It started with a text, one that made Matteo anxious but he was certain of his decision.
Project Proposal 10th Aug 2024 7:07pm
To: Jonass ✌, KebAbdi, Carlolos, Kiki, Coach, hannnnna, winter is coming, Gay Guru🌈, sam!, Linn, sara, leonie, Laura (sis in law).
hey guys, i need your help with something.
i wanna propose to david.
i have an idea of how i want it to go, but imma need your help.
You serious bro????
My babies are growing up😭😭😭
Matteo laughed lightly at his friends responses, going back to making Pasta á la Luigi, putting some in a bowl for himself and setting the rest aside for David for when he gets home. From there Matteo explained how he wanted the day to go and made them all swear not to breathe a word of this to anyone. After demolishing his pasta, he washed the dishes and headed to bed after a quick shower.
He laid down thinking back to the conversation he’d had with Laura the day before. Laura placed a strong coffee in front of him whilst she sat down opposite with a hot chocolate and a nervous face.
“You wanted to talk about something? Is it David, is he ok?” Laura spouted letting her nerves overtake her.
“David's fine, but it is something to do with him.” Matteo had breathed out letting his own nerves and the sudden realisation of what he was going to do hit him.
“I wanted to ask your permission, I guess, to erm, marry David?”
Matteo never expected the noise that came from Lauras mouth. It was somewhere between a squeal and a squawk. She gave the widest of grins as tears started to form in her eyes.
“Yes! Absolutely yes!” she clambered up from her seat and threw her arms around Matteo’s shoulders and squeezed tightly.
He fell asleep that night with a small smile on his face, knowing that tomorrow him, Jonas and Laura were going ring shopping.
Matteo, Laura and Jonas walked into the jewellry shop and immediately felt out of their depth. They split up and found themselves startled by some of the elegance and detail in some of the rings.
Matteo, however knew that he wanted something simple, nothing too complicated, and maybe an engraved message on the inside. After a while, Matteo settled on a simple white gold band, he chose to get ‘all the time in the world’ engraved on the inside as little reminder of the first time they told each other they loved one another. He paid and left with Laura and Jonas to get coffee. He was still anxious but his excitement was still overwhelming him.
It’s the day before the planned proposal and Matteo is really starting to panic. He woke up that morning late for his shift at the restaurant which already set his mood for the day. He went through his shift making more mistakes than usual.
On his way home, he feels a panic attack coming on as his breath gets quick and heart start increasing as tears spring in his eyes.
He speeds his way over to Jonas’ apartment and hastily knocks on the door. Jonas opens the door just as Matteo’s knees buckle, Jonas then kind of carries him inside and drops him on the sofa.
“What if he says no?? What do I do then??” Matteo exclaimed rubbing his eyes trying to get rid of his tears but knowing full well, that losing David would tear him apart.
“Digger, that is not gonna happen. You have been together for how long now? 5 years or so? He loves you so much, and clearly you love him too.” Jonas consoled patting Matteo’s knee knowingly.
“ Yeah, yeah, you’re right” Matteo replied still with a degree of uncertainty in his voice.
They chill for a little while before Matteo heads home and waits for David to get home from filming.
Its 9 am as Matteo leaves the flat throwing a quick text to ‘Project Proposal’ and making sure everything was in place and that everyone knew what they were doing.
David, as predicted came home late and needed to sleep, Matteo pecked a quick kiss to his forehead as he left to prepare the final surprise.
David awoke to the notable absence of warmth that is usually next to him. He groans as he extends an arm and aimlessly starts swatting his bedside table for his phone. Finally finding it he notices the very obvious pink sticky note attached to it, puzzled he reads it ‘don’t have breakfast, call jonas x’ clearly in Matteo’s absurdly messy handwriting. David dismisses it but is still confused, maybe Matteo meant that for himself.
He then throws on some clothes and goes to the fridge to get breakfast, only to find another obnoxious pink sticky note. ‘Im serious David, don’t have breakfast and call Jonas x’ so he does as he’s told and calls Jonas.
“Sup man!” Jonas said far too cheerily for 10 am on a friday morning.
“Hey digger, I was told to call you?”
“Ah yes, get dressed i’ll be over in 15 to take you out for breakfast, more like brunch I guess”
“Why? What's going on?” David replies confusion clear in his voice.
“Can’t I take a brother out for breakfast without an ulterior motive?”
“I mean, yeah, but is something going on?” David says unsure of the situation.
“David, nothing is going on, I just wanna get you some Shakshuka and spend some time with you. You’ve been so busy with the film and I know you haven’t seen any of us in ages. You need a break bro”
David sighed but agreed, getting dressed and waiting for Jonas to turn up at the door of the WG. They walked to a diner, chatting about nothing in particular, catching up with how the film was going and how Jonas’ job at a political change organisation was going. They eventually make it to the diner where Abdi and Carlos were waiting.
After a glorious breakfast the three boys take David to the park. The park that brings back memories of fighting Matteo with sticks and sitting by the river listening to Hozier. But the boys dont need to know that, so instead they fight over whose team David was going to be on in table tennis.
Eventually, it was Carlos and David vs Jonas and Abdi and it was safe to say that it was one of the few times Carlos had actually won a game.
A few games later, Jonas took out a slightly crumpled pink sticky note, which said ‘Next, some little treats x’ again in Matteo’s scruffy writing. David wouldn’t admit it aloud, but the little things he loved about Matteo still made his heart flutter, even after 5 years.
The boys led him to a sleepy little cafe where the girls were waiting for him, with an array of cakes and pastries laid out. They opened the door to a chorus of ‘Hi’s and cheery ‘Na’s from the girls. David took a seat next to Amira who was already pouring a cup of coffee for him. The boys left fairly soon after a hushed conversation with Kiki and Hanna and a clap on Davids shoulder. He wasn’t sure he was supposed to see that, and made his earlier anxieties of an ulterior motive come straight back.
David shot round to Amira. “Is something going on? Jonas was acting kinda weird and i’ve not heard from Matteo all day, has he done something?”
“No, nothing is going on, we just haven’t seen you for weeks, with filming and all. We just wanted to do something nice for you” Amira calmly said while Kiki, Hanna, Sam and Mia shared a quick almost nervous look.
He gave a slow nod and tried to believe her, but there was still a small part of him that felt anxious. However he shook it off as best as he could and dived into a small cannoli then into a small slice of Battenberg cake. They fell into easy conversation and caught up with each other, asking about how Kiki’s masters degree in psychology was going and how Mia and Alex were coping with their split time between London, Berlin and Madrid. David even asked Sam for her opinion on the costumes that were being used in his film.
A couple hours later of stuffing small pastries and cakes into their mouths, Hanna pulled out, yet again, a neatly folded pink sticky note, David smiled knowing that it’d something from Matteo telling him to do who knows what next. He took the sticky note from Hanna and gently opened it, focusing on the erratic writing of his boyfriend. ‘Go home and get changed (check the bed) then meet Sara at the cinema you like x’
The girls walked him home, they each gave him a hug and a kiss as they reached the door of the flat. He flopped down on the sofa, taking a breather, tiredness creeping in from a long day, but he was still excited that there was even more to come. David made his way to the bed to find a light blue button down and slim fitting beige trousers and a pair of white trainers on the floor next to the bed. A pink sticky note laid on top. ‘Send me a pic x’ David chuckled, got changed and took a picture in the full length mirror he made Matteo get.
What do you think? ;)
Gremlin boy ❤️
He grabbed his bike and headed down to the outdoor cinema on the other side of the city. David spotted Sara almost immediately smiling widely, next to her was Leonie and his beloved sister Laura. He parked his bike and gave each of them a long hug. Laura gave him the longest hug with a whisper.
“Long time, no see little bro. You need come round more I miss you”
“Sorry, this film is taking over my life, I’ll visit when I can”
“Anyway, what are we watching?” David asked as Leonie shoves a large tub of popcorn in his hands.
“Well, we thought you’d like to see Only Lovers Left Alive” Leonie smiled.
The four of them walked to the reclaimed theatre seats at the back of the space that was adorned with lots of fairy lights and cute but retro decorations. The fairly lights dimmed as the film started and a light wind floated over them as the opening scene was projected.
Once the film had finished they left and waited for David to get to his bike, before Laura pulled him into a hug and gave him a torch and a pink sticky note. The torch confused him as it was late and he didn’t know where he was going that needed the torch.
But upon seeing Matteo’s sloppy handwriting and little drawing of what must be Matteo in a snorkel mask, his mind immediately cast back to all them years ago, when they broke into the abandoned pool. ‘Come find me. I’m under water x’ He hugged Sara, Leonie and Laura once more and thanked them for a good night and set off on his way to the abandoned pool.
In the few years it has been since he had been there, it felt like nothing had changed, apart from a few more walls with peeling paint and the floors had gotten a little dustier. But other than that it hadn’t changed. However as soon as David entered through the window he noticed little candles (electric candles, don’t worry) lining the hallway up to the staircase. A smile started to form as he flicked his torch on and headed towards the pool.
As he approached the door, he could hear soft guitar music and could smell something other than the musty damp of the decaying building. He opened the door to the sight of a smartly dressed Matteo standing close to a table for two with a red and white checkered tablecloth and two large candles on top. And off to the side was Jonas sat on a stool quietly playing away on his guitar.
Fairy lights twirled around the lane dividers above them and small candles lined the pool in the dark room, giving it a sense of magic. It was an understatement to say David was impressed, he was enamored, enchanted and captivated by how little things made this place that held precious memories, even more wonderful.
“Hi” Matteo squeaked out as David approached him with the widest smile.
“Always” Davd replied embracing Matteo into a bone crushing hug then a quick peck to his lips.
Smile still plastered to his face. “Have a good day?” Matteo winked.
“The best, thank you Jonas” David spoke in Jonas’ general direction, to keep most of his focus on Matteo.
Jonas smiled and made a quiet ‘hmm’ to show that he’d heard.
“I hope you’re hungry, i’ve made a classic”
“Pasta á la Luigi? Perchance?”
“Correct!” Matteo exclaimed. “And I made Soufflè for dessert”
Matteo guided David to the table and pulled out his chair for him and offered some Cabernet Sauvignon.
“Oh you do spoil me, love”
“You deserve to be spoilt, what did you think today was about?”
“So you set everyone up to feed me and entertain me?”
“I mean, I came up with the basic outline of the day and everyone just made their part by themselves. Also I paid for it all, so I dread to see the account” Matteo chuckled out. Placing a steaming bowl of Pasta á la Luigi in front of him.
David laughed a little “Thank you, it’s been a wonderful day”
They chatted aimlessly as they ate their food, smiling and making faces at each other, laughing at little, pointless things and just enjoying being in each others company without feeling the pressure of work hanging over them. They finished the pasta, then Matteo brought out two small, slightly deflated Soufflès and refilled their wine glasses. Making sure to leave some leftovers for Jonas to take home as a small thank you for his music.
“So, what’s next? Shouldn’t you have a pink sticky note telling me what’s next?” David teased.
“Next, I thought we could dance” Matteo offered taking Davids hand and tugging him away from the table.
Matteo placed a hand on Davids waist and held his other hand up for him to take. David rest his head lightly on Matteo’s shoulder embracing his smell and the motion of light rocking.
It was at that moment Jonas started to sing softly along with his guitar.
Here at the party I came to alone
Ramblers are ramblin you stared at your phone
I’ll stick around if you stick around too
I wanna know why you hide in your hair
Where do you go when you glide down the stairs?
I’ll stick around if you stick around too
You and I break out just a matter of time
There’s a reason we don’t live forever
Reason we don’t live forever
You and I, you and I
You and I, you and I
David closed his eyes still swaying in Matteo’s arms, he lifted his head and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek as Matteo started to speak, David could see the nerves in his eyes.
“I’ve thought about what to say here for a very long time, and I've never gotten it right. Because there’s so much I wanna say to you but I can’t form the right sentences. All I know for certain is that I love you, so fucking much. The first time I saw you in that corridor, I said to myself ``that boy is gonna make me fall and I’m never gonna climb back up’’ and I was right, I never wanted to climb back up. You’re my home David, you’re my heart and my soul and I don’t believe that will ever change. You’ve made my life better in every possible way, you’ve made me better in every way”
David stood speechless, tears welling in his eyes as Matteo pulled a box out of his back pocket and feel onto one knee.
“David, I love you, will you marry me?”
His breath hitched in his throat as thoughts kept swirling around his head. Overwhelmed by the situation but excited. He never thought something like this would happen, especially after spending so many years alone before Matteo. He believed he could never have this, that being alone was his only option.
But Matteo had shown him so many beautiful, wonderful moments that he never thought he’d experience. As well as Matteo’s undying support throughout film school and his surgery and all the times he waits for him to come after a long day of filming with freshly made food and a glass of wine always set at the table ready and waiting.
The little moments when he wakes up before Matteo just spending a few minutes watching him breathe as he shuffles closer to David pulling him closer with a small smile and a happy sigh. Or when Matteo sprawls out sometimes when he’s asleep and David has to fight to stay in bed without waking him up. Or when Matteo does something so uncharacteristically romantic, like the one time he booked a surprise weekend away to Italy to show him the sites of his childhood holidays and to bask in the warmth of the sun with authentic pizza and gelato.
It took David a few seconds to realise that he was leaving Matteo hanging and the worried look on his face brought him back to reality.
‘Yes!’ he said almost too quietly as a tear fell down his face and a smile broke out.
Matteo’s face flashed through so many emotions so quickly that David couldn’t recognise them all, but he finally settled on a huge smile as he blinked back tears. David pulled him from the floor into a bone-crushing hug, giggling from happiness, or the wine. They pulled apart smiling and squealing quietly before attempting to kiss one another but failing as they were smiling too much. He was still giggling as Matteo pulled his hand to put the ring on his finger.
“I love you”
“I love you too” After a few more minutes of hugging and giggling, David asked, trying to calm down, but failing miserably.
“So, when do you wanna get married?”
“I don’t mind, we have all the time in the world”