“This is that time we went to the beach and Nikki passed out on top of some kids’ sandcastle. Do you remember that?”
“I’m sure that mom does. She yelled at us all the way back to our car.”
“Oh hey look I got a picture of her too.” The pair laughed as they walked down the aisle of everything frozen from pizzas to peas. Tank smiled and nodded along as Edward walked next to him happily flipping to newly printed pictures and laughing at the memories they invoked.
“So you excited for tonight?” Tank asked.
“Tonight?” he looked up from his pictures confused and then suddenly like a lightbulb being flicked on, “Oh right! The fireworks… Do I really need to go? I’m not a big fan of fireworks.”
“Oh come on Eddie. What’s there not to like? They’re pretty, and colorful, and fun, and-“
“Loud, and frightening.”
“Fine. Me and the guys can light the fireworks. You can stand back and hold a sparkler.” Tank stopped walking and looked Eddie in the eyes. “You’re not afraid of sparklers are you?” Eddie looked away to the floor and broke eye contact. Tank couldn’t stop the giggle bubbling up inside him. “You’re adorable. You’re just like my little sister…except, you know, she really likes sparklers.”
“I’m not afraid of sparklers… I’m afraid of burning myself…”
“This coming from the man that likes to be choked.” Tanks comment grabbed the attention of an older woman who had just been innocently pushing her cart down the aisle.
“Wow you’re sooo funny tank. It’s almost like you WANT me to lock you inside a freezer.” It was hard to take him seriously with how red his face was getting. Tank, once again, could not stop himself from laughing. Eddie didn’t say anything; he simply picked a tub of ice cream from the freezer and placed it into the cart. “Now you owe me ice cream.”
“Hey at least you won’t burn yourself on that.”
The way back home went in a similar fashion with Eddie showing off the remaining pictures in-between stop signs and red lights. They unloaded the food and brought it into the house.
“Don’t you think that’s too much food?” Takeo questioned as he helped put it all away.
“You’ve seen my family. We’re American. There’s no such thing as ‘Too much food.’”
“Hey Nik you ready to go?”
“Now where are you going?” Eddie asked from the kitchen.
“We gotta go get the fireworks weather boy.” He and Nik walked out of the house leaving Eddie and Takeo with the task of putting away the large quantities of meat.
Once the boys had finished filling the car with multicolored explosives they got into the front seats. Tank waited a moment before turning the car on to give himself time to think.
“Hey, Nik, can I ask you something?” He reached into the glove compartment, “Do you think he’ll like it?” He asked opening up the small velvet box showing the ring he had worked so hard for.
“So today’s the day? I’m 100 percent positive that he’s gonna love it… Well if the fireworks don’t scare him off first.” He smiled and tank joined him.
“Well we should get going. It won’t be long until people start showing up.”
“Maybe your family can block all the exits so that he has to stay outside.”
“Good idea. I’m sure he won’t be equally as terrified when Betty holds him down.” They both shared a laugh and drove home.
Night came quickly as the air was filled with smoke from the grill and laughter from the countless guests.
“Having fun?” Tank asked, scaring Eddie from his position behind the camera.
“Geez Tank, warn me next time!” he put his hand over his chest and stood up from his position.
“Sorry I just wanted to see if you were hungry.”
“I’m fine, Thank you. Yea, Takeo and I ate some as we cooked it.”
“Well come over and sit with me. I wanna see some of the pictures you took.” Eddie followed Tank to his seat in the trucks trunk. He crossed his leg and pointed the screen towards tank and went through the roll explaining every picture. Tank smiled but didn’t pay attention. It’s not that he wasn’t interested, it’s just that he couldn’t hear Eddie over the sound of his beating heart. He was so nervous and it was made even worse by the fact that his family was there too.
One by one people finished eating and threw away their plates and trash.
“The show’s starting!” a little girl shouted from the side of the yard and everyone looked up to the sky. Even before the show actually started Eddie got closer to tank and hugged his arm.
“It’s alright Eddie. I’ll protect you babe.” Thankfully Eddie didn’t run away. He stared up at the sky and couldn’t look away. He couldn’t look away from the beautiful colors popping into the sky and then fading away to make room for another explosive flower. One after another they filled the garden; not leaving a second of empty space.
A small “wow” left Eddies lips as a big, pink, explosion went up and lit up his face like a child on Christmas. Tank couldn’t look away from Eddies face. Sure, the sky was beautiful but it couldn’t even compare to Eddie. Just like that his heart settled into its normal rhythm and tank had never been more sure of anything in his life. He waited until the show was over to let Eddie enjoy it fully. When the last sparks faded out into the night the crowd cheered and made their way to their cars to grab their own tools to put on their own display.
“Hey Eddie can I… can I show you something.” Eddie nodded and followed tank off the truck. Tank didn’t go anywhere instead he took a deep breath and took a knee. Eddie looked down at him slightly confused. He looked around and was greeted by a sea of phones recording him and that’s when it hit him. He took a step back and felt his heart racing. “Eddie. I…” He took a deep breath, “I want you to know that I have never felt happier than when I’m with you. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you. That’s why I want to be with you forever. Edward Richtofen, will you marry me?” Edward covered his mouth to stop his crying from being audible even though he knew for a fact that all the cameras already caught his tears. He nodded enthusiastically. Tank smiled and got up to hug him. They shared a kiss before tank gently put on the ring.
They hugged once more and shared a long, passionate kiss as the sky lit up with colorful light and a little more love in the world.