• The hot, humid day was welcoming. I took advantage of the abnormally warm weather by wearing faded camo shorts, a forest green almost-too-small tank top, and my old flip flops - all happily pulled from their winter hibernation. Standing on the wooden deck overseeing a small slice of Mossy Creek, I felt the warm sun caress my skin. His voice was soft on my ear, "It's so beautiful out here."
    "It is," I replied to the man standing with his arms wrapped securely around me. We were standing in such a way that both of us could take in the beauty God had graced this place. I was leaning against the wooden railing of the public deck, and he was leaning ever-so-lightly against me.
    He was my boyfriend. We had been on and off for two years now; currently we were back together. Both breakups (we had 2) were for ridiculous reasons, but we both needed the wake-up-call. Overcoming those obstacles, though, brought us that much closer together. I mean, who doesn't have their issues?
    Most recently, actually about six days previously, he had returned home, graduated from Marine Corps boot camp. Well, technically it is called recruit training... I was immensely proud of him; he had fulfilled his lifelong dream and was finally a Marine. My Marine. "I love it here, being here, especially with you," I said. We were at the first place he told me he loved me.
    We had been dating for a while when he first brought me to Mossy Creek. The evening had been mildly warm, and cricket chirps were the predominant music. Standing about where we currently were, and alone then too, he had told me he loved me. I had smiled, looked up into his scared face, and boldly said, “I love you, too.” We were 16.
    Now, two years later and just shy of his 18th birthday (I was already 18 ), he brought me here for a few moments together. Prom was later that night. Once we left Mossy Creek, we would both spend most of the afternoon amidst preparations consisting of hairspray for me and an iron for him. As much as we didn't like getting ready for it, we knew we would enjoy our time spent there. It would be our senior prom - and I was walking in on the arm of a Marine, my Marine, in his dress blues.
    I sighed a sigh of contentment and rubbed his arm as he leaned over and kissed my shoulder. The scenery was bold: greener than green grass, sickeningly baby blue sky, his tan skin in dark contrast to my lighter tone, his high-and-tight haircut head against my long blond hair... it was beautiful in its own way.
    He pulled his left arm away and I felt rather than heard him scratch his back.
    "It's so peaceful," I said.
    "I know," he said. We both sighed again.
    Then, "Baby, you love me, right?" he asked.
    "Of course, baby," I said. His question did not perturb me. My previous actions were the reasons for his question. Don't think I cheated, no, that is absolutely horrid to think. I simply over thought things and decided it was best to leave him. Turns out that was the dumbest thing I have ever done. No matter what we did, I always loved him in the end. As for him, he never stopped loving me, even when my dumb brain got in the way. That is why I love him, have loved him for 2 years, and will forever love him.
    He pulled his left arm away from me. Expecting him to scratch his back, I was caught off guard when he swiftly turned me around. He went down to one knee in one fluid motion. "Will you marry me?" His eyes were big and round, and his face had lost some color.
    My hands flew to my face. "Y-yes of course!!" was all I could manage my sputtering, smiling lips to say. My royal blue eyes left his gorgeous hazel ones and turned to the little black velvet box he had in his hands. Resting gently in it’s folds was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.
    I laughed, a half-laugh half-cry, and stepped forward, speechless. Kissing him softly on the head, I took a deep sigh. He stood, and attempted to place the ring on my finger. We were both shaking like trees in a hurricane. He finally slipped the promise - his promise to forever protect me, always stand by my side, and eternally love me - onto my left ring finger.

    I looked into my fiance's eyes, almost crying, and wrapped my arms around his neck, jumping into his warm embrace for the rest of my life.