Everything had to be perfect. I planned for weeks. I took time off work to build the arbor and hid it behind the garage. I picked out champagne and ordered flowers. The ring sparkled magnificently in any light. I practiced my words that would surely woo her. She would be so excited and, of course, she would cry.

The weather forecast said it would be fair on Valentine’s Day, however, I did not pay attention to what the weather would be like on Valentine’s Day Eve. I wanted to surprise her in the morning, so I took the afternoon off and transformed the backyard into a fairytale courtyard.

That night unbeknownst to me, the wind howled. I woke before the alarm and quietly dressed and went out the backdoor. My heart sank. The ribbons and flowers that I wove into the arbor were gone, the arbor too for that matter. I dropped onto the concrete steps and picked up the small bouquet. I felt her behind me and turned my head to look back at her. She smiled down at me with a hint of confusion. I stood and offered her the tiny bunch of flowers and ring.

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