He’s single father. A widower, to be exact. But that’s not the story here.
He waits tables for a living. And on his off-days, he works at another restaurant.
Sometimes, he works with his brother’s power-washing business for extra cash. He does handyman work, and installs home sound systems. He is a busy man.
He does it for his kids.
The money goes out the window as fast as it comes. And he’s away a lot.
His children are used to fending for themselves. They’re used to preparing their own suppers, watching television alone, and tucking themselves in.
But not since she started coming around.
Let me back up.
Nine months ago, he met her. She’s a receptionist at a doctor’s office. She was at his restaurant for her coworker’s birthday party.
He saw her and couldn’t stop looking at her.
By the end of the night, his friends in the kitchen knew he was smitten. They teased him. “Go talk to her,” they said, shoving him.
But, confidence doesn’t exactly grow on trees, and our Lone Ranger has been out of the saddle since high school.
He didn’t know how to approach her. He was—according to his coworkers—a big, fat, hairy chicken. So, without his permission, one of the waitresses spoke for him.
“See that guy over there?” the waitress whispered into the receptionist’s ear. “He’s the best guy you’ll ever meet. He likes you, but he’s too scaredy-cat to talk to you.”
But that’s how it started.
A little bout her: she was married once. The doctor told her she couldn’t have kids. It broke her heart, all she’s ever wanted were children.
She likes long walks on the beach, Mexican food, Trisha Yearwood albums, chocolate ice cream, and any book that wasn’t written by Danielle Steel.
They went on a first date. It lasted for sixteen hours. But they darkened no bedrooms, rustled no sheets. In fact they didn’t even kiss.
Instead, they sat on his balcony, talking. They watched the sunrise together. When his kids awoke, they ate breakfast. Thank God for simple pleasures.
Since then, she makes him keep nights and weekends free. The four of them do everything together. They go hiking, fishing, ice-skating. They do movies, concerts, board games.
Sometimes, they have sleepovers on the living-room floor. Sleeping bags and all. The eat popcorn and watch black-and-white movies.
But nothing will ever top this weekend.
This Friday is going to be a doozie. They will buy a tree from a nearby farm. They will decorate it together.
There will be a giant Tupperware crate of ornaments, lights, and garland. Tucked in the bottom of this crate is a tiny clamshell box made of felt.
She will find the box. She will reach for the box. She will open the box.
She will see an unassuming diamond ring.
He and his children will have already taken a knee—they’ve been rehearsing this—and say:
“Whenever we’re with you, we’re a real family.”
He will ask her to be his.
“Hey, Sean,” he wrote me. “I’m so nervous, man. Just wondering if you’d ask your friends to put out good vibes today?”
You don’t need any help, brother.
But I’ll tell everyone I know