(special night)


the snowdrift at the end of my parent’s driveway is at least feet tall and the snow is incredibly clean white and branner prefers it to the plowed driveway.

we arrived here roughly twenty-four hours ago and in that time my best friend’s gotten engaged and santa claus found our family room.

i went over to aid in the surprise proposal last night and caught up with murph’s family for about an hour while all the moving parts came together and we launched his plan to surprise his girlfriend with his gift of their future together.

it was ironic because she’d worn a jingly holiday ring on her ring finger and as someone pointed it out she held out her hand and everyone laughed at how goofy it was. she slipped it off her finger and we noticed it had turned her finger green. i looked at his mother, who was in on the plan, silently bursting with anticipation.

murph excused himself to “pick up smitty”, our other mutual friend, who’d “had car trouble and thus taken the train out to the suburbs”. he was actually at the front door, so murph let him in and they got him into the bottomless wrapped present large enough for a kneeling, hopeful man and adorned with a huge bow. smitty snuck upstairs to wait, video camera in hand.

minutes later, off in the kitchen, murph’s mother stepped into the conversation i was having with our target and giggled as she explained that the huge box under the christmas tree was murph’s gag gift, and she really must be in on the joke so while murph’s gone let me show you how funny it is.

the two trotted giddily into the family room.

murph’s father and i, the only two left in the room who knew what was happening, quickly shushed everyone quiet and beckoning the crowd; friends, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles; to move toward the family room. confused looks were exchanged as curiosity won over and everyone crowded towards the room to see what the commotion was about.

as the crowd lined in behind murph’s mother and the lucky girl, the two of them lifted the box up to find murph on one knee holding a gorgeous sapphire ring.

“merry christmas. i love you. will you marry me?”

smitty and i, cameras rolling, paparazzi’d her disbelief, tears, and barely audible “yes!“.

the room erupted into cheers and tears and you could smell the magnitude of family and love in the room as a special night became instantly more special.

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