I admit it. I enjoyed looking at and trying on the Tiffany rings. I’m a girl. I couldn’t help it. Knowing that the whole store was completely out of Mario’s price range, I felt somewhat safe. There was no way that I was walking out the door with anything.
I also knew that I could delay no longer. It was time to talk about what had happened Thursday night. First Allen. Now this. What a great birthday companion I was turning out to be.
Once we were back at the hotel, I seized the first opportunity. Trying to be careful about my wording so that I was only implying confusion about what EXACTLY Mario had asked me instead of seeming like I was trying to back out of something, I opened up this delicate conversation. Mario, obviously, was a little taken aback. How had I let the conversation close without being sure of what had been said?
He had me on that one. I still couldn’t believe it myself. The more I tried to explain myself, the more incredulous Mario became. Here he was, secure in the promise that he thought we had made to each other that night. And then I pull the rug out from under him, saying that I was unsure.
Tanti auguri a te. (Happy birthday to you.)
For the record, it hadn’t been a proposal. Not exactly. But it had been a commitment. Mario had wanted me to know that he was taking this seriously. That his feelings were deepening. That despite all the ups and downs of our whole relationship, his asppettative were still positive. He had marriage on the brain and wanted to make sure that I was with him.
I can still remember that certainty that radiated from his eyes. Sure, he wasn’t going to buy me a ring today. It was very possible that no extremely serious commitment would be made while he was in the States. But he knew that we had something special. And despite all my protestations that everything was happening to fast, he just smiled. Like he knew a secret. A secret that he would patiently wait for me to fully discover.