Friday, December 23, 2011


Dear Lana,

Meet me in Northwest Park at eight.
Fancy dress required.


My best friend and roommate Anya giggled after reading the note. "What are you going to wear?" She asked.
"I don't know! I don't have any fancy dresses here with me!" Anya was quiet for a moment while she thought. Then her green eyes brightened and she ran upstairs. "What are you doing!?" I yelled.
"Hold on!" I sat on the couch and re-read the note three more times.
I had met Zane at a party a couple years ago. We had bonded over hating parties and Anya puking over his shoes. We exchanged numbers, went on a few dates and he asked me to be his. We've been inseparable ever since.
A few minutes later Anya rushed downstairs with her coat and purse and my coat and purse.
"We're going shopping. Let's go." She threw me my coat and left before I could even object.

Two hours later and seven shops visited, I still had no dress.
"That's it, we're going to Fancy Thrift Stores." Anya pulled into the parking lot of a tiny, off beat thrift store that I had never stepped in before.
"I'm screwed." I said, defeated and tired.
"No. We will find you a damn dress. C'mon!" Anya pulled me into the store and we searched for twenty minutes in the small woman's section.
"Shoulder pads and sequins galore." I said.
"Yea, no luck here either..." Anya said looking around. The only person working was an elderly woman who was knitting at the cash register.
"Excuse me, miss. But do you have any dresses in back?" Anya asked the lady. She looked slightly startled but smiled warmly.
"As a matter of fact we do! Come with me." She sat her knitting down and started walking towards the back.
"You stay here." Anya told me and left. I glanced through the racks one more time but it was pointless. A few minutes later Anya came rushing out from the back room.
"Holy cow. Lana, you will not believe your luck." The old lady came from the back room holding the dress of my dreams.
It was light purple and strapless, with a full ruffled skirt. The bodice was plain, except for a simple brocaded belt around the waist with a diamond in the center.
"Here you go, dear." the lady handed me the dress and I just stared at it.
"Go try it on!" Anya pushed me in the dressing room. I slipped into the dress and had never felt more beautiful in my whole life.
"Holy sweet mother of pearl." Anya muttered when I walked out.
"I want this dress."
"You need this dress."
"How much?" I asked.
"$50." The lady answered.
"I only have $20..." I said to Anya.
"We'll put it on my credit card. Consider it an early birthday present." My eyes filled with tears and I embraced her.
"Thank you."
"You are welcome dear. Now get dressed so we can get back to the apartment!!"

Anya dropped me off at the entrance to the park at 7:58.
"You better tell me all about it later!!" She exclaimed.
"I will, I will!" Anya grinned.
"You look smashing, darling." I smiled.
"Thank you for everything today. I owe you."
"Pish posh! Now go!" I shut her car door and walked into the park.
Anya had curled my hair and pinned some of it back. I borrowed her silver heels and I wore the elephant necklace Zane had given me for our one year anniversary.
When I reached the center of the park, I was surprised to find twinkling silver lights covering all the trees. Zane sat on the park bench wearing a white button up, black pants and a blue tie that matched his eyes that I loved so much.
"Wow." He muttered and stood up. I blushed and approached him.
"You look very handsome." I complimented.
"You look... stunning. Words can't even describe..." He said, staring at me. I looked into his eyes and grinned. I always loved looking into his eyes, because I could see the love he felt for me radiating out of them. It warmed my soul and made my heart skip a beat.
"Thank you." I kissed him on the cheek. He took my hands in his.
"Lana Marie Harrick... I love you with all my soul and heart. I thank God for you every night. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone but you." My heart nearly stopped when he knelt on one knee. "I took a visit to your parents last week." He pulled out a tiny black box and tears formed in my eyes. "I asked them a very important question and they give their love and blessing. But the most important question of all is... Lana, will you marry me?" I didn't even need to see the ring before I gasped out "Yes! Yes, I will marry you!"
Tears came down my cheeks as we embraced and kissed. My heart was soaring with happiness. He slipped my beautiful ring on my finger and kissed me.
"Let's get married now." The words were out of my mouth before I could think. He looked at me, blue eyes wide.
"Yes. Now. I don't care where, let's just hop on a plane and go somewhere." Zane laughed.
"I love you." He kissed me and then led me out of the park, off to the airport where we hopped on a plane to New York and got married in a small chapel from a man in a ninja turtle costume, with his wife as our witness in a Power Ranger costume.

It was spontaneous, beautiful, and magical.

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