A bit ago, my neighbor and newest commenting reader requested that I tell parts 1, 3, 4, and 5 of our love story (having read part 2 here.) I figured, why not?
So here, in a similar format as was used in parts one, two, and three, is part four:
-Charlotte and Eric continue dating. They see or talk to each other, pretty much every day now, and it is wonderful. Charlotte is (happily) surprised to find herself giddy, and silly, and froofy, and a bunch of other things that she had found mildly (and sometimes not so mildly) annoying when demonstrated by other couples in her acquaintance. She had thought that she had outgrown that kind of thing, that she had come to an age where when she did finally find true love it would be a more sensible, grounded, mature kind of thing. Not so.
-One evening, they discuss the possibility of getting married, in a more specific do-you-think -we-should-get-married-to-each-other-kind-of-way. After some discussion, they agree that neither of them is ready to answer that question definitively yet, but that they are both ready to give it some real thought and prayer. A few days later, Charlotte remarks thoughtfully to Eric that she thinks she could have a really great life with him. Eric agrees.*
-Thanksgiving week comes. Charlotte goes on vacation to Paris with her friend Tayneshia, having purchased tickets many months previously. It's a fabulous trip, and Charlotte enjoys herself thoroughly. However, she finds herself thinking of Eric all the time. Everything reminds her of Eric. It's not that she's unhappy per se, on the contrary, she's having a great time. It's just that something seems to be missing.
|Charlotte and her yellow umbrella live it up in Paris.|
-One day, Charlotte and Tayneshia split up to check out the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, each at their own pace. As Charlotte roams the art museums, she is reminded again and again of her artistic man Eric, and really starts to miss him. She also discovers a love for an artist that she has never before heard of (not having had a single art history or art appreciation class in her life), a French impressionist named Camille Pissarro. (This little fact will factor in quite significantly in Part 5 of our story--so keep it in mind, will ya?).
|Kuhhirtin by Camille Pissarro, image courtesy of wikimedia commons|
-Finally, she can stand it no more, and Charlotte finds an internet cafe so that she can write Eric the sappiest love note ever created. The note is so sappy and cheesy and over the top that it absolutely positively cannot be posted here, and should really probably be deleted, but 2012 Charlotte (who has saved pretty much every scrap of electronic communication that she and Eric shared in those days), while realizing that it isn't fit for public consumption, is not ready to get rid of it yet, and probably never will be. Anyway, Charlotte sends Eric an "I miss you and love you note", which Eric receives with joy.
-Charlotte and Tayneshia return home. Eric meets them at the airport and drives them back to good old Cache Valley.
-A few days later, on November 30, 2006; Eric and Charlotte are together as usual. It is evening, and Eric is preparing to head home for the night. As he does so, he somewhat nervously asks Charlotte if she has been thinking about marriage like they had decided that they would do. Charlotte replies that she has indeed been thinking about it. Eric then asks Charlotte what she's been thinking, to which Charlotte replies, "I think we should do it." Eric then replies back, "So do I."
-Charlotte and Eric pause a bit at this, neither one quite knowing what to say next. Eventually Charlotte says, "So, what do we do now?" Eric, not so nervous anymore says, "Well, I think we need to go get a ring, don't you?"
-Charlotte keeps her cool on the outside, but on the inside she's doing the happy dance, thinking, "We're engaged! I'm going to marry this man! Yippee! Yippee! I can't believe it! Yippee! Is this really happening?? Yippee!"
-Charlotte and Eric determine that they will go look at engagement rings the following Saturday. And that is precisely what they do.
*I think about that conversation all the time. Man, were we ever right.