“Ready for Christmas Eve Jamie?” I ask, unable to keep the excitement from spilling out.
“What is there to be ready for? It just means that Christmas is the next day and Christmas is just another day of the year. I wish you would stop making a big deal of it Charles. You have asked me if I am ready for tomorrow at least a billion times. It’s just like every other day of the year.”
“Oh trust me, this year is going to be special.” She looks up at me and I see that special glimmer in her eye and a slightest smile but only for a second, then she looks back down at her phone.
Ever since her uncle died she had become pretty depressed which worries me almost every second of the day but I would never let her know that. All she needs some excitement and something really special to happen to her which will all be revealed tomorrow. There is no way she would ever even think about being depressed again after this…. Right?
“Oh Charles! The cookies!” Jamie says jumping up off the ground and running to the oven. I quickly hop up off the ground and follow her into my very messy kitchen. She fumbles around for an oven mitt then pulls the sheet of cookies out of the oven.
“Well good thing I like them burnt,” I say, trying to win a laugh from her. She replies with a smile and I lean in to kiss her on the cheek but she turns towards the cookies and pretends to be occupied with taking them off the sheet. I bite into one preparing myself for that smokey burnt taste but no matter how hard I try I can’t keep it in my mouth.
After seeing my reaction to the very, very burnt cookies she suggests that we trash them. While fumbling for a glass of water I shake my head yes showing her that I agree all the way.
“Well,” Jamie says after the cookies are in the trash and my mouth is back to normal, “I guess I should probably head home for dinner.”
“You don’t want to stay and eat here?” I ask, not able to hide my disappointment.
“No, it’s okay. I need to do laundry anyway.”
“Oh, okay,” I say while she's putting on her jacket. I know that it is no use trying to convince her. One thing that I have learned about women in all of my years is that once they make their mind up about something is that it will not change no matter what you say. “Well, I guess I will see you tomorrow. Goodnight!”
“Goodnight,” she said and walked out of the door.
After a lonely dinner with myself I decide to get some good sleep so I crawl into bed leaping with joy but also trembling with fear for tomorrow. I have practiced a thousand times nothing could go wrong…. Or at least I hope.
I wake up around nine and realise that Jamie will be coming over in about two hours so I hop into the shower. I make sure to put something nice but casual on so that she wouldn't suspect anything out of the usal. I wrap my small but meaningful present which almost takes an hour because it has to be perfect.
I told Jamie's best friend Carmen what I was going to do so I could only hope that she would be able to keep it inside of her while she was getting Jamie ready like she promised.
“Hey Carmen,” Jamie says with a smile. “You know that you didn't have to come over. It’s not like I’m going on a date or anything just to Charles house again.
“I know, I know but it’s Christmas Eve and who knows what could happen. Plus you know how I love doing makeup.”
“Makeup? I usually don't wear anything unless we're going somewhere fancy. What are you hiding from me, Carm?”
“Nothing, I just thought that we had some time before you went over there so we mine as well have fun with makeup. Plus I’m sure Charles will love it.” Jamie rolls her eyes but consents and sits down on her bed letting Carmen have free reign on what she would put on.
By the time Carmen was finished even Jamie had to admit that she did a good job. It was simple yet stunning which seemed fitting for the occasion. “Okay well thanks Carmen, I should probably get going now.”
“Okay, anytime! That was fun! Also tell me how tonight goes,” she says with a wing that is nothing but suspicious.
I can’t help but gawk when Jamie walks through the door. She looks stunning and probably isn't even trying that hard. We walk over to the couch and she pulls out a little present not much bigger than mine.
“That can wait, let's do mine first.” I say with a pleading look in my eyes. She can’t not refuse so I have her close her eyes and turn around. After she does I run to the kitchen and grab my little box and hand it to her. She opens her eyes and starts to unwrap it.
Once the wrapping is off there is a little black box which I take from her hands. I get down on one knee and her hands fly over her mouth and a tear rolls down her cheek.
“Jamie,” I say nice and slow trying to hold back the tears myself, “will you marry me?”
“I…. I can’t right now.”
“What?” I say completely shocked. The tears have found their way down my face and are refusing to stop.
“I’m sorry, I can't’!” she says as she bolts out of the door and gets in her car and drives away. I take a minute to gather myself and then get in my car and slowly drive to her house. She always keeps the door unlocked so I walk in without knocking and head up to her bedroom. Where I find her sitting cross legged on her bed.
“Jamie,” I say, getting on one knee again, “Will you please, please marry me? I promise that I will be true and I…..”
“Charles, please leave.” This hurt, it hurt more than any words have ever hurt me in my life. I got in the car and started to drive home when I realised that I hadn't asked her fathers permission! That had to have been the problem.
I drive as quickly as I can to her parents house and I knock on the door. I have known them for years and they were like my second parents so I have no trouble talking to them. Her father answers the door and I immediately ask, “may I please have the honor of marrying your daughter? I promise that I will be true and kind and always understanding and never misleading.”
“Of course Charles!” Her father answers with a big grin, “If any man were to marry my daughter I would want it to be you.”
“Thank you so much!” I say and then hurry off.
Again, hopefully for the last time I walk into Jamie's house and find her in the kitchen. I get down on one knee and plead again.
“Charles,” she says calmly. “Get out of my house.”
“Please just hear me out.”
With my head down I walk out the door feeling hopeless.
A few hours later I text her inviting her to a fancy dinner not knowing what else to do. When she shows up we order appetizers and talk like nothing ever happened. Everything feels normal. I get down on my knees again and say, “Jamie, please.”
“Stand up Charles and let me hear you out.” I sit back down embarrassed and explain to her why I love her so much and how she is my priority in life and that I would never leave her.
“Charles, I love you and I really really want to marry you. I haven't asked my father yet and I need his permission.”
“Jamie,” I say with a little laugh, “I talked to your father already, he said yes.”
“He did!?,” she said with tears running down her face again.
“Yes,” I say slowly getting down on one knee again. “So Jamie, will you please marry me?”
“I would be honored.”