**Hope you aren’t sick of my boys yet! 😀 Joshua and Will are here one more time, to tell you what happened when they reached a turning point in their relationship, and there was a surprise…in the grocery store. Thanks for reading along. Enjoy!**
Sadie Mae was seven pounds, ten ounces of perfect angel. As I watched Joshua hold his brand new niece, my heart just melted at the sight. He was so big and she was so tiny, trustingly nestled up against his chest. I knew how safe I felt why I laid against him like that. I could imagine how protected Sadie felt in those big, strong arms.
Joshua’s gaze finally strayed away from the infant he held and found mine. And there it was all over his face. He wanted one of those for his own. I tried to smile, and I was pretty sure I succeeded. But inside, I was panicking. I never thought of having children of my own, and though we’d never discussed it, it was clear that Joshua did. Could I deal with a kid? Was it a deal breaker if I couldn’t? Would I lose Joshua if I said I didn’t want children? Did I actually feel that way? I wasn’t sure. About any of it.
My thoughts were racing, my brain churning a mile a minute, and I actually jumped when Joshua touched my arm and told me it was time to go. I barely paid attention as we said our goodbyes and left the house. I was even more lost in a daze when Joshua pulled the car away from the curb. Christ. How was it that in more than two years of dating, the topic of children had never come up?
I startled and jerked when Joshua stopped the car, and I looked around in surprise when I realized we were in the parking lot of the grocery store. Joshua was already out of the car and moving before I realized what was going on, and I scrambled to catch up.
“What are we doing here?”
Joshua gave me a sidelong glance. “I told you I wanted to make a couple of casseroles so Sarah and Lucas didn’t have to worry about food.”
I shook my head. “Right, right.” If he’d said it, I hadn’t been paying attention. But there was no need for him to know that. When he selected a cart and turned it toward the first aisle, he gave me another speculative look.
“Will?” Joshua bumped me with his shoulder. “You all right?”
“Yeah, sure,” I responded quickly. We both winced as my voice came out high and squeaky. I cleared my throat. “Just, you know, thinking. About Sadie.”
Joshua’s smile went soft and sweet. “She’s perfect, isn’t she?” His tone was filled with awe.
“Yeah, she is,” I agreed. And then I was relieved when he sent me over a couple of aisles to pick up some soup. I wandered in that direction, nearly running into an end-cap display, and having to apologize to an octogenarian in a motorized scooter type shopping cart. She glared at me and gave me the finger. I couldn’t even be amused because I was so lost in thought. This was a pivotal moment in our relationship. How was the world not standing still?
When I caught up with Joshua again, he gave me a critical look. Then he slid the cart to the side and took my shoulders in his hands.
“Will, what’s going?
“What do you mean?” I tried for innocent and failed miserably.
His eyes narrowed as he studied me. “I asked you to get two cans of cream of mushroom soup.”
“Uh huh,” I agreed, nodding like a bobble head.
Joshua was silent for a minute as he pursed his lips. “This is chicken noodle.”
“Shit,” I whispered, my cheeks heating.
“Yeah.” Joshua pulled me a little closer so I had no choice but to look into his eyes. “Will, baby, talk to me.”
“Do you want kids?” I blurted.
For a long moment, Joshua just blinked at me and said nothing. My heart was rioting in my chest, and I could barely breathe while I waited. Finally, he shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so. I mean, it’d be nice. To have a little you or a little me running around. If that something we decide to do, down the road. After we’ve talked about it a lot.” The last was said pointedly, and I did not miss his intent.
But somehow, that made everything clear in my head. He wanted me forever, kids or not, and I no longer knew what we were waiting for. We’d lived together for almost a year. Our lives were fully entwined. I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it. When I tried, I just couldn’t get the picture to form. I took a deep breath, and dropped to my knee.
His eyes widened in surprise. “Will!” he hissed.
“Marry me,” I said sincerely, not detered by his tone or our location. I knew, to the depths of my soul, that this was the perfect moment. We’d reached a turning point in our relationship, and as far as I could see, there was only one way to go. “I love you. More than anything. Marry me.”
Joshua’s blush was sweet. “Yes, of course, you idiot. I can’t believe you just proposed to me in a grocery store.”
“I’m just full of surprises,” I said cheekily. I stood up fast, and hugged him tight, loving the way I fit in his arms. “I have the rings at home already.”
“Christ,” he said with a chuckle. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.”
“You’re going to marry me,” I said with confidence.
“Yes. Yes I am.”
And I knew, without a doubt, that we would live happily ever after.