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Finding Kat Edison

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Tuesday night Kat stood barefoot in front of her dresser holding the open emerald green velvet hinged ring box or, as the jewelry store clerk referred to it, marriage box. She reached in and pinched the sparkly diamond and gemstones, pulling the item out and carefully laying it on her left palm, admiring its beauty up close. She recalled telling Jane and Sutton, ‘The ring is one of a kind, just like Adena, the love of my life and soon wife to be,’ and it gave her goosebumps.

Frozen in place for a few minutes, Kat contemplated the promise and commitment she was about to make, to spend the rest of her life with this one person. The thought both terrified and excited her, but she had never been more sure of a decision in her entire life. She looked up and across the room at the small digital clock on her nightstand. It was almost 8:30 and she needed to change out of her work clothes and hop into the shower, as Adena promised to call her at nine, before going to bed. So, placing the ring back within the cushions of the velvet marriage box, she hid it in the bottom of her underwear drawer, a place she knew was safe from being discovered prematurely by her lover, and stripped naked.

As hot water came in contact with delicate skin, dripping down and pooling around her feet, Kat closed her eyes and reminisced about her relationship with the Persian artist, from that faithful first time she walked into that photo studio on Greeley Avenue, to their first kiss in front of Adena’s building, to their memorable three-week trip through Peru, to heartache in Paris, to their not too recent love revival at Scarlet. It all had been an emotional rollercoaster of feelings that Kat had never experienced. Romantic love, she found, was unconditional, selfless, peaceful, needy, fiery, yet terrifying and hard work. And, although there were some very disappointing bumps along the road, Kat would never trade meeting and falling in love with Adena for anything in the world.

She turned off the water faucet with a twist and squeak from the metal pipes, and reached for her fluffy burgundy bath towel, encircling her damp body and exiting the stall onto the black memory foam bathmat Adena had recently purchased. There, in front of the steamed vanity mirror, Kat stood breaking down and crying. But these were not tears of sadness this go around, but rather tears of happiness. Happy tears brought on by the intensity of the emotions at hand, of her fervent love for Adena. “Oh god, Kat. You blubbering, sentimental fool. Good thing she’s not here to witness this, huh?” Kat muttered to herself as she wiped the condensation off the mirror, with a hand towel, and peered at her reflection in thought. If three years ago someone would have told her she’d be falling head-over-heels in love, let alone with another woman, she would have hyperventilated from the hysterical laughter caused by the suggestion.

- - - - -
Wednesday, Adena was back at Scarlet in the early afternoon. She rolled her suitcase out of the elevator and Kat met her in the 35th floor lobby holding a hot green tea and heart shaped balloon she got her. “Hey beautiful, welcome back!” The girls kissed quickly and moved into the Scarlet studio together.

“These are lovely, Kat. How did you know I was craving tea? Thank you, my love!” Adena took a sip of the warm liquid, then laid her handbag and cup down, tying the balloon to her desk lamp. Kat pushed her rolling bag by the wall behind her desk. “Oh Kat, I’m feeling very drained. But I have to hit the ground running on editing these photos to prepare for the next dot-com posting.”

“I missed you so much, babe.” Kat embraced the photographer, giving her a proper kiss this time. “Wow, your hands are so cold. I can feel them through my blouse,” she noted, kissing Adena’s forehead a couple of times. “So glad you’re back safe. I’m picking up Chinese on the way home and will draw you a warm bath after dinner. You can then go to bed early and catch up on sleep, okey-dokee?”

“Mmmm, that sounds great. Yes, I’m pretty tired. We worked two, 12 hour days straight and I’m beat.”

- - - - -
The remainder of the work week was busy, both girls swamped by projects and deadlines. The engagement ring in Kat’s underwear drawer was prevalent in her mind. But unfortunately, by Friday Adena was very sick with a cold she caught in Syracuse from one of the models. Kat had to postpone her plans of proposing on the weekend until Adena felt better.

“Kat, I feel so lousy. My head is pounding and I have cold sweats. One of the models was really ripe with a head cold.” Adena grabbed a sweater she kept on her office chair and threw it on. “Oh...I’m sorry, Joon. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to stay at my place alone to sleep all weekend.” Adena reached out and rubbed Kat’s forearm softly. “Plus, I don’t want you to also catch this.”

“Okay Deena, but it might already be incubating inside me, since we kissed a lot before we knew you were Typhoid Mary.” Kat joked as Adena coughed. “Regardless, I’ll stop by your place with orange juice and will brew you hot tea.” Kat felt Adena’s forehead with the back of her hand. “Oh gosh, you may also have a low-grade fever because you sure are clammy and warm. I’ll take your temperature when we get you home.”

Kat checked in on Adena all weekend long, bringing her food and doing her laundry. By Monday, Adena was feeling a bit better, still a bit pale but able to stand without feeling faint or breaking out into a sweat. But the next day, when Adena felt well enough to return to Scarlet, Kat came down with the same cold and went back to her loft sick, after her 2 p.m. staff meeting. She spent the rest of the workweek in bed, telling Adena over the phone, “I feel like a semi-truck ran me over...is this the end?”

Her wonderful girlfriend came by later that evening, with her humidifier, tissues, and homemade chicken soup. Kat was a pitiful sight and Adena made sure she also hydrated enough. “Here baby, you have to drink lots of fluids.” Adena filled two glasses full and placed them next to Kat, on her nightstand. “Okay, one has plain water and the other one is apple juice. I’ve got bendy straws in them, so no excuses...okay? I want you to finish them both.” Kat nodded her head in her pillow as Adena waved her finger at her. “At least your fever finally broke. Now, stick out your tongue and let me see your throat.”

“Aaaaah!”

Adena smirked, “That’s a pretty pink and raw looking throat. I’m going to get you salt water to gargle, too. Maybe some vapor rub on the bottom of your feet and chest? Maman swears by vaporub as a remedy for all ailments.”

“Okay doctor....how do you say doctor in Farsi,” Kat asked playing with Adena’s tassels on the sleeves of her sweater.

“Doktor,” Adena replied and smoothed Kat’s soft curls behind her ear.”

Kat looked up and gave Adena a small smile. “Well then...merci doktor Ade’h.”

“Khahesh mikonam, Kat.” Adena smiled and kissed the crown of Kat’s head. “Now, I’m going to go prepare that gargling water for you.”

Kat let her arm go limp and grunted into her bed.

- - - - -
Another week passed before Kat returned to work. “Hey girl, feeling better? You’re not as pale anymore,” Sage pointed out as Kat walked back into Scarlet holding a Kleenex box and plastic container with homemade vegetable soup.

“Yeah, a lot better. This thing hit both Adena and me so hard. I hadn’t been this sick in like five years.” Kat covered her mouth with her sleeve and coughed.

“Okay...well...on that note, I’m off to use hand sanitizer and stay away from you both.” The feisty coworker took a few steps backwards and turned around and left.

“Thanks Sage, you’re always so frickin’ understanding and supportive.”

Sage laughed and waived Kat off, as Kat entered her office for the first time in a week of missing work.

After her 10 a.m. staff meeting Jane stopped by her desk to see how she was doing. “Hey babe, you feeling better? Your nose is still very red and you look tired.”

“Gee, thanks.” Kat took her glasses off and rubbed her eyes with the cuff of her shirt sleeves, sighing. “I’m hanging in there. My goal is to just survive today so I can go home and face-plant into my bed.”

“I saw Adena earlier and she looks much better than you. Speaking of which...” Jane turned her head and looked behind her, standing and closing Kat’s office door, before returning to the guest chair in front of the desk. “So....guess you haven’t been able to give her the big ring?”

“God no, we’ve both been too sick. I want it all to be memorable and close to perfect, so I’m waiting to feel 100%. Hopefully next week.” Kat started coughing again and bent down to dig through her purse for a lozenge.

“Well, you’re lucky Jacqueline is on vacation and you have staff now to run your department while you’re sick. Just take it easy and feel better....Hey, want me to pick you up some lunch when I go out?”

“No thanks, girl. I have Adena’s yummy homemade soup for later. My appetite’s finally coming back.”

Jane smirked and stood up to leave, “I’m so happy Adena is looking after you, now. You deserve the best, sweetie...Again, goals!” Jane opened the door and walked out, waving at Kat, “See you later.”

- - - - -
In all, Kat had the engagement ring hidden in the bottom of her underwear drawer for three weeks before both she and Adena were completely over their illnesses and felt normal. The following week, a healthy Kat finally made reservations at a very fancy Persian restaurant in Lower Manhattan, for that Saturday night. She knew the violinist was at the riverfront park until 9 PM on Saturdays, so she made the dinner reservations for 6:30. Her plan was to say she needed to go back to her loft to change into something nicer, getting the ring and returning later for Adena. They’d go eat, then head over to the park, strolling around until they came upon the musician. Once the man finished playing at nine, Kat hoped to take Adena closer to the water and propose.

On Thursday night Kat offered to cook at her place for a change of pace. After dinner dishes and pots were washed and stored away, she went to sit next to Adena on the couch and tell her about their Saturday night date. Adena had just finished FaceTiming her mother on her tablet and was searching the U.S. Immigration website on her computer.

“So babe, I made 6:30 dinner reservations at ‘The Persian Princess’ for Saturday night. I want to go on a date.”

“Um...that sounds lovely. So, what’s the occasion?” Adena said, closing her laptop and twisting to face Kat.

“Can’t I just decide I want to take my beautiful girl to dinner some place special?”

“Yes, I guess...but, do I know this girl?” Adena teased with her forehead puckered, then grinned and softly rubbed Kat’s cheek with her hand.

Kat quickly turned her head into Adena’s palm and kissed it. “You might know her. She’s this very bold and sexy Muslim photographer...” Kat winked, “...that I can’t keep my hands off of.” She pulled on Adena’s t-shirt bottom and let go. “But seriously, I thought we’d dress up fancy for the dinner then take a stroll through the riverfront park.”

“Oooh, and maybe we can go see our violinist, Kat. We haven’t stopped by in so long and we love his music.” Adena said all giddy.

Kat was amused and laughed. “Yes, yes, what a great idea. Then it’s a date?”

“It’s a date!” Adena pinched both Kat’s cheeks and returned to her laptop, unbeknownst of Kat’s plan and how both their lives were about to change.

- - - - -
Friday morning Kat awoke grinning and had a spring in her step all day long at work. But on Saturday, it was a different story. Waking up unexpectedly early and feeling very anxious, Kat thought she was going to hyperventilate. Her eyes popped open and she turned over towards Adena to watch her sleep. Her girlfriend was peaceful, seemed like had no cares in the world, and unaware of what was happening. Kat, on the other hand, could hear her own heartbeat pounding in her ears and was harboring a constant fluttery feeling in her stomach. She tried to relax by taking a couple of slow deep breaths in and out, while stretching her hand behind her for her cellphone. Although it was early, she really needed to reach out for some moral support from her friends. So she messaged the group chat hoping someone was awake to console her.

OT3 (Kat):
Hey guys, you up?

. . .

Jane:
Yes @ gym
Tony’s kicking my ass!
What up?

Kat:
Tonight is proposal night.
Really nervous!

Jane:
You got this babe!
Just don’t forget ring & speech!

Jane:
Sutton???!!!

Kat:
I think Sutton’s still sleeping
It’s only 7:20

Jane:
Yeah probs
Why u up so early on Sat?

Kat:
Nervous wreck - can’t sleep
Feels like there’s a butterfly garden fluttering in my belly!

Jane:
Where’s your woman now?

Kat:
She’s next to me asleep.
So beautiful when she sleeps...

Jane:
It’ll be great, babe
Butterflies are good.
She’s going to say YES!
OMG KAT, she’s going to say YES!!!

Kat:
What if I puke?

Jane:
You won’t.
Just take deep breaths and have a glass of wine with dinner.

Kat:
Don’t know if I’ll be able to eat.
Too many butterflies.

Jane:
Butterflies mean you are very excited.
I wish I could be a fly on the wall!

Kat:
Oh no she’s stirring!
I better go.
Wanna make her breakfast in bed.

Jane:
GOALS...goals...u guys are goals!

Kat:
Okay, bye :3
Luv u

Jane:
Love u 2!
Oh, don’t forget game night Sunday
You and your fiancée...Wow!!!
You promised you’d both come tomorrow.
Don’t break your promise.

Kat:
Yes, we’ll be there
unless she says NO...
...then find me jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge?

Jane:
Kat, NOT funny. :(
She’s gonna say YES!
You got this kid.

Kat:
*sigh*
Ok bye

Kat locked her phone and placed it back on the nightstand. She laid on her back looking up at the ceiling, trying to picture the night’s upcoming scenario, how she wanted it all to turn out. She did a mental walkthrough a couple more times and took a few more deep breaths. She had her speech typed out and printed on a piece of paper she hid deep in her purse, just in case she needed to see it in the restaurant’s bathroom one more time. She’d get the ring from her loft and pick up a bunch of yellow tulips to give Adena when she returned to pick her up.

A little whimper escaped a sleeping Adena, and Kat rolled over on her side once more to face her. The early morning light filtered in making Adena look angelic and breathtakingly beautiful, even with her hair all in a tangle. Kat didn’t care if she snored, or didn’t eat bread crust, or was terribly afraid of spiders. She was the love of her life, the person who completed and understood her, who loved her unconditionally back. Kat smiled, admiring the curves of her face, her long luscious eyelashes, and her slightly chapped full lips. She took her index finger and lightly traced down her nose, across her lips, to her dimpled chin. Adena shifted a bit and opened her eyes, turning her head to face Kat.

In a raspy, breathy voice, Adena said, “Hey.”

“Hey babe.” Kat whispered back.

Adena smiled and turned over towards her bedmate, wrapping her leg around Kat’s. Both girls gazed intimately at each other in silence.

“Mmmm, what’s up, aziz-am? Why so serious?”

“Just thinking how lucky I am today. How before I met you I was such a different person.”

Adena studied Kat’s face as she spoke, caressing Kat’s hip with her finger tips.

Kat continued, “Do you believe in fate, Adena? Because I do now.”

Adena moistened her lips with her tongue before speaking. “Well, I believe a higher being has plans for all of us here on earth. And, we as humans decide which particular path we take in that plan. We meet people and have experiences along the way based on the choices we make, but the events are completely out of our control. So, I guess that could be fate.”

“What about soulmates, do you believe in soulmates?”

Adena took her time answering Kat’s next question. Turning her head and gazing up to the ceiling for a moment, then back towards Kat. “Yes. There are people you can't shake free from, no matter how hard you tried. It’s a connection so powerful, physically and emotionally, that the fire doesn’t get extinguished. So yes, I do believe in soulmates.”

Kat nodded in agreement. “Yeah, me too. A kindred spirit. Someone that just gets you.” Kat tucked some of Adena’s hair behind her ear then pulled her body closer by her hips, slowly peppering her face with kisses. “I love you so much.”

“I love you, too,” Adena responded with her eyes closed, reveling in the feeling and moment.

Suddenly Kat’s stomach growled loudly and both girls giggled. Adena rubbed Kat’s middle and said, “I think your tummy needs some breakfast. I’m going to make us both something to eat, okay?” And, pressing noses together, added, “I like having these deep conversations in bed. Even if some of them scare me a bit.”

“They scare me a bit too, Deena. But I’ve always loved that I can be totally open with you, you never judge me.” Kat felt too nervous to cook breakfast so she let Adena take over.

“I love that about you, too.” Adena kissed Kat’s nose and got up, picking up her silk robe from the floor and slipping it on, headed towards the kitchen.

- - - - -
Kat remained alert in bed while pans and cabinets banged in the kitchen. When Kat heard Adena turn off the gas stove, she threw the covers off and approached her, kissing her cheek and dropping off her phone on the counter. “Yum, those scrambled eggs and peppers look good. I’ll be right back, gotta pee and wash up first.” Kat strolled off, shutting the door and using the bathroom, washing her face and popping in her contacts. She returned back to the kitchen and sat on a stool, “Gosh, I’m famished,” reaching for her phone and noticing she had new text messages.

Sutton:
Sorry I’m late to this party!
Why you guys up so early? Girl needs her beauty sleep!
Don’t fret Kat, you got this babe
Sutton:
Jane, did I leave my pink halter top there?
Check ur closet and let me know
Kat u bettr text us later!!!

“Everything okay?” Adena asked, dishing out breakfast on plates and meeting Kat’s gaze when she lifted her eyes off her phone’s screen.

“Oh yeah, everything’s great. Uh...just Angie with a work reminder.” Kat remained expressionless and purposely looked back down, away from Adena’s deep stare, then locked her phone. “Mmmm, that smells goods! Thank you, baby. I’ll make breakfast next time,” she said, hoping to deflect the attention away from her to the food, praying Adena hadn’t looked at her phone screen when she was in the bathroom.

But Adena asked a follow up question, leading Kat to believe she had seen the message. “Is everything good at work and with your family?”

“Everything’s great. Just same old, same old. No worries, hun.” Kat extended her left hand across the island counter and held Adena’s free hand while they ate.

“Hmm,” Adena responded unamused.

Kat knew she was a terrible lier, especially when it involved her girlfriend, so she changed the subject again. “Hey...I’m going to head home after two o’clock to go dress up for you. I don’t want to just wear torn jeans to dinner -” Kat chuckled, “- and you can dress up too and surprise me with your outfit...yes? I’ll swing back by at at 5:45 and pick you up. Sound okay?”

Adena played with her fork on her plate. “Yeah, of course is good.” Kat could hear hesitation in her voice, meaning she could tell something was up. But Kat quickly stood and scurried over to the kitchen sink to do the empty dishes.

- - - - -
At 3 o’clock, Kat rushed from Adena’s and headed to her Chelsea loft to get ready. She had preselected her dinner ensemble three weeks ago with the help of Sutton and Jane, so that part would be quick and easy. A freshly showered Kat stood upstairs in front of her closet’s tall mirror, admiring her outfit choice and let out a slow breath. “Welp, here we go Kat.” She ran down the stairs and grabbed the velvet marriage box out of her drawer and placed it deep in her handbag, then ordered a ride to Brooklyn.

On her way back to Adena’s place, she asked the Uber driver to make two pit stops. The first, at her favorite flower shop where she picked up a bunch of yellow tulips. And, the second at the ‘French Patisserie’ in SoHo for a box of chocolate eclairs. Arriving at Adena’s building Kat felt very anxious, with sweaty palms and a slight shortness of breath. She knocked on the apartment door and inhaled deeply as she waited, quickly exhaling and gaining her composure when Adena opened up. The moment she saw her lover’s smile, Kat knew there was no question she was making the right decision to propose later tonight. “You look gorg.”

“Hi baby!... so do you. Oh, you got me tulips? They’re lovely,” Adena said with a tilt of her head and kiss, taking the flower bunch in her hands.

“Lovely like you! And I bought eclairs for later tonight, if you’re in the mood.” Kat held up the white cardboard box. “Or, we can also save them for breakfast tomorrow.”

Adena turned around and headed towards the kitchen, with Kat close behind. “Why didn’t you use your key, silly?”

“Oh, because this is a date and I wanted it to feel like it.” Kat was fidgeting with her purse straps, hoping Adena wouldn’t see her hands shaking.

“Okay?” Adena looked up and cupped her chin, pulling her in for another kiss. “You’re so cute and romantic.” Kat put the eclairs in the fridge while Adena filled a glass vase with water for the flowers.

“Let’s go, I can’t wait for our date to begin.” Adena grabbed her purse and they headed outside, taking a cab to the restaurant.

- - - - -
The dinner at the restaurant was perfect and everything went without a hitch. Kat was actually able to calm down and enjoy the ambiance. There was candlelight, traditional music, and a tasty meal that made Adena think of her childhood.

“I love their food here, reminds me so much of Maman’s and my grandmother’s cooking. Makes me long for my time back home when we were children and didn’t have a care in the world.” Adena sighed, looking around the establishment.

“Yeah, I know what you mean. Adulthood is so...so overrated.” Kat smiled and rolled her eyes.

With plates cleared and check paid, Kat felt once more for the velvet box in the bottom of her purse. “Well, shall we head out and walk some of this off in the park?” Adena suggested, and both women stood, with Kat leading Adena by the hand outside.

Heading two blocks down the street, the lovers entered the park, meandering through the cobblestone lined path near the water’s edge. About 50 yards in, they came upon a white gazebo where a couple was passionately kissing on the bench.

Kat and Adena looked at each other and giggled. “Boy, looks like love is in the air tonight,” Kat whispered in Adena’s ear, lifting their intertwined hands and kissing the back of the smaller one.

“Yes, it is.” Adena gave Kat a seductive look back and kissed her hand in return.

Up ahead they could make out a small crowd of onlookers beyond the azalea bushes. A faint melodic tune carried through the night’s air, becoming louder as they reached the crowd.

“Oh baby, it’s our violinist just as we hoped,” Adena announced with glee.

“Yes your wish came true, Dee. Kat and Adena stopped to listen, arms holding each other by the waist. “I have deja vu from that summer night two years ago,” Kat whispered into Adena’s ear.”

“Yes...me too,” she answered with a gleam in her eyes.

Kat kept her sight on Adena. “I remember exactly how I felt at that moment, standing next to you but unable to hold you like tonight. I was envious of all the other couples around us who had their arms around their dates and significant others.”

Adena chuckled quietly and kissed Kat’s cheek. “I also wanted to touch you so badly. As I recall, I had to cross my arms to behave.”

Kat chuckled, “Really? So why didn’t you?”

“Because I was terrified of scaring you away. I didn’t want to lose a good thing...your new friendship. Although, as I’ve told you, my intentions were not all friendly.” Adena grinned when Kat turned to look into her dark eyes.

“Adena El-Amin, I want you to know that that night you made me into such a nervous wreck in this same park. My legs felt like spaghetti, and I wasn’t even drinking,” Kat quirked.

“Well, you’ve come a long way baby. Now you’re the one that makes my legs into pasta.”

Kat snickered and corrected, “You mean spaghetti, baby...es-paghetti,” emphasized with an Italian hand gesture.

- - - - -
Shortly after nine o’clock, the street musician concluded his performance. The crowd clapped and dispersed, and Kat proposed they continue their stroll along the river, until Adena stopped and peered out over the water to the city skyline. “Is a beautiful night. A little humid but the light breeze helps make it comfortable, no?”

Trying to regulated her breathing and with a garden of butterflies growing in her abdomen, Kat glanced at Adena with penetrating eyes, “Yes, it is very beautiful.” She felt this was the best time for the big moment to happen, so she wiped her clammy hands on her pleated skirt and took ahold of one of Adena’s hands.

Adena glanced at Kat and smiled shyly, rubbing her arm lovingly. “What are you thinking about, Joon? You seem very pensive tonight.”

Kat was glad she was hiding her jitters from Adena and cleared her throat to speak, “You know, when I was growing up my parents didn’t really watch too much television. But rather, they liked to listen to LP’s some nights, mostly after dinner, to unwind from a long day of work.” Kat smiled and raised a brow. “Dad called it his personal therapy. I guess after listening to so many clients with challenging issues, he needed an avenue to release his own stress.”

“Of course,” Adena nodded in agreement. Kat felt a bit dazed but was surprised she wasn’t fumbling any of her speech. “I remember my dad would play this one particular song from his childhood every night for my mother. He said that grandpa would always listen to it when he worked on his car and dad helped out by handing him tools. The chorus of the song goes, ‘Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breath and to love you’. As a kid, I thought the lyrics were dumb. Just think, this guy was saying he didn’t need food, sleep, nor anything else...just air and to love this person.”

“Um?” Adena looked at Kat then towards the water.

Kat inhaled deeply and exhaled, shuffling her feet and continued, “You know, two weeks before we went to the Hamptons there was a night I stayed until almost 11 o’clock at Scarlet, helping Sutton organize and steam dresses for Oliver’s Los Angeles trip.”

“Yes, I remember, Kat.”

“Well, that night I heard that song again, Adena.The janitor mopping the lobby floor had a radio on his cart and that song was playing. I immediately thought of my childhood. But as I rode home to you...I-I finally got it. I got what the artist meant.” As Kat’s heart raced, she pulled Adena closer by their joined hand. “When you have someone so very special in your life you are content just being alive and in love, everything else is minor.”

Adena turned and looked back at Kat, who had a very serious expression on her face. “That’s so lovely, Kat,” Adena said in a voice so low it was barely audible.

Kat remained quiet, reaching in her purse, switching to grasp Adena’s left hand with her now trembling hand. She held the small box up as she knelt down on one knee. Adena glanced down with her eyes wide and lips parted, speechless and stunned.

“Adena El-Amin, you are the air that I breath and the love of my life. You complete me in every way and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So, will you marry me?”

Adena gaped at her for a moment, then her eyes welled up with tears as she realized what Kat just said. “Oh Kat...yes...yes...I’d love to marry you!”

Kat stood back up and the two embraced tightly, neither wanting to let go. Kat knew Adena could now feel her racing pulse and shallowed breathing, as she could feel Adena’s heart pounding up against her chest.

Eventually, Adena loosened her hold and held Kat’s face with her hands, kissing her deeply. When their kiss broke, she pressed their foreheads together murmuring, “You are the air that I breath too, eshgham.”

Kat felt so moved and relieved, her eyes flooded with happy tears. It suddenly dawned on her that Adena hadn’t seen the engagement ring yet, and offered, “Oh hey, let me put the ring on you.” Kat opened up the hinged holder and placed the diamond ring on her fiancée’s finger.

Adena held her hand out in front of them both. “Oh wow, it is so brilliant and beautiful. I love it, Kat!”

Kat felt such warmth and joy, and replied, “I’m so happy you’re happy, Dee,” embracing her girl. “Hey, let’s just go home now and celebrate on the couch.”

“Yes love, let’s go home.” Adena reached for Kat’s face with both hands and pulled her in for one more kiss by the water. Kat took out her cellphone and snapped a selfie of them, with Adena holding up her ring.

As they started walking away, a young couple stopped them on the sidewalk. The young man explained how his girlfriend videotaped Kat on one knee proposing. “I hope that was alright, guys.” The girl then asked if it was okay to airdrop the brief video on their phones so they’d have the recorded memory. Kat and Adena were elated and thanked them. The video was a bit dark and didn’t have sound but it was good to have. The guy said, “Witnessing your engagement just made our own romantic night out complete.” The two couples said their goodbyes and walked away in different directions, Kat and Adena eager to take a cab home.

The ladies strolled back towards the entrance of the park where they came upon a large pond lined with boulders. Kat released Adena’s hand and ran up to the water’s edge and climbed up on the smallest boulder, yelling at the top of her lungs, “I love Adena El-Amin and she’s going to marry me!!!”

Adena covered her mouth and laughed at Kat’s antics, but soon hopped on top of the rock besides her silly fiancée. “Ayeeeee! Asheghetam Kat Edison!!!”

- - - - -
Once home, Kat watched as Adena couldn’t stop gawking at her ring. She had a sparkle in her eyes as she declared, “I love my ring, baby. I can’t stop looking at it,” and undid her hijab by the entry table.

Kat looked at their reflection in the console’s mirror and wrapped her arms around Adena from behind. “I’m so happy you love it. I knew it was going to be to your liking. We can get it resized at lunchtime next week, as the jeweler is close to Scarlet.”

“Adena responded with a nod and, “I can’t wait to show the ring off at work.”

“Uh-huh, everyone will be so jealous.” Then, with eyelids drooped Kat asked, “Hey, can we just wash up and go to bed? I feel extremely drained, like that time I ran in the Scarlet 5K.”

“Sure baby, you had a lot of excitement and stress today.” Adena turned in Kat’s arms and chuckled, pulling her forward by the hips. She pressed their lips together and gave Kat a gentle kiss. “Let’s get ready and snuggle under the covers.”

They both washed up and changed into cotton tanks and shorts, crawling under the cool sheets. As they held and kissed, Kat felt her eyelids getting heavy. The adrenaline rush was wearing off and she was crashing fast. She saw Adena take off her engagement ring and run her finger softly over the side of the ring, smiling as she read the engraving inside aloud, “My heart, my soulmate.”

“Asheghetam, Adena.”

“Asheghetam, Kat.”

Before drifting to sleep Kat turned and outstretched for her phone, remembering she needed to do one more thing tonight. She tapped out a quick text to Jane and Sutton, then posted on Instagram the selfie she took after proposing by the river. Both messages were captioned: #SheSaidYes.

Plugging her phone to the bedside charger and setting it to ‘Do Not Disturb’, Kat effortlessly drifted off to sleep in her fiancée’s loving arms.