I am in Arizona out for a weekend. I look down and pick at my tangled hair. It touches my lap and looks like there are eggs caught on my locks. Standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon Park, I see a slender man. He looks like he is in his late twenties. His front tooth is chipped. His hair is held back by gel. He takes out a ring, gets down on his knee, and murmurs something. The woman he has knelt before cheers. Yeah, she practically cheers. Ah, they are getting married. The woman is very beautiful. Her hair is blonde. A fairy tale kind of blonde. So blonde that it almost looks silver. She isn’t wearing any makeup, yet she glows. She is dressed in a knee-length black dress. Black. Noah's favorite color.
I am in New York. This time I see a girl being proposed to right in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. She is no older than me. Her hair is a cascade of black curls tumbling down her back. She is wearing a red sleeveless dress. What a daring color. Her lips wear nothing except for the big smile when she sees her boyfriend (or maybe her fiancé) proposing her. Her fiancé/boyfriend is a very tall guy, With shoulder-length hair. Unlike the girl, he is dressed up in nothing formal. Just a black sweatshirt with a pair of army sweatpants. And yeah, a pair of Nike sneakers too. I am very impressed with this guy's idea of a ‘perfect proposal.’ They get to have the epic New York City skyline as their backdrop! New York. Noah' s favorite city.
I am in Greece. Wandering and wandering in Santorini, I haven’t been able to see any proposal as yet. The sun is going down, and so does the man in front of me, on his knee. He is nervous. Or maybe he isn’t? He smiles and wrings his hand. Then smiles again. The woman he is about to propose is calm as ever. What a beauty she is. Her hazel eyes shine like orbs in the night. She is dressed up in an orange ankle-length dress and white Adidas. Her beautiful dress reflects off the oranges and pinks of the sky which beautifully contrasts the city's stunning white walls. Perfect for a romantic ambiance!
I am in Rome. Standing in front of the historic site of Colosseum makes me realize just how much I hate the subject of history. So far, I haven’t encountered a couple as yet. I am minding my own business, never even by chance lifting my gaze when suddenly, I bump into an old woman. She is a cute little thing. Her eyes are as small as a bead. The corners of her mouth are slightly turned up. “Hey, young lady. Watcha doin' out here, all alone?” But, before I can answer, she gets dragged into the middle of the place by an equally old man. What an adorable couple they make. Unlike all the couples I saw earlier, he doesn’t get down on his knee, he just holds her hands and says, "Will you marry me?” and suddenly people start to crowd around. Some tearing at the beautiful sight and some cheering all along. Wow, what a spectacle! Witnessing a spectacle. Noah's favorite hobby.
I am at the Opera House in Sydney. It is almost dusk. The slanting of the setting sun gives an almost warm orange tinge to the sky. As I descend the lane, I approach a man dressed up in the same attire as Charlie Chaplin. He is doing a pantomime: acting without words. He is calling...me? No, it is the woman behind me whom he is addressing. He has a red rose in his hand. He acts weirdly, yet every action of his is crystal clear. He raises his hand, makes a pleading motion, and then gets down on his knee. The woman is at a loss of words. She is dumbfounded at the sight. Her face is damp with tears. Quickly, she nods her head and the man puts on the ring in her right hand's third finger. Isn't the ring supposed to be in the third finger? Sighing, I leave the sight because this woman is not me and the man is not Noah, either.
I am in Italy standing amongst the Venetian Gothic architecture, and dreamy lampposts lighting up the streets at twilight. No wonder this is just another choice of another couple. The proposal has already been done. I'm near St. Mark’s Square outside the Basilica. I follow the couple through the entrance of the San Giorgio Maggiore church to see them get married on the spot. Douce!
I am finally in the City of Love.
The seventh year, he had said.
Seven years after my parents' death.
Seven years after his parents' death.
I am back, Noah! Back again.
Where are you?
Above the frenetic city hubbub, the honking taxis, and swarms of pedestrians marching on their missions, the sky is comparatively moving slow. The movement of the clouds is barely perceptible and even the birds wheel in slow lazy arcs. But this juxtaposition is lost on the citizens. No-one even looks up. And suddenly, the sky above is alive, growing at each passing moment, a constantly changing canvas for the world to see: an endless canvas on which colors are tossed upon. Noah. Noah. Noah.
The canvas of darkened colors stretches over my head, gloriously brilliant in the dipping sun. My heart, caged like a bird in my chest, thrums with a strange sort of feeling as I see the clouds vanish into thin wisps and the moon rising in the sky. The ethereal light the budding stars give off reminds me of iridescent, sweeping rainbows; the moment of stunning epiphany when I'd first gazed into Noah's eyes. It was beautiful.
He told to me to wait.
For seven years.
Noah. Noah. Noah.
But, he never told me why.
"Tris? Oh, come on, Tris."
Why after seven years?
Noah. Noah. Noah.
There he is. Down on his left knee, the handsome Noah. "Beatrice Miller? Will you marry me?" My stomach flips. So, this is how it felt. This is how the black-haired lady must've felt. This is how the old woman must've felt.
I don't know what to do.
So, I just stand till Noah wipes my tears.
So, I just stand till Noah inserts the ring on my left hand's fourth finger.
So, I just stand till he envelopes me in his arms.