The birthday celebrations from the prior evening had beaten me into submission. The alarm screamed through the early morning sunrise as my frontal lobe threatened to explode out of my skull. I made the call to my boss, thinking that I could sleep for a few hours and make it in by lunchtime. I fell back into a restless sleep as the hangover worked its way through me.
The text came at 8:30am. I thought nothing of it.
How’s your day going?
I sent him my wine flu woes, knowing full well that my aspirations of getting into work would not go according to plan. The hangover was here to stay.
Around noon, I heard the front door open and squinted through the heap of the bedspread that covered me. He walked in to check on my pitiful condition and all I could muster was a groan as the nausea consumed me. I threw the bedspread over my head as he closed the door. I finally fell into the deep sleep I’d been craving all morning.
The creak of the bedroom door awakened me a few hours later. The nausea had dissipated and the migraine was wonderfully absent. I glanced over my shoulder and saw his arm re-closing the door. He had let the dogs in. My eyes took in the button-down shirt sleeve but my brain couldn’t quite comprehend it.
Hmmm, I thought to myself. Must be going out to dinner with his parents or something.
The next five minutes passed without incident and I sighed in relief that the hangover was defeated. I pulled myself up out of the covers and saw Wren, my black pup, lying next to the bed. She appeared to be wearing a football jersey.
“That’s strange,” I spoke to the empty room, thinking he was long gone by now. I stood and moved to the other side of the bed where I found Robin, our Jack-Russell mix. My sleep-filled eyes popped open as I took in the white dress she donned with embarrassment. I turned back to Wren.
Not a football jersey…. a tuxedo.
I stood perfectly still for a few moments as each piece of the puzzle fell into place. I looked down at my rumpled pajamas and laughed as the pups tilted their heads in confusion. I was supposed to be at work. This had all been planned until a couple bottles of wine got in the way of an after-work surprise.
I opened the door to candles and a well-dressed man that I’d loved for seven years. A picture of us stood on the table next to a picture of myself from the first night he’d ever seen me. We didn’t actually meet until three months later. The pups danced around us, begging to be rid of their ridiculous ensembles.
Words were said. I couldn’t tell you what they were. The moment is all a blur. All I remember is him down on one knee and a ring being placed on my finger. At some point, I said it.
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