“Where have you been?” he asked as she crossed over to him. “I’m sorry I’m late. I know I said six,” she started, but he shook his head, no. He reached out and took her hands in his. “I’ve been waiting for you my whole life. I could tell you our everything is going to be perfect, but that would be lying. Love isn’t a victory march. It’s a choice that you make every day. I love you enough to tell you the truth and hope at the end of the day you will choose me too. When I first looked into your eyes, my whole world changed. I love you tremendously, completely, with everything that I am.” He knelt on one knee and reached into his jacket pocket. He pulled out a tattered and broken box. The velvet was worn and frayed. A small hole had worn in one corner. It was perfectly flawed and the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. “Kira Riley,” he began, “I have carried this box with me next to my heart every day since the proposal I should have given you what feels like a lifetime ago. Like me, it’s a little broken. But like my love for you …” He opened it up to reveal a stunning two karat emerald cut sapphire ring set on a platinum band. “Oh, Owen … it’s absolutely beautiful,” she finished. Tears streamed down her cheeks. “Will you marry me?” He took the ring out of the tattered box and offered it up to her. “Yes, Oh my God, Owen! Yes!” She felt like jumping up and down as he kissed her and put the ring on her finger. He pulled her tight and their lips met in the grand finale at the fourth of July. Every lost dream, every missed moment, exploded around them and filled the night sky. “Did you ever think we would end up back here?” she asked, her eyes only on him. “End up? Baby, this is only the beginning,” he said with a smile. The Beginning.”



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