I had a sneaking suspicion that something was up when we turned at Black Head turn-off — we were supposed to be on our way to Forster. It was the third anniversary of our first date, and I was sure it wasn’t a coincidence that we had pulled into a car park right in front of our kissing spot. 

“You know this is where we first kissed?” I said.

“Is it?” Bren said he didn’t remember, “I know it’s where I first saw your jocks.”

“What! How did you see my jocks on our first date?”

“You were wearing a black lace G-String?”

“Was I?” 

“Yep, when you stood up, the wind got under your skirt, and I saw your jocks — for the first time.”

“Not much to see then,” I laughed. “I don’t remember that at all.”

“Jocksie,” he said, shaking his head, “can’t believe you don’t remember?”

“Well, you didn’t remember our kissing spot?”

“Did I say I didn’t remember?” he said, smiling.

“You’re such a torment.” 

 “Seriously, I want to spoil you this weekend. I appreciate everything you do to help me with training. Ironman is a team effort,” he said. “I want to take you somewhere nice as payback. We’re staying at Forster tonight; pack an overnighter. I’ve booked a spa room at The Berkley and a table at the Mexican Restaurant.”

I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him on the mouth.

“Kissing spot,” I said, kissing him repeatedly until we started to laugh.

We often packed an overnight bag when Bren trained at Forster, so we could make a weekend of it around his training schedule. I went shopping after we unloaded our bags at the motel while Bren trained for a couple of hours before meeting me back at The Berkley.

“I’m making good use of the spa,” I yelled when I heard him push through the front door of our room.

“Come and get in; we have plenty of time before dinner. Maybe we should get takeaway and lay in the bath all night.”

“You can stop yelling; I’m right here.” he laughed. “No, we’re going out.”

He wrapped a towel around my shoulders and swept me out of the tub. He patted me on the bum before pointing me toward the bedroom. “Go and get ready. I know how long it takes you to straighten your hair,” he said.

“Mmm, your bossy tonight,’

‘I hope you bought your high, high heels.’ He yelled after me as he slid into the spa. He loved heels. The higher, the better, preferably on me.

A walk on the beach followed dinner. Taking my shoes from my hand, he kissed me as we walked barefoot in the sand. Every so often, he stopped and kissed me again. We kissed an awful lot. It was a perfect starry night, clear and still, the sound of waves crashing on the shore the only sound to break the silence. My heart was beating out of my chest.

We were running out of beach, fast. If a proposal was coming, he would have to make it quick. We stepped off the sand onto the concrete pathway, and my heart dropped to my toes and bounced back up into my chest. Apparently, tonight wasn’t the night! He handed back my shoes with a massive smile before we returned to the hotel, hand in hand. Damn – my gut feeling had been way off. 

Not that it mattered; I was thrilled just walking beside him. As we got to the front of The Berkely, Bren started patting his pockets.

“I’ve got the key,” I said, rummaging through my bag to find it.

When I looked up from searching, he was on one knee, smiling bigger than I’d ever seen him smile — his arms outstretched toward me as he nervously held up a small open box. He had taken me by surprise.

“Marry me.” was all he said.

“Yes!” was my answer.

Then I squealed as I jumped up and down. He got up, swept me off my feet and spun me around.

It was official. 

I loved that he was still nervous, even though we had picked the ring together almost a year before. It was a pretty sure bet that I was going to say yes. When and where the question was popped would be the surprise. My husband-to-be was not a predictable man. I loved that about him.

The first person we told was my younger sister, Deb. We called and saw her at work on our way home the next day. She looked up as we walked into her store, beaming. 

“What have you two been up to?” she asked, smiling back at us, “you look like you’ve been up to something. Give it!”

With that, I held out my hand. Deb squealed loudly and ran from behind the counter to hug us both, a reaction mirrored by my whole family as we visited them all to break the news. Of course, Mum cried, and Dad said, “about time,” nearly shaking Bren’s arm off. 

Dinner at Crowdy was the perfect place to end our first day as an engaged couple. 

Bren rang his parents that night to tell them of our good news and organise a bbq sometime soon to celebrate with them. We chose not to have a long engagement. Six months was plenty of time to plan a wedding. 

Our engagement photo: taken the night we were engaged – pre-selfies, it was taken on a timer 🙂

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