes lit up. There was going to be a ring in this giant box! I pulled the lid off. Inside the box was a green stuffed frog. I lifted it out, and noticed a ribbon around the frog's neck. I looked at it, expecting a ring to be tied on. There was no ring. I forced a smile, “Thank you, he's cute!” I told J, still looking the frog over. It was cold – our bridge was calm and peaceful in the snow, but my toes started to tingle in the cold. I looked up towards J, and realized he wasn't standing in front of me. He was kneeling in front of me, the snow going up to his waist. He held up his hand, with something pinched between his thumb and finger. The ring. It was the ring I'd shown him at the jewler's.
“E.Marie, will you marry me, and be with me forever?” J asked softly. My heart leaped, “Yes!” I said, and I started to sob and laugh. He reached for my hand, and gently slid the ring onto my finger. Then he stood and pulled me into his arms, and I was soon lost in his tender kiss.