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October 22, 2016
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An engaging column

The cute little movie starts with a false beginning, building on the crime documentary screening: first a title card that says “Test Screening” and the date, then a song as a postman walks down the street.

Suddenly the music skips and the image distorts, then vanishes into silence. Then darkness. Emily says nothing.

“That’s not good,” I say, looking over my shoulder.

Now there’s an image of a cell phone and “Aunt Mary’s address.” Emily looks at me and smiles.

“I’m going to make a movie of my trip for Emily, and then tell her we are going to see a different movie and surprise her with this movie,” my voice echoes through the theater.

A huge Aunt Mary laughs and then says, “That’s cute.”

The movie climaxes with a tearjerker moment as Aunt Mary kisses the ring goodbye and ends with a fun montage of the three of us going to lunch at Skyline Chili.

And then it is over and my stomach is in nervous knots. Time is in slow motion. My mind is racing.

Why hadn’t I gotten the ring out before the movie was over? And why hadn’t I been paying attention when we sat down? Should I now step out into the aisle or just kneel in the row?

I take a deep breath and reach into my backpack, feeling for the ring box. I got it and kneeled down in the row.

“Will you marry me?” I say as calmly and clearly as I can.

Emily says, “yes.” Thank goodness.

I slip the ring onto her finger—it fits.