tagIllustratedThe Perfect Proposal

The Perfect Proposal

bywife2hotblk©

Women sometimes dream about how the man they love will propose to them. Men may almost torture themselves trying to think of the perfect moment and way to say how they feel. We have all seen those signs at ball games, 'Jane will you marry me, John?' Many sitcoms have dealt with this difficult task. My husband topped them all; the ideal proposal.

Brian and I had met online several months before in one of the naughtiest chat rooms on the web; a place where white women go to hook up with black men. As a single mom of three, I had long since given up on men. I had accepted that I was a mom and a career woman. After a really bad, five month long distance relationship, I had sworn off men; except of course for casual sex. The funny thing was that once I did, men came out of the woodwork. It seems that men really can't get enough of women, who are emotionally unavailable.

It was at this point when men equalled sex that we met. The funny thing was that considering where we met, this guy was really nice. At first I sort of put him into the 'friends' box; you know the one, nice guy but not my type. Then he turned on his webcam; Holy Mary, mother of god; what a hot, black body. He definitely was my type; for fucking at least: dark skinned, muscular with just the right amount of cushion for the pushin' and a shaved head. Yummy was the best word to describe him. We started to flirt more then; the sexual banter so common in cyber space.

But I really thought nothing of it, because he lived in London while the kids and I lived in Southern California. Having just been devastated by one on-line long distance relationship I was in no mood to waste any more time on another. So while I continued to chat and even flirt with him, I kept an active little black book; and I do mean black. I kept seeing my casual fuck buddies; often.

He was coming to the USA after Christmas. He had friends in Mississippi that he visited each year. Being a friend and very much wanting to sample his very fine body, I offered him my couch; if he wanted to visit sunny Southern California. Even when he accepted I refused to get my hopes up, things happen; I knew that first hand from previous experience.

But he did come; same day as the big Boxing Day tsunami. Funny thing was that year it rained in Southern California; almost every single day for the whole five weeks he was there. Yes, he stayed for five weeks that first trip. But it was anything but smooth sailing for our true love. I spent over half that time wishing he would just go to his friends in Mississippi. He fought with my son's father; calling him an asshole and straining our co-parenting relationship. He called my sixteen year old that had been his biggest supporter a 'bitch.' I eventually came to understand that in his world, no one fucks with me or they answer to him. But having been a single mom for so long I did not know what to do with a protector or how to handle the situation, I saw it as him screwing up the 'peace.'

The best part of the trip was the three day excursion we took to Las Vegas. When we were alone without the pressures of my family or job, we actually could be more like the people we had been in that little yellow smiley face box on the computer; our real selves. We had fun and really wild sex too. The funniest part was the time that we got in the elevator and he pushed the button for the wedding chapel. I told him that he had pushed the wrong button and he asked was I sure. I laughed it off at the time, but have often wondered since then if I did not blow a really good shoot at my dream wedding; being married by a real Elvis impersonator in the Little Chapel of Love.

Anyway a few days before he was supposed to leave, I woke up in the middle of the night and he was not in bed. A little bit later he comes back to bed. Now one irritating thing about my husband; he does all his real thinking at three fucking AM. So he asks, what I would think if he moved there. Now me, I have no brain at three in the morning; so I had no idea what the fuck he was talking about...here? USA? California? Long Beach? Turns out here meant with me and the kids. I was floored, because I was just starting to like him again after four and a half weeks of arguments, except for those three really nice days in Vegas when it was just the two of us. I doubt he thought it would lead to a three day inquisition. As a single mother with two failed relationships, I wanted to discuss in depth some obstacles from the past; among them was sex, finances, the kids and several other topics with a great deal of depth.

Yet three days later when I kissed him good-bye at LAX, I began to realise exactly how much this man had come to mean to me. I really began to see that when I tried to fall asleep that night in the bed we had shared for the past five weeks. I missed him terribly. In the following weeks a few things changed; first of all, I forsook my fuck buddies. My little black book was burnt. We kept calling, massaging and email; even more than before. We missed each other so much that he even came back a few weeks later for a brief five day trip; flying ten hours each way to see me.

Then in May I made the big leap; I flew to London to see him and meet his family. Mind you, I hate flying; absolutely hate it. What is more, I left my nineteen year old son in charge for the ten day visit. I was very nervous when I arrived, but the taste of his kiss soon sent those worries away. I adored his extended Afro-Caribbean family. His mother was this really sweet and quiet woman that I love to this day. His dad; well the moment I met his father, I understood his odd sense of humour that often seemed to be picking on me. His brothers, niece and nephew were great too. I loved London; even getting to see Tony Blair, the Queen and Prince Charles and Camilla, pretty amazing considering I was there for only ten days.

At this point, I had been consulting for several months since I had a car accident that left me with an extreme fear of driving; not a good thing in Los Angeles. I had one client, the income from which replaced my previous salary. My other clients were less steady and far less money. On that Thursday morning, I received an email from this major client informing me that the project was being put on hold and my services were no longer required. My world fell apart with that single email. I was a single mother and now unemployed. I cried all day.

Actually it was Brian's first day back at work; he had taken the past few days off to show me the city and spend time with me. He called several times, so he knew what had happened. He was very supportive, but I spent the whole day trying to think of what I would do when I got home; the bills to be paid and no hopes of a decent job in my industry if I could no longer drive. I went deeper and deeper into depression. I even wrote this long and very poignant letter for him; breaking it all off. After all, he was a great guy and deserved so much more than an unemployed single mom with no future.

Of all the days for him to be working late, this was it. It was after eight o'clock that night before he came back. My eyes were almost swollen shut from the crying; and I had my letter beneath the pillow. When he came in I was laying in his bed that we had been sharing for several days now. He knelt on the floor next to me. His large, calloused black hands brushed my blonde hair back from my face. He bent forward and with his full lips kissed the wet trail of my tears from my cheeks.

Kneeling there on that wooden floor next to me at perhaps one of the absolute lowest points in my life, he chose that moment to make his actual proposal. As I draw my final breath I am certain it will be his words that I remember. 'You are the smartest, most beautiful woman I know. You will find another job. And I want nothing more than for you to be my wife.' Despite the two page letter beneath that pillow and a couple of half-hearted, 'you deserved more,' what woman could possibly refuse a proposal like that?

That Saturday we went into the city to purchase the ring, which would make it official. He told me to pick whatever I wanted. Of course I am a practical woman, in the end I picked a small quarter carat diamond cluster that cost only about one-hundred and twenty pounds. We joked over a fish-n-chips lunch at a nearby pub that our meal cost a third of my diamond. If we won the lottery tonight, I would not trade this ring for another, because of what it represents.

When we got back to the house that day, he got out the camera and took pictures. I love those pictures for two reasons. First of all, there is the obvious eroticism of his dark skin against my fair. I can honestly get aroused just by looking at those innocent pictures. But more important is the symbolism of the strength of his rings wrapped about mine; the pride and partnership so lovingly displayed.

I suppose a happy ending would be to say that the moment I stepped off the plane at LAX I had a great new job waiting and that we have never had a single argument or trouble since then. The truth is that there was no job; that over the next year my husband showed me often how very much he loved me. It was he that sent money so that my son could buy cleats for football. He paid the rent for our apartment more than once. And when the landlord refused to fix the toilet, he was the one that took me apartment hunting. I was seven months pregnant at the time; besides my engagement ring, our daughter was the other souvenir I brought back from my trip to London.

Even then he continued to show me what real love meant. After a particularly bad day of looking at either perfect places that were well outside of our price range or dumps we could afford, I sat on a bench at the bus stop. His strong arms wrapped around me as I cried again. I told him that I and my children were not his responsibility. His reply was again exactly the right words. 'My child and you are my responsibility. If you are not happy then she won't be, so yes all of you are my responsibility now.'

This man, whose dark fingers wrap so proudly about my smaller and paler hands to show with pride the ring that proclaims his claim on me, has taught me daily over the past three years the meaning of marriage. The vows we took mean so much more. 'For better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; forsaking all others until death do we part.' He has been my rock of stability through it all. He is the warmth in my cold nights. And to this day that simple picture of our hands entwined brings to tears to my eyes from the powerful memories of those words of faith in me when I had none in myself.

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