This was the very first thing that really surprised me in 2017. Tom and I had been in a relationship since early 2015. We had talked several times about our next plan together. He had visited me in my country twice. The same was from my side. Our parents had met each other and we had few experiences traveling together. We have ever had big discussion with my parents about “where this relationship is heading”. We had our ups and downs; the down parts usually happened when we were not physically together, thus making it even more difficult. However, we somehow managed to be good to each other and stayed in love even though most of the times we were in the different parts of the globe. And for the two years where we had been in a relationship, we only spent only 105 days together in person. 105 days out of 730 days. Love makes people crazy but I never expected it could be this crazy.
I knew that he would propose one day but I didn’t expect that he would do it that early. I thought it would be next summer when we would meet in Indonesia. From what I remembered, our past conversation about future happened quite often, but it was not very specific. He told me he would really love to get married to me soon because he felt like he had found the right person, and so on. Some other lovely sentences like how excited and happy he was to start a life with me. And even the poetic one like “My soul resonates with you.”
Maybe what Sophie Kinsella said in her novel called Wedding Night is true; “Men who want to get married propose. You don’t need to read the signs. They propose and that’s the sign.”
I celebrated last Christmas and New Year with him in the Czech Republic. We had wonderful time together. We traveled for few days around his country and Poland. I was so exhausted from the trip and went to bed early that day, the last calendar day in 2016. In the middle of night I felt like he reached my hand. I was still half asleep so I was not sure if it was real or just a dream. Then, he reached out specifically to my ring finger. I was so nervous and confused inside, but remained calm on the outside. I didn’t even open my eyes. I was scared that I would ruin the moment if I did it. Part of me still thought that it was not real. However, it was such a long process (he is a true perfectionist!) that I was totally sure he was measuring my ring finger! He went out from our room for a while and even continued doing the same thing for a little after. It was so awkward when I looked back. I pretended to be sleeping till I truly fell asleep and the next moment I woke up it was morning already. The next thing he told me was that he had to go to the city center to sort out some stuff. That immediately reminded me what had happened the night before and my heart couldn’t stop beating so fast.
It was a mixture of excitement (he will ask, for real?!), true happiness (cause you know you feel like you have found the one and knowing that the other person loves you just as much as you love them and knowing that you both are in the same page), optimism about future (suddenly your future will not consists of only you, but you and your partner together), and anxiety (would we really make it together? are we really good together? do we really know each other that well? really?) at the same time. Oh, and a little proportion of stress because I had to act like I didn’t know what was going on – apparently he believed that I was sleeping for the whole night.
The rest of the day went well. He told me he wanted to take me somewhere and that he had arranged something for me. We went to a shopping center while waiting for “his appointment time”. It was 2nd of January; technically it was still a public holiday so the majority of people were at home or out of town. Every store was closed. The only thing that opened in that building were the cinema and a small restaurant inside it. His car was the only car in the whole parking lot – something that would never be possible in my home country! In Indonesia, shopping mall is always full of people especially on public holidays because they take it as a recreational activity. We had a slice of cake and a cup of hot chocolate.
Soon after that he took me to the place. It turned out to be a wellness center in the city. He had booked something for us. I stepped into the room; it was way bigger than I imagined. The first thing I saw was a big hot tub with flowing warm water. The next things that I noticed were red rose petals everywhere; on every sides of the tub, on the floor. Then, there was also a bottle of champagne with two tall glasses beside it. This is it, my heart whispered.
Then, I turned to him and he was reaching to his jacket pocket. He came closer and told me his line. Telling how much he loved me and how he wanted me to be in his life forever. He asked. I replied “Ano”, which meant “yes” in English. He put on the ring to my finger. It was so pretty, simple but nice and sparkling, totally my style. I hugged him and everything that happened after that made us so happy.
Some times after that he asked, “Don’t you want to know how I could get your size?”
I felt so awkward. In the end I told him the truth. “Actually, I kinda know….”.
He looked so embarrassed but in a cute way. So we both laughed at it.
We kept it for ourselves that day (his family didn’t count!) and enjoyed every single minute of that day. The next day we told my family while having dinner together. The next two days I told my close friends.
Nothing about our relationship really changed after we’ve got engaged. Due to circumstances, we had to be apart again until Tom would visit me in Indonesia again in summer (hopefully that would be our last visit before closing the distance). We had to go back to Skype again in order to see each other. Another seven months without each other (but hey now there are only 2 months left!).
However, we are (only) going stronger. Less uncertainties about our future plan. More room for happiness. More room for self-learning and self-discovery before we would really be together without goodbyes. More time for real actions that we have to take in order to achieve our mutual goal.
I still couldn’t believe it sometimes, but trust me that long-distance relationship works!