Friday, September 23, 2011

The Proposal


Here we go.

So, I am with my girlfriend. We are in the East Perth Train Station, and my phone starts vibrating. Pulling it out of my pocket, I see that I actually do not know who this is. I look to Bec, look back at my phone. She says to me, “Yes, you do want to answer it”. I look at her, and she knows that I don’t want to.  I slide the button across my screen, put the device to my ear, and I hear a vaguely familiar voice saying:

“Oh Hi Billy! Its Leanne from Angus & Coote in Kalgoorlie.”
In one fluid motion, I push Bec away from me, turn to look at something on the ground, and stand hunched over like a cripple, some how convincing myself that because I look like a cripple, it is going to help quieten my conversation.
“I’m just calling to let you know that your ring has arrived.”
I reply:


This whole time, I am not thinking about the conversation. In the space of about half a second, I dug myself a hole, which could quite possibly result in Bec figuring out that I have just casually bought a ring.

Just because…
Cos I do that kinda thing…

Casually recollecting myself, I walk over to her, wrap my arm around her, and try to pretend like that was nothing worth hiding at all. The inevitable question soon arose… “So, who was that?”
Honestly, I cannot remember what was said, but all I remember is that the conversation came to a dead halt, and we moved onto something else fairly quickly. Quite odd for me, as I am usually pretty quick in coming up with something to distract from predicaments that I find myself in.

This was the beginning of the web of lies that I would have to spin to keep the love of my life from the truth that I was about to ask her to marry me. Luckily for me though, I was getting on a plane that night to head over to Sydney to buy a car.  You see, I have this fear inside me. I am afraid because Bec has this way of being able to just convince me to tell her the secrets that I don’t want to. The puppy dog eyes have got nothing on her ;) So, in one sense, I was sad that I had to leave her, but I was relieved that there was less chance for her to pull the secret that I was going to propose soon, out of me.

I will put up another blog post in the not too distant future about the trip back with the camera & the car to cover everything in between here, and getting back to Kal after the trip, as most of it is irrelevant to the story of our engagement.

So, jumping forward a week, I had bought a car, travelled from coast to coast, and had in my possession a nice shiny rock, stuck in a very shiny piece of gold.

My trip back went like this:
Day 1) 200kms – Arrived in Blue Mountains
2) 400kms – Arrived in Cobar
3) 800kms – Arrived in Port Augusta
4) 1400kms – Slept about 150ks out of Norseman
5) 500kms – Arrived in Kalgoorlie
6) 600kms – Arrived in Perth

So, I made it all the way to Perth from Sydney, stayed 2 days in Perth, and then ripped back to Kalgoorlie, and in doing so, nearly doubled the mileage on my new car.

At this point, I had finished working with my Dad at his Burger Van, Diggers & Dealers was over, and I didn’t have any work on for another week or so, and my intention was to propose on Bec’s birthday, which is on the 29th of September.

While driving back, I thought, “Well, why should I propose in Perth? Bec will have many more people to celebrate with if it is in Kalgoorlie”. So that is what I decided I would do. I sat on this thought for a little while (which was only a day lol), and then come Thursday, I decided to go pitch my idea to Rochelle (Bec’s Mum).

Standing out the back of Toyworld, I tell her about my plan to fly her back up to Kal, and to have dinner with her in the Chinese Gardens, and then propose to her in the Arts Center, and to do all this on Monday next week.

Rochelle gets very excited, and wants to give me a hug. I am tempted to say “Ahhhh! Alrighty Mum!” but I just give her a cheeky grin, and give her a big fat hug instead. The mum jokes get to wait for later…
So, I have headed off, and I start planning everything.

It is Friday.
About Mid afternoon.
I think, I have got nothing to do this week.
I think, Why am I proposing in a week’s time?
I think, I don’t have to wait that long.
I think, Well Ok then!

So, I call up Rochelle, and ask her if Jacob & Herself would be able to make the Monday in 3 days time available to have a surprise engagement party at their house, instead of in 10 days time. I am on the phone to Rochelle, and she says to me: “Ahh. Let me just ask Jacob”. In the back ground I hear Jacob, in his very Jacoby voice:


I laugh. He continues, “Why so soon?”, but Rochelle pitched my side of the story, and lo and behold! Monday it was.

Now… I had to pull it all together in time. This was going to be a mission.
My plan was this:

  1. Train down to Perth
  2.  Arrange for Bec to have lunch with a friend in the city
  3. Meet Bec in the City
  4. Fly her back to Kalgoorlie
  5. Have a candle lit dinner in the Chinese Gardens
  6.  Take her up to the lookout for a romantic view of the city
  7. Blind fold her, and take her to the Arts Center
  8. Propose on stage, with over 300 Candles, and friends & family in the auditorium
  9. Head back to Jacob & Rochelle’s house for a surprise engagement party

Quite the feat to arrange in 3 days, I know. But in all honesty, I think that it was a bit of a God thing that it all worked out like it did.

Now, I found myself a bit of a debuncle…. Bec goes to feed the homeless on Mondays, and that starts at midday, and my train arrived at 2pm. So, I was going to clean miss her my a solid 2 hours, so I needed her to not have to need to go to Mana (homeless feeding group), but I had nobody’s contact now did I?

So, I get on facebook, add Karen (who runs it), and tell her that I need her mobile number. I get her number, and call her up, and she is in Singapore. Just casually… In Singapore, so I ask her to txt Bec, and let her know that she doesn’t need to go to mana, so that I can arrange a lunch with a friend of hers in the city.

So Karen does that for me, and that is all sorted. 1 Issue out the way. I then find out that she is actually meeting up with an old work mate for dinner on Monday night, after she is finished at “Mana”. Now… This was a real issue. I searched ALL over facebook for him. All Bec’s mates. All Bec’s Mates, Mates, and still nothing could be found, and no joy to be had.

So, similar to the last situation, I facebooked one of Bec’s work mates, to get her number, to txt her, so I could ask her if she has Samy’s number. But she doesn’t.. So… I nearly beg her to get the number for me, and she ends up going through the old Loose Box employment records, so that she can get his number, so that I can call him, to ask him to change dinner to lunch, so that when I arrive in the city, Bec will be there.

Wow… That is even confusing for me to read lol.

So yes. I have now pretty much got everything sorted out.
I have got my pastors cooking us dinner, my folks setting up and packing down dinner, Dan & Amy taking photos of the proposal, Jacob & Rochelle arranging the engagement party, people lying for me and changing plans, Qantas being our chauffers, and Bec had no idea that any of this was going on.
That in itself ladies and Gentlemen was a miracle. She is usually SOOOO cluey, and picks up on the slightest thing. Not this time! :D


So, here we are. I am now in Perth, standing in Forrest Chase square in the heart of the city, and I have messaged my lovely lady. 15 mins has already past, and I am beginning to wonder why she is taking so long. You know how you get these ideas of what it should look like, and you can see her dropping her shopping where she stands, running up to you with her hair frolicking through the breeze, and she leaps into your arms, and there is that passionate embrace that has been missing for so long.

Yeah, none of that was happening aye. I am just standing there, my heart is beating almost out of my chest with the anticipation of being able to just hold my Becka girl again, and I cannot wait.
I see her, and I expect her to just ditch her mate and run up to me, and tell me how much she missed me, and all that stuff.

She just strolls along, and casually reaches me, slides her arms around me, and whispers that she has missed these moments. All my preconceived expectations of what it should look like fell by the wayside as I was swept up in this moment yet again.

Anyways! I am convinced that when she sees me in Perth, she is going to know that something is up. But, no. Despite my surprise arrival in Forrest Chase square, and my distant conversations, she still is completely oblivious. We sit down on a park bench, and she shows me her shopping for the day, and I am almost a little taken back that she is not suspicious of the fact that I am in Perth, and I have been lying to her saying that I am very busy this week… yes… I know… all lies.

So, I find out that her car is back in Midland, and I look perplexed, and say to her “We gotta go”. She looks at me confused, and I just say, “Come on! Just follow me”. All of a sudden, there is a cute little becka girl, who has no idea what is happening, and LOVES IT!

So, we jump on the train, and make it to her car (Ellie). Where, I inform her that I need to drive. For those that don’t know, Bec is protective of her car, so she reluctantly gave me the keys, and I jumped in the drivers seat. I needed to get to the airport now.

We pull up at the lights, and we are a little early, so I think, “Ahhhh stuff it. We’ll keep driving”.
Bec says to me, “Lets just jump on a plane!”

I’m thinking: “Oh sweet Jesus, you could not have put better words in her mouth…” I was so surprised that she said that.

I say, “Ok!”, and I get into the turning lane to go to the airport. Bec informs me quite suddenly that this is the domestic airport, and we want to be going to Bali. I think to myself, “Ahhh crap…” and keep driving. I go through the round abouts, because I missed the long term parking lol, and so naturally, Bec thinks I am just being a tool, because I do a loop, and work my way back toward the exit. But no! I don’t leave do I? I head into the long term parking, and we get out, and head over to the airport.

By this time, bec has convinced herself that we are just meeting someone there for dinner or something. Not actually getting on a plane, and I tell her that she is right. “Nah, were not getting on a plane babe”.
We pick up our boarding passes, and now she is getting fidgety, and cant sit still. She just keeps clinging to my arm, and I tell you what! Didn’t I just feel like King?!

“Yea… All you other fellas be jealous. Your Mrs don’t want you like this now does she?”, as I look around the airport terminal and see all the other couples just sitting there lol.

So, we are just getting on the plane, and I text my folks, so they can start setting everything up, and leave the car at the airport for us. We arrive in Kal, and now I need to poo cos I am so excited, so we do the toilet thing, and meet outside. Bec is now on the biggest high of her life, still with No idea of what is coming.

We jump in the car, and I ask Bec if she is excited. And she says “Oh nah. Not really”, then as we are leaving the airport, she just blurts out, “OH BILLY! I AM SO EXCITED!”, while bouncing around on the passenger seat like it is a pogo stick.

So, we arrive at the Hall of Fame’s Chinese Gardens, and there is the red carpert flowing down the steps to greet us as we pull up at the entrance. I tell her to sit in the car, and I run around the side of the car, and open the door for her, take her hand, and walk her up to the pergola, over looking the pond, with the remains of what once was lit candles surrounding our dinner setting.

It is still very nice, regardless of lit candles or just candles sitting there for ornamental sake.
I sit her down, and tell her that I love her, and that while I was driving back from Sydney, I bought her a necklace, so I pulled it out, and had the privilege of being able to put on my “fiancĂ©-to-be’s” neck. We sit and converse about not much, and I am careful about what I talk about, so as not to give away anything to come.

I spot a car roaring down the road, and know that our food is now here.
Soon enough, Pete rocks up, with Asher as our waiter, and serves the food up. French Lamb cutlets, and a very nice bean-like salady thingy. 10 Points to Carolyn for that one.

We finish out dinner, and I look down at my watch, as I told everyone to be at the Arts Center by 6:45, so I could make it there to propose at 7:15. The time was 6:40, and I needed to allow enough time for the folks to make it to the Arts Center also.

It was a little rushed, but I took my love by her hand, and led her to the car, where I told her that I she had to keep her eyes closed. I then asked her to block her ears, so that I could grab the ring from my folks, as I didn’t want to leave it sitting in the car at the airport.

So, I head over to where they are, and they are trying to be quiet, but if they were talking in sign language, it would have said something like:

“BILLY! *insert face of horror* NO! GO THAT WAY! ITS NOT HERE! RY HAS GOT THE RING!”

I am in a dilemma now aren’t I? You see, I don’t speak fluent sign language. Let alone, when it has an accent of mung-bean, so I have to get out of the car, and ask mum what she means.

I promptly get back in the car, and cruise down to the gate, where my little brothers are waiting eagerly with the little box in their hands. I wound down the window, and as it lowered, the could see my finger pressed against my lips reminding them not to utter a sound.

I hardly stop. My heart is racing with the anticipation of what is coming next.
I have to allow enough time for my parents to pack down the dinner, and get into the Arts Center. I take my lady to the lookout above the city, and we kinda just chill there for a little while, and by the time we are at the top of the lookout, I see what looks like my parent’s cars driving past. I honestly wasn’t sure, but I didn’t want to make it look too obvious that I was trying to see who was driving past.

I casually took her in my arms, and we just sat and looked over Kal, and about 5 minutes later, we made out way very casually back down Mt. Charlotte, and we jumped in to the car.

Climbing into the drivers seat of my car, I look into the door, and the ring is sitting there, and my I am reminded that these are the last few moments of our life as boyfriend and girlfriend. With the ring still lingering in my mind, I look Bec tenderly in the eyes, and say, “Baby. I have something for you”. She is not sure what to expect, and I can see she is a little excited.

“Heres a blindfold. You need to put this on. Thanks baby.”

Don’t know what she was expecting, but probably wasn’t a blindfold.
I drive her all over town, zig zagging my way to the arts center. We pull in at the back carpark, and Rikky sees us arriving, and heads in to tell everyone that we are now here, and that billy will personally castrate you if you burp, sneeze, fart, cough, or blink while we are on stage, and I am proposing.

I tell bec to stay in the car, and I open the back door, put my blazer on, walk around to her side door, take her by the hand, and tell her that she just has to stand there. You see, she cant hug me either, because I have a Dictaphone in my pocket so that I can record what I am saying, and I don’t want her to feel it. So, I just resort to stroking her shoulders…

Mmhmm… yes… stroking her shoulders…

She even asked me “Why are you stroking my shoulders like that?...”, she even had a hint of nervousness, and confusion in her voice while asking me. I laughed, and tried to cover up the nervousness/excitement in my voice.

After deciding that I had left enough time for everyone to get ready, I took my Becca Rose’s hand, and walked her into the corridor. She asks me “Where are we? Why is there an echo?”, I just smiled, chuckled a little, and kept walking. We walked onto the back of the stage, and you could see the faintest glow of the candles through the black curtain dividing the stage.

I stopped to turn to Bec, and took the blind fold off. Still having no idea of what was to come next, I gently took her hand in mine, and lead her in view of the candles. Walking around the corner of the curtain, on show for us was 300+ candles lighting the stage, and at the heart of it all, was that. Candles in the shape of a big love heart, with a row either side, to make an aisle for us to walk down.

Rehearsing what I had practiced in my mind so many times before, seemed to elude me as she clung to my arm, tighter and tighter, and all I could hear was the love of my life whispering, “Oh Bear… Oh Bear…”, as I led her into the center of what was a resemblance of my heart.

Standing at the peak of the heart, I took her hands in mine, as our fingers fell within each others. I looked her deep in her eyes, and began confessing my love and adoration for her. Lowering myself down on one knee, I glanced up, and again all I could hear was the girl who was soon to be my fiancĂ©, whispering, “Oh bear… Oh bear…”.

Out of my back pocket, I pulled a small box, and looking up at Rebecca Rose, asked her the question I had been waiting to ask her for so long,

“Will you marry me?”

I listened for the word, and sure enough my ears were graced with a,

“Yes”, as I stood up, took the ring from the box, and placed it on her finger. With some eyeball sweat, I took  her in my arms, as we both just laughed, cried, and held eachother. With her back turned, I looked into the blackness where everyone sat, smiled hugely, and gave them all the big thumbs up.

Slowly the lights, came on, and a roar like I have never heard form such a an amount of people took over the auditorium, as becka just held me even tighter, and laughed that little bit more with the realisation of what all the cheering meant.

Basking in the glory of the moment, we just stood there, for a little wee while longer, and then made our way down to greet all our family and friends as the newly engaged couple. From here, we made our way back to her parent’s place for the engagement party, and laughed, shared stories, and celebrated the culmination of our “dating” period.

So, here is to us, and what our future holds.
Love you babe xx

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