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It was windy, about to rain, but still we walked towards the beach off Montrose Avenue, on the North end of this big city. The lake was restless, whitecapping toward the shore as we came to the top of the sandbar. We, me and the man who just might be swiftly stealing my heart, thought it would be a good day to sit on a blanket at the beach. It was not, in fact, a good day to sit on the beach, blanket or otherwise.

Nate asked Jamie Sarah Rollins to marry him at this beach. Just like that, too. Jamie Sarah Rollins, will you marry me? They had history tied to this beach and as they walked, Nate told Jamie of all the times he’d come here. Through all the starting and ending of the “us” in them, Nate crying out to a God he hoped was listening about a woman he loved dearly. Montrose was here for all of that. Then after history was made, they had a picnic here on an early summer day and penciled in the day when they would start their lives together in the one-flesh sort of way.

Jamie is a friend of mine. A new friend, the kind to try and keep around, even if only for soy cafe mistos every other Tuesday. Even to teach her how to be a pen pal across thousand-mile gaps because she says she’s no good at writing letters. I don’t know what makes me so sure of this, but I know.

Nate is her boy-fr―. Fiancé, Nate is her fiancé. He knows a girl I know. He lives with a guy I like. He washes windows, even when it rains. He washed Jamie’s feet and prayed over the two of them on that beach while she cried about spending her life with him and I thought all of that was pretty special, which is to Nate’s credit.

And all of this happened on a beach in a big city. The wind wasn’t blowing out of control; the waves were calm and expectant, waiting for Nate; the runners paused their running, the bikers took a different route. All so Nate could crouch down on one knee and look up at the woman who will, in seventy-three days, be his wife and watch her say yes.

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