Eighteen hours. Eighteen hours to travel 3000 miles. But, finally, I was here. Slinging my camera bag and backpack over my shoulders, I climbed out of the small 30 passenger plane, and was warmly welcomed by Saipan’s legendary humidity. I’d been told many times about this, and it was true, I really would have to swim to the concourse.
As I trudged across the tarmac at 7am, my mind wandered. Would Brittany be the same in person as she was over skype? Would she look different? Would she sound different?
While I was reasonably confident that she would surpass all my expectations, what if I failed to live up to hers? What if my mannerisms drove her nuts? What if the way I constantly tapped my foot was something that sent her insane? What if…
I swallowed, trying to push those fears out of my mind as I joined the small queue passing through customs. In only a few minutes I would be with her. After almost fifteen months in the waiting, I would finally be in her arms.
My bags arrived quickly on the carousel, and after retrieving them I passed through security and onto Saipan itself.
As I emerged the airport doors my brow furrowed. Where was Brittany? Movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention, and I turned.
There she was. More beautiful than I could have imagined. Webcam did NOT do her justice. A grin formed on my face as I started to unsling my backpack to hug her properly.
Like a Dan-seeking-missile, she launched at me. Bag trapped at my elbows, I staggered back a step as Brittany collided. My arms waving like a bewildered T-Rex, I tried to hug her back.
“Hey Gorgeous,” I said, trying to pat her head, but awkwardly getting her ear.
“Hey Handsome,” she said, her voice muffled by my shirt. She pulled her face off my chest and looked up at me. “You’re here!”
My goodness, she smelled amazing. And that smile was even more captivating in person. I smiled back down at her. “I’m here.”
She pulled away and I untangled myself from my backpack. “The car’s this way.” Brittany grabbed my suitcase, ignoring my pleas to let me carry it, and marched off. I had no choice but to follow.
As we walked to the car, I patted my camera bag. Yep, it was still there.
I knew I would be giving her the ring safely housed in that pocket. She was perfect.
36 hours later I proposed on the beach under the stars.
And the love of my life said yes.